The Great Commission

The Church On Mission
The Church On Mission

Preach The Gospel With Signs Following

Certainly, let’s explore how the principles from the book of Acts align with Luke 10 and Mark 16:18-20, emphasising the idea that God confirms His word preached for all disciples, not just the Apostles:

All Disciples Commissioned

Mark 16:14-20 NASB
Later He appeared to the eleven disciples themselves as they were reclining at the table; and He reprimanded them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who had seen Him after He had risen from the dead. [15] And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. [16] The one who has believed and has been baptized will be saved; but the one who has not believed will be condemned. 

[17] These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; [18] they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not harm them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” [19] So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. [20] And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed. And they promptly reported all these instructions to Peter and his companions. And after that, Jesus Himself also sent out through them from east to west the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation.

Acts Church Characteristics

  1. Empowerment by the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-4):
    • Acts begins with the empowerment of all believers by the Holy Spirit. This empowers them for ministry, not just a select few.
  2. Bold Proclamation of the Gospel (Acts 2:14-36):
    • Acts 2:14-36 shows Peter, an apostle, boldly proclaiming the Gospel. However, throughout Acts, ordinary believers also engage in bold proclamation (e.g., Philip in Acts 8).
  3. Conviction and Repentance (Acts 2:37):
    • Acts 2:37 reveals the conviction of the listeners leading to repentance. This is not limited to apostles but is a response expected from all who hear the Gospel.
  4. Miraculous Signs and Wonders (Acts 2:43):
    • Acts 2:43 highlights signs and wonders, and as seen in Acts 5:12-16, these manifestations are not confined to apostles but extend to all believers.
  5. Community Life and Sharing (Acts 2:44-47):
    • Acts 2:44-47 portrays a community sharing possessions and caring for one another. This communal aspect is inclusive of all believers, not just a select few.
  6. Continual Witness and Growth (Acts 2:47):
    • Acts 2:47 depicts continual growth, and throughout Acts, we see the impact of ordinary believers’ witness leading to the expansion of the Church.

Integration with Mark 16:18-20 and Luke 10

  1. Handling Serpents and Drinking Poison (Mark 16:18):
    • Mark 16:18 symbolically speaks of divine protection. This protection is extended to all believers, as Luke 10:19 also emphasizes authority over serpents and scorpions.
  2. Ascension and Sitting at God’s Right Hand (Mark 16:19):
    • Mark 16:19 speaks of Jesus being received into heaven. Luke 10:22 emphasizes Jesus’ authority and position at the right hand of God, applicable to all disciples.
  3. Preaching Everywhere with Confirming Signs (Mark 16:20):
    • Mark 16:20 indicates that the Lord worked with them, confirming the word with signs. This aligns with Acts 4:29-31, where believers collectively prayed for boldness and witnessed signs and wonders.
  4. Sacred and Imperishable Proclamation (Mark 16:20):
    • Mark 16:20 mentions the proclamation of eternal salvation. Luke 10:9 underscores the proclamation of the kingdom of God. These imperishable proclamations are entrusted to all disciples.
  5. Sending Out Labourers (Luke 10:3):
    • Luke 10:3 reflects the urgency of sending out labourers. This aligns with the commission in Acts and Mark 16 to preach everywhere, involving all disciples in the mission.
  6. Rejoicing in Spiritual Authority (Luke 10:17):
    • Luke 10:17 emphasizes the disciples’ joy in their spiritual authority. This authority is not limited to a select group but extends to all believers who follow Jesus.

God Confirming His Word

  • Confirmation by Signs and Wonders (Acts 2:43; Mark 16:20):
    • Acts 2:43 and Mark 16:20 emphasise that the Lord worked with them, confirming the word with signs. This confirmation is not exclusive to apostles but is available to all disciples as they preach the Gospel.
  • Collective Witness and Reporting (Acts 4:29-31):
    • Acts 4:29-31 demonstrates that believers collectively sought boldness in their witness, leading to signs and wonders. This reflects a communal effort where all disciples play a role in God’s confirming work.
  • Global Proclamation (Mark 16:20):
    • Mark 16:20 mentions that they went out and preached everywhere. Acts 1:8 further emphasizes this global aspect of the mission. God’s confirmation through signs follows the Word as it is proclaimed by all disciples.

Conclusion

In summary, an Acts Church demonstrates that God’s confirmation through signs and wonders is not limited to apostles but is accessible to all disciples empowered by the Holy Spirit. The principles from Luke 10 and Mark 16:18-20 further affirm the idea that all disciples, regardless of their role or status, are called to engage in the mission of preaching the Gospel with signs following, and God confirms His Word through the collective efforts of the entire community of believers.

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Reach NZ Evangelism Network, a dynamic platform committed to spreading the transformative message of the Gospel throughout New Zealand. At Reach NZ, our mission is clear: we exist to preach the gospel wherever people are and to equip God’s people for evangelism. As a non-profit organisation, we are dedicated to networking with other evangelists, evangelism organisations, and resources to empower churches and individuals for impactful outreach in their communities.