And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover (Mark 16.15-18).
“And He said to them” , “them” refers to the disciples of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was speaking to His disciples after His resurrection from the grave. In my earlier post, “The Four Calls of God”, I mentioned that a person must go through discipleship training to qualify to serve in God’s kingdom. It is after following Jesus Christ as a disciple and learning from Him that one can serve in God’s field. Serving in God’s Kingdom is the last call of God on man.
The great commission is directed to the disciples of Christ. All disciples of Christ are believers, but not all believers are disciples. God is calling all believers to become disciples. He is calling all disciples to serve in His kingdom. All disciples are called to serve in the full capacity of the Son of Man. All disciples are called to do same measure of works as He did. Yet, not all can do the same works as the Son of Man because they do not all receive the same measure of grace. Each disciple must serve in his capacity according to the measure of grace/faith he has received from the LORD, while desiring and seeking to grow into the full stature and image of the Son of Man. All disciples of Jesus Christ are called to preach the gospel, heal the sick, casts out devils etc. However, not all of them can perform all these works because they grow differently in grace.
All disciples must serve to advance the kingdom of God. They are trained by Jesus for service and not for vanity. None must be the lazy wicked servant who buried his talent (Mathew 25:14-30) or the servant who was drinking and partying in the absence of His LORD (Mathew 24:45-51). Such lazy wicked servants will be severely punished when the LORD returns.
A man who is not a disciple of Christ does not have any responsibility to work in God’s kingdom. It is good if such a man preaches the gospel and casts out devils, but God will not chastise him for not doing these works because the responsibility is not his. The work God has commanded every man or believer (those who are not disciples) to do, is to believe in Jesus and love his neighbor as himself (1 John 3:23). Any man who fails in discharging this responsibility will be punished (Mathew 35:31-46).
When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal (Mathew 35:31-46) .
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