Mark 16:15
And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
Sermons
A Great WorkC. H. Spurgeon.Mark 16:15
A Strange MessengerMark 16:15
Baptismal RegenerationCharles Haddon Spurgeon Mark 16:15
Christ's Commission to His ApostlesS. Martin, D. D.Mark 16:15
Compel Them to Come InC. H. Spurgeon.Mark 16:15
Every Christian a PreacherDr. Cuyler.Mark 16:15
GoMark 16:15
Go Ye into All the WorldJohn Bate.Mark 16:15
Good News for YouW. Birch.Mark 16:15
Life in the GospelW. Birch.Mark 16:15
Missionary Work for All ChristiansC. M. Southgate.Mark 16:15
Missionary ZealS. Martin, D. D.Mark 16:15
Preach the GospelS. R. Hole, M. A.Mark 16:15
Preach, Preach, Preach EverywhereC. H. Spurgeon.Mark 16:15
Progress of MissionsBp. H. M. Thompson.Mark 16:15
Reasons for the Preaching of the GospelH. Townley.Mark 16:15
Success of MissionsMark 16:15
The Apostolic CommissionR. Newton.Mark 16:15
The Church's OrdersMark 16:15
The CommissionC. M. Southgate.Mark 16:15
The Duty and Results of Preaching the GospelGeorge Weight.Mark 16:15
The Duty of Christians with Respect to MissionsJ. Langley, M. A.Mark 16:15
The Duty of Spreading the GospelC. H. Spurgeon.Mark 16:15
The Gospel for Every CreatureD. L. Moody.Mark 16:15
The Great CommissionR. S. Storrs, D. D.Mark 16:15
The Great CommissionN. Hall, LL. B.Mark 16:15
The Obligations and Requirements of the GospelE. Grindrod.Mark 16:15
The Universal GospelMark 16:15
The World-Wide CommissionAlexander MaclarenMark 16:15
To Every CreatureD. L. Moody.Mark 16:15
Universality of the MessageDr. T. W. Jenkyn.Mark 16:15
Up, Guards, and At ThemC. H. Spurgeon.Mark 16:15
Vivifying Effects of MissionsF. F. Trench.Mark 16:15
An Eventful DayJ.J. Given Mark 16:1-18
The ResurrectionR. Green Mark 16:1-18
Effects of UncertaintyBeecher.Mark 16:14-20
The Departing SaviourJ. A. Seiss, D. D.Mark 16:14-20
Upbraided ThemW. Denton, M. A.Mark 16:14-20
Final UtterancesE. Johnson Mark 16:15-18

I. CHRISTIANITY IS A GOOD MESSAGE FOR ALL MANKIND.

II. ALL WHO HAVE AFFIANCE IN CHRIST ARE MEN CONSECRATED AND SAVED.

III. IF FAITH BE POSSESSED, ALL NECESSARY CONFIRMATIONS OF FAITH WILL BE GRANTED.

IV. IN THE KINGDOM OF CHRIST, THE OUTWARD IS ONLY OF VALUE AS SIGNIFICANT OF THE INWARD AND SPIRITUAL. - J.







Go ye into an the world and preach the gospel.
I. THE WORK. Preaching the gospel.

1. Speaking. Much of the real and useful work of life is wrought by words. They are the tools of almost every worker in some department of his toil. In preaching the gospel they are the chief agency.

2. The gospel. Gospel, in the lips of Jesus, represented facts in the eternal past and in the eternal future — promises, predictions, His own history, dispensations of the grace of God, and certain aspects of the government of God; and gospel, to the ears of the eleven, represented the same central truths, with the outlying truths unrevealed, so that they could not mistake what Jesus meant when He said, "Preach the gospel."

3. A new work this. Not preaching merely — that was old enough; but preaching the gospel.

4. A Divine work. Commenced by God Himself. A work which claims high esteem for all engaged in it; a work in which the loftiest ambition may be satiated; a work whose results surpass in blessedness the creation of earth and heaven.

II. THE WORKMEN.

1. Men of little refinement or education. This gave them sympathy with the common people, if not influence over them.

2. Men of ordinary secular occupations.

3. Great varieties of natural character among them. No two were alike. Yet these very different men were called to do the same work. The same gospel may be preached in very different styles with equal success.

4. They had received special training for their special work. As more was expected from them than from others, more had been done for them.

5. Yet they were far from being perfect men. Just before this commission was addressed to them they were upbraided by Christ with their unbelief and hardness of heart. A perfect man or a perfect preacher is not necessary for the preaching of a perfect gospel.

