By Don Martin
Can you imagine the thoughts that came to the eleven Disciples when they heard the Lord say, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15)? Or as Matthew put it, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations…teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matt 28:19-20).
GO YE INTO ALL THE WORLD! What a daunting challenge to those eleven disciples. A closer reading of what really happened is very interesting. Notice this: “Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:14-15). Notice their response: “So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven… And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen” (Mark 16:19-20).
This command came at a time in history when there were no cars, airplanes, radios, computers, media of any kind, other than a few parchments, and no printing presses, WOW! Even today, with the help of the latest technology, it would still be quite impossible to reach “every creature” on the planet. NOTE: Our Lord called all people, “every creature”. This is giving honor to the Creator of all people not other forms of life than human beings.
Our Lord “upbraided them” or “taunted, chided, or railed at” the disciples because of their “unbelief and hardness of heart”. It must have had a profound effect because “they went forth, and preached everywhere”. It was so successful that by the time we find Paul at Thessalonica
we read, “…These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;” (Acts 17:6). They had made such an impact on their world that it was likened to “turning the world upside down”!
Our Lord also gave us an “even unto the end of the world” time limit as to how long and how effective this practice was to be. “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (Matt 24:14). No wonder He said that He would be with us to the end, if not this command would be impossible. It takes “the Lord working with” us.
While it is not the purpose of this article to discuss the pros and cons of the teachings of predestination or Arminianism, I find it very unbiblical to teach that the Church is not to be motivated to “go into all the world”. It is my sincere belief that the Church is to preach and teach, “The whole gospel to the whole world by the whole church”!
I recently read an article where a certain sect of the Presbyterian Church would soon close every church because of a dwindling membership. The main reason given was because they believe that evangelism is not a tool that God wanted the Church to use. God would just send them people who were already pre-chosen by God. Obviously, God was not sending them people according to their theology to keep their “church” until the end.
I conclude with this powerful refutation of predestinationism by the Apostle Paul, “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men…” (2 Corinthians 5:11). Yes, we will go into our world! Yes, every Church will do their best to persuade “every creature” to live for the Lord! Yes, we will continue to send Missionaries to every country! Let us have the same mind as our Lord,” I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work” (John 9:4). Let us GO, Church! To the End! He is with us!
The above article, “Really Now? Every Creature? Into All the World? Until the End?”, is written by Don Martin. This material was excerpted from Oklahoma District Beacon.
The material is most likely copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.