The past couple of mornings I’ve been reading “The Gospel According to Mark” and a thought came to mind this morning that I find quite interesting. During Jesus’ earthly ministry whenever He heeled someone He told them not to tell anyone. But what did they do? They would go out from there and tell everyone. “And He gave them orders not to tell anyone; but the more He ordered them, the more widely they continued to proclaim it.” (1) He even told His disciples when they rightly answered whom He was, not to tell anyone. “And He warned them to tell no one about Him.” (2) Even when the Lord took Peter, James, and John up on the mountain, and He was transfigured before them, “He gave them orders not to relate to anyone what they had seen, until the Son of Man rose from the dead.” (3)
Now the thing that is so interesting about what He told Peter, James, and John; was for them not to tell anyone what they had seen, until the Son of Man rose from the dead. Of course they did not understand at that time what He meant by “rose from the dead”, but in this statement, He indicated to them, that there would come a time when they were to tell people what they had seen and heard, but at a time of His choosing.
Now take the flip side of this, after the Lord rose from the dead He no longer told His disciples not to tell anyone about Him; quite the opposite, He commanded them to tell the world. So throughout Jesus’ ministry, you have people heeled by Jesus who were commanded by Him not to tell anyone, and they told everyone. He told His disciples, not to tell anyone until He rose from the dead, and they did not; He rose from the dead, and told them to go tell the world about Him, and they obeyed. The world was disobedient, but His disciples were obedient.
In John chapter 3, John the Baptist gives a prophetic word of what a believer in Jesus Christ looks like. “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of god abides on him.” (4) So His disciples (the Sheep), were obedient to His word, when He said not to tell anyone, and the people of the world (the goats), were disobedient to His word, when He said not to tell anyone. After He rose from the dead He said; “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” (5) And they were obedient in telling the world about Him without fear of the appraisal of men, even when it meant their own torture and death.
Jesus spoke about this, saying what this would look like. "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? For what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels." (6)
The English preacher from the 19th century, Charles Spurgeon said these words about the disobedient church goers of his day. "They wander in on a Sunday morning, sit down, get their hymn book, listen to the prayer without joining in it, hear the sermon, but might almost as well not have heard it, go home, get through the Sunday, go into business. With them there is never any secret prayer for the conversion of men, no trying to talk to children, or servants, or friends, about Christ, no zeal, no holy jealousy, no flaming love, no generosity, no consecrating of the substance to God's cause! This is too faithful a picture of a vast number of professing Christians. Would it were not so." (7)
Today we have many who profess to be Christians, who are disobedient to the command of our Lord whom said; “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” (5) There are sheep and there are goats, there are bad fish, and there are good fish, there is wheat and there are tares; are we then to go gather up the goats, bad fish, and tares? “But he *said, 'No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them. Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, "First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn." (8)
Am I saying in any way that a man is saved by going out and telling people about Jesus Christ? In the words of the Apostle Paul, “May it never be!”; there is only one way that a man is saved from the wrath of God against his sin, by the grace of God, in the blood of Jesus Christ through faith. Look specifically at what John the Baptist said; “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of god abides on him.” (4) It is clear by what John the Baptist said, that salvation and eternal life is solely by faith in the Son of God, Jesus Christ. It is also clear, that the one, whom believes in the Son, has a lifestyle that is marked by obedience to the Son of God. This is also clearly seen in what the Apostle Paul said. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (9)
There are two very specific commands that the Lord gives to His disciples:
1. To love one another, to love the church. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." (10)
2. To go into the world and preach His gospel, obedience to the great commission. “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." (11) " Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” (5)
The life of every believer should be marked by two very specific things; the love of His brother (the church), and the love of the Lord in preaching His gospel to the world. After reading this and you find yourself disobedient to either command of the Lord Jesus Christ. To love the church (the brothers and sisters in Christ), and or to glorify Him through preaching His gospel to all the world, I encourage you to do what the Apostle Paul said to do. “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?” (12)
Mike Peek a slave of Jesus Christ
Quotes,the translation used is the NASB: (1) Mark 7:36, (2) Mark 8:30, (3) Mark 9:9, (4) John 3:36, (5) Mark 16:15, (6) Mark 8:34-38, (7) C. Spurgeon, (8) Matthew 13:29-30, (9) Ephesians 2:8-10, (10) John 13:34-35, (11) Matthew 28:18-20, (12) 2 Corinthians 13:5