6. Although not perfect men, they were men to whom special promises were made — promises of the presence of Christ and of the Holy Ghost — promises of power.

7. They were representative men, foundation men, men who had to begin what others should carry on.

III. THE SPHERE OF WORK. The whole world. No limitations of country or climate; no distinctions of barbarism and civilization, bondage and freedom, preparedness or otherwise of particular peoples. Wherever there were men these workmen were to go. "Every creature" — for every creature hath sinned, and every creature is guilty before God, and every creature is going astray, and every creature is liable to punishment. For every creature there is gospel enough and to spare. What a glorious sphere for working — the world, man, men, all men, every creature! And what work! These workmen are builders of a temple that shall fill the world, and stewards of wealth which shall enrich the world, and ambassadors upon an errand of supreme importance to the world, and sowers in the field of the world, by whose agency the wilderness shall become a fruitful field, men shall be reconciled to God, the poor shall become heirs of God, and "the tabernacle of God," etc. (Revelation 21:3, 4).

IV. THE MASTER OF THE WORKMEN. He who saith "Go," came into the world. He who saith "Go ye," Himself came: came not by deputy or proxy, but Himself came. He who saith "Go ye and preach," Himself preached. He who saith "Go ye and preach the gospel," is the gospel. He who saith "Go into the world to every creature," is the propitiation for the sins of the world. With such a Master the lack of willing workmen is truly wonderful. Shall we neglect to obey? Shall we undervalue obedience as a means of redemption to others? All cannot preach, but all can repeat the faithful saying, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, and all can unite in sending forth men qualified to preach, and in sustaining such men by contributions of property, by manifestations of sympathy, and by prayer.

(S. Martin, D. D.)

A ragged school teacher went out into the lanes of our city to bring in neglected children. He found a child, the very incarnation of wickedness and wretchedness, and led her to the school. There she heard expounded and applied the parable of the prodigal son. Shortly after the child was seized by fever, and the teacher visited her. In one of his visits he read this parable, and when he came to the words, "When he was yet a great way off his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him," the child exclaimed, "Ah, that was just like me! That's good; say it again — 'a great way off!' What, ever so far, away, away, like me with the devil? That must be far from God and the Lamb. Yes! I was a great way off. How good! how kind! But I'm afraid! have been worse than that bad son. Still, I have said 'Dear Jesus, I want to love you, I want to get away from the devil; please help me.' And I think He heard me, for I have felt somehow different ever since. I am not afraid now; no, not one bit." When death was so near that it was supposed that all power of utterance was gone, she aroused herself, and said, in a clear and distinct voice, evidently referring to destitute children allowed still to wander through the streets and lanes of the city: "Fetch them in; oh, be sure and fetch them in! Fetch them in and tell them of Jesus, tell them of Jesus; oh, be sure and fetch them in."

(S. Martin, D. D.)

I. THIS COMMISSION IS MOST IMPORTANT IN ITS NATURE. Consider —

1. Its Divine origin.

2. Its adaptation to the circumstances of mankind.

3. Its efficiency.

4. Its individuality.One and the same salvation for all and each. One common remedy for the universal disease. If there were some given place where all must needs be, and many roads led to it. It would not be essentially important which we took; but if there were but one road which would conduct the traveller to the place where all should be, how carefully should that road be sought! And is not Christ the only way to heaven?

II. THIS COMMISSION IS LEGITIMATE IN ITS AUTHORITY. It is the command of the King of kings, and Lord of lords. And His authority is twofold.

1. It is official — by delegation from His Father.

2. It is essential. Authority without control.

III. THIS COMMISSION IS OFFICIAL IN ITS EXECUTION. It is to be done by preaching. There is a special commission for those sent out to preach.

1. The preacher must have a personal realization of the benefits of the gospel in his own heart. How can an unbeliever inculcate faith? How can an impenitent man call sinners to repentance?

2. The preacher must have an ardent love to the fallen souls of men.

3. He must have a solemn, heartfelt impression, that the Author of the gospel requires this at his hands.

4. He must have suitable qualifications.

5. He must have the sanction of his brethren in the ministry.

IV. THIS COMMISSION IS UNIVERSAL IN ITS EXTENT.

1. Universal in point of place.

2. Universal in point of persons.CONCLUSION:

1. This subject enables us to meet the infidel objection which is urged against the gospel on the ground of its partial diffusion. This is not God's fault. He commands that His salvation be proclaimed to the ends of the world.

2. How loud is the call on our gratitude that the gospel has been proclaimed to us.

3. How imperative is the obligation that we hand it on to others.

(R. Newton.)

