About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
Foundation To Evangelism
Mark 16:20 says
disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them
and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it."
consensus among Bible scholars is that Mark 16:9 through 20 was not
included in Mark's original gospel account.
It was added at a much later date by someone else, but don't let
that disturb you. I am sure
the Lord realizes how difficult it is for us to compile and translate His
Word from various ancient manuscripts into modern languages.
Besides, He has chosen to
display His Word, His glory, in and through us despite the imperfect
"jars of clay" that we are (2 Corinthians 4:7), and for that we
are very thankful. The bottom
line is this. There
is nothing inherently unbiblical about these verses, and that includes
verse 20 that I quoted above.
Just before Jesus
returned to His Father He commanded His followers to stay in
Mark 16:20 presents
us with an important New Testament principle.
We go and preach while Jesus provides some kind of spiritual sign
that confirms the validity of our message to those to whom we speak.
In other words, we do the manual labour while Jesus provides the
spiritual confirmation. The
proclamation of the gospel is a joint venture, a mutual participation,
between us and Jesus. We have
our job to do and Jesus has His job to do.
If we fail to do our part, Jesus is inhibited from doing His part.
If we go it alone, leaving Jesus behind, our message will be
ineffective. The message we
sow into the lives of people and how we sow it will determine what we
reap. Going it alone with a
weakened message might well lead people into believing they are true
believers when in fact they are not. This
is a serious matter with eternal implications, something our present-day
Evangelical church needs to take time to think through.
Each one of us has
a specific part to play in cooperation with Jesus in proclaiming the
gospel. When we do our job the
way Jesus wants it done, Jesus will do His job.
This is the foundation to effective evangelism.