I. THE WORLD KNOWS NOT GOD. By its own wisdom it cannot find Him out. Instruction needed which God alone can impart. God has imparted the knowledge of Divine things to some, and ordered them to convey that knowledge to the rest of the world.

II. THE TEMPORAL MISERIES OF THE HEATHEN ARE VERY GREAT. To what torture do they submit in their blind devotion to false gods! Hasten to lead them out of their ignorance and superstition into the light of the knowledge of the only true God.

III. THE WOE THAT AWAITS THEM BEYOND THE GRAVE. What an education for eternity is theirs!

IV. THE GOSPEL IS THE POWER OF GOD TO EVERYONE WHO RECEIVES IT.

(H. Townley.)

I. THE NATURE OF THIS COMMAND.

II. THE EXTENT OF THIS COMMAND.

III. THE PERIOD WHEN THIS COMMAND WAS GIVEN.

(J. Langley, M. A.)

I. THE GOSPEL IS A REVELATION OF LOVE. Is there not sunshine enough in the sky for your daily paths, and is there not enough water in the ocean to bear your small craft? The love of God is like the sunshine, and His goodness is like the ocean; there is enough for you; and if you will but take the gospel as meant for you, His great love shall be shed abroad in your heart by the power of the Holy Ghost.

II. THE GOSPEL ALSO IS A PROVISION OF PEACE. It takes the sting from trouble; it takes the pain from sickness; it breathes to all, hope, paradise, joy. And it imparts peace at all times. Wherever you are, whatsoever you may be, and through whatever you may pass, the gospel gives you a peace that sustains you safely. Like yonder impregnable British fortress at Gibraltar, so God's peace shall keep you. The waves may dash against that ancient fortress, and guns may burst their fireballs upon it, but that rock is impregnable; held by British hearts it shall stand against all the foes of the world. So God's peace shall enter your soul, and keep you in all the trials and storms of life.

III. THE GOSPEL IS A CALL TO LIBERTY. What is it that causes men to feel the pain of guilt? it is that they are afraid of being discovered; they are afraid of men pointing the finger of scorn at them. But how blessed to know that when we stand before the bar of God all our sins shall be blotted out.

IV. THE GOSPEL IS AN INSPIRATION OF POWER. It tells us that the Lord shall stand up in your heart and raise a standard, which shall hurl back the flood of sin. However great the torrent may be the Lord shall breathe power to check it.

V. THE GOSPEL IS THE INSPIRATION OF POWER TO BE HOLY. We cannot in our own strength run the heavenly race; but Jesus enters into us, abides in our hearts, and gives us His own almighty strength.

VI. THE GOSPEL ALSO OFFERS A PRESENT JOY. Blessings, mercies, pardon, peace — all to be had now.

VII. THE GOSPEL CONSTRAINS US TO LOVE GOD, AND TO LIVE HOLY LIVES, BY THE MOST POWERFUL MOTIVE. What can constrain us like the love of Jesus?

(W. Birch.)

I. THE GOSPEL IS BROUGHT TO US BY JESUS, OUR KINSMAN.

II. IN THE GOSPEL JESUS REVEALS TO US THE CHARACTER OF GOD. When you hold a magnet to a little bit of steel the two are drawn together, on account of some mysterious affinity between them. So, when a sincere mind examines the way to God pointed out by Jesus in the Gospel, and we are true as steel to the Saviour magnet, we are drawn to the breast of our God.

III. THE CHIEF GEM OF THE GOSPEL IS, THAT EVERY HUMAN BEING IS FORGIVEN. We forgive men after they have begged us to do so, but God forgives men before they ask.

IV. EVERY MAN WHO SINCERELY BELIEVES THE GOSPEL SHALL BE SAVED FROM THE POWER OF HIS SIN. Salvation is not a varnish to hide our blemishes; it is a new spirit which roots out every sin.

V. THE GOSPEL IS FOR EVERY MAN.

(W. Birch.)

I. WHAT IT IS THAT WE HAVE TO CARRY TO EVERY CREATURE. The great truth that "God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself." What is meant by the word preach? Its meaning is extensive. It includes all church work for the spread of the gospel.

II. WHAT IS THE EXTENT OF THIS COMMISSION? No limit as to where this gospel is to be preached. No limit as to the persons to whom it is to be preached.

III. THE INDUCEMENT TO ENLIST IN THIS SERVICE AND OBEY THIS COMMAND. God has said it. It is a delight to God. By it the elect are to be gathered out. We should do it for our own sakes. Because Jesus wills it.

IV. WHAT POWERS HAVE WE TO WORK WITH AND HOW CAN WE DO IT? If all cannot preach, yet they may either teach the young or influence their own households.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Search ye out, and look what you can do, and whatsoever your hand findeth to do, do with all your might, for the grave will soon open for you, and there is no work nor device in the grave whither you are hastening. "Up, guards, and at them," was said in the day of battle, and I may say it to every Christian. We shall not bless the world by big schemes, mighty theories, gigantic plans. Little by little grows the coral reef on which afterwards gardens are to be planted. Little by little must the kingdom come, each man bringing his mite and laying it down at Jesus' feet. So breaks the light. Beam by beam it comes. One by one come the arrows from the bow of the sun, and at last darkness flies. So, so must break the everlasting morn.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

He would be a poor sportsman who would sit in his house and expect the game to come to him. He that would have it must go abroad for it, and he that would serve his Master must go into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Oh, church of God! thy Lord has given thee a work almost as immense as the creation of a world; nay, it is a greater work than that; it is to recreate a world. What canst thou do in this? Thou canst do nothing effectively unless the Holy Spirit shall bless what thou attemptest to do. But that He wilt do, and if thou dost gird up thy loins, and thy heart be warm in this endeavour, thou shalt yet be able to preach Jesus Christ to every creature under heaven.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. IT IS IMPLIED THAT THERE IS AT LAST A GOSPEL iN THE WORLD; not a history merely, not a philosophy, but a gospel — a way of salvation for dying men; a finished thing, to which nothing is to be added, and from which nothing is to be taken.

II. This commission to preach the gospel to all the world also implies THE CONTINUITY OF THE CHURCH AS A PREACHING, TEACHING BODY.

III. The extension and establishment of the gospel through the world, TILL IT EVERYWHERE COMES TO BE A DOMINANT POWER IN SOCIETY, is an obligation on our part in whatever light we examine it.

1. Consider the gospel as related to whatever is best in human civilization. Civilization is but a secular name for Christianity itself. Popular education comes from the gospel. As the dignity of man is realized there comes a liberalizing of government, and tyrannic dynasties are overthrown. Domestic felicity, literature and art, are aided by the gospel.

2. But beyond all this look at the spiritual wants of man to which the gospel ministers. It transfigures man's whole life.

3. Recall the new impressions which we ourselves have received of the greatness and value of the gospel. We have felt its inspiring energy in our own hearts.

4. Thus we enter the fellowship of the noblest souls of earth — a society grander than that of a mere intellectual companionship — even with the ancient martyrs. But best of all, the execution of this great commission brings us into fellowship with Jesus Christ, in His unique and royal work.

(R. S. Storrs, D. D.)

It is often said that there are not preachers enough to meet the demands of the land and of the world. That may be true. But every living Christian is a preacher. Every prayerful, earnest, godly life is a sermon. There are a hundred ways of preaching Jesus without choosing a Bible text or standing in a pulpit. A Wilberforce could proclaim the gospel of love on the floor of the British Parliament, even though he wore no surplice and never had a bishop's hand laid upon his honoured head. George H. Stuart was an apostle of the cross when he organized the Christian commission for soldiers' tents; and John Macgregor was another when he organized the "Shoe-black Brigades" in the streets of London. Hannah More preached Christ in the drawing room, and Elizabeth Fry in prison cells, and Florence Nightingale in the hospitals, and Sarah F. Smiley among the freedmen of the South. Our Master scatters His commissions very widely. Harlan Page dropping the tract and the kind word through the city workshops; John Wanamaker, the Christian merchant, mustering poor children into his "Bethany" mission house; James Lennox, giving his gold to build churches and hospitals; the Dairyman's Daughter, murmuring the name of Jesus with her faint, dying voice; George Muller, housing and feeding God's orphans — all these were effective and powerful preachers of the glorious gospel of the Son of God. There is a poor needlewoman in my congregation whose unselfish, cheerful, holy life impresses me as much as any pulpit message of mine can possibly impress her. A true and noble life is the mightiest of discourses. It is the sermons in shoes that must convert the world to Jesus, if it is ever to be converted.

(Dr. Cuyler.)

Christ's own word for it, come with me to that scene in Jerusalem where the disciples are bidding Him farewell. Calvary, with all its horrors, is behind Him; Gethsemane is over, and Pilate's judgment hall. He has passed the grave, and is about to take His place at the right hand of the Father. Around Him stands His little band of disciples, the little church He was to leave to be His witnesses. The hour of parting has come, and He has some "last words" for them. Is He thinking about Himself in these closing moments? Is He thinking about the throne that is waiting Him, and the Father's smile that will welcome Him to heaven? Is He going over in memory the scenes of the past; or is He thinking of the friends who have followed Him so far, who will miss Him so much when He is gone? No, He is thinking about you. You imagined He would think of those who loved Him? No, sinner, He thought of you then. He thought of His enemies, those who shunned Him, those who despised Him, those who killed Him — He thought what more He could do for them. He thought of those who world hate Him, of those who would have none of His gospel, of those who would say it was too good to be true, of those who would make excuse that He never died for them. And then turning to His disciples, His heart just bursting with compassion, He gives them His farewell charge: "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." They are almost His last words, "to every creature."

(D. L. Moody.)

When we ask in these days what does this injunction mean, the answers which come to us, from within and from without the Church, are many and discordant. As in the earliest times of Christianity there were pseudo-gospels, counterfeits, and forgeries, so it is now.

I. AMONG THESE PSEUDO-GOSPELS OUTSIDE THE PALE OF THE CHURCH WE HAVE —

1. The gospel of reason; the idea that man, by his own mental power, is rapidly acquiring a newer and truer wisdom, which is to make the world happier and better than it has ever been. It is a religion of the head, not the heart; it cannot therefore apprehend spiritual verities.

2. The easy, plausible gospel of universal toleration and philanthropy, which assumes and abuses the sacred name of love. Indifferent altogether for truth, caring only for expediency. Anything for peace.

3. The gospel of sentiment — the religion which very much resembles those pictures in which the cross is almost hidden by gay coloured flowers — satisfying itself with music, sensational preaching, controversial reading, and much speaking, but shirking the plain uninteresting duties of daily life, and doing no real work for others, for the soul, and for God.

4. The gospel of wealth, pleasure, honour, authority, believing (so falsely) that a man's life consists in the abundance of the things he possesses.

II. AND THEN, WITHIN THE CHURCH, HOW MANY GOSPELS? Alas, what sore surprise and sorrow would vex the righteous soul of one of those who lived in the earlier, happier days of our faith could he re-visit this world and witness our unhappy divisions! "What has become," he would say, "of the apostles' doctrine and fellowship? How the seamless robe of our crucified Lord is rent and torn; and that, not by declared enemies, but by professed friends!"

III. WHAT, THEN, ARE WE TO PREACH? We must appeal to two friends, whom we shall find in every heart; two allies who will help us; two witnesses who will come into court.

(1)Love and

(2)fear.Let all seek Christ as their Saviour, lest they tremble when He comes to be their Judge.

(S. R. Hole, M. A.)

After these words were spoken, the missionary duty of the Church, in its nearest and remotest extent, was as little a matter of doubt as the resurrection. A thousand other things it may do or neglect; may have elaborate organization or none; may build cathedrals, or pitch tents; may master all learning and art, or know nothing save Christ and Him crucified; but go it must, and preach it must, or it is not Christ's Church. You little children who love Jesus must tell others of His love. You rich men must work through your money; you wise men by your wisdom; you poor uncultured souls through your prayers. Unless you do your utmost to spread the kingdom, you disobey the first law of the kingdom; unless your love reaches out to all men, you have not the spirit of Christ, who died for all. A positive belief and a missionary spirit have long ago been proved the indispensable characteristics of a living Church. The Lord speaks in tender tones to rouse our sympathy for those who are perishing for lack of knowledge. He unfolds the magnificent conception of the empire of holy love, exalting the continents and blessing the isles. He stands in the midst of these unredeemed millions and says: "Come. Lo! I am waiting for you here." But behind all invitations stands the command, "Go, preach;" and above them all rises the judgment, for us and for them, with its eternal blessedness and eternal woe.

(C. M. Southgate.)

"I hope," says Mr. Knibb, of St. Petersburg, in a letter, "the subject of devoting ourselves and our children to God and to His service will be more thought of, and more acted upon, than it has been hitherto. I am more and more convinced that, if St. Paul had ever preached from this particular text, he would have laid great stress on the word 'go.' On your peril do not substitute another word for go. Preach is a good word; direct is a good word; collect is a good word; give is a good word. They are all important in their places, and cannot be dispensed with. The Lord bless and prosper those who are so engaged, but still lay the stress on the word go; for 'how can they hear without a preacher, and how can they preach except they be sent?' Six hundred millions of the human race are perishing, and there are perhaps thirty among all the Christians in Britain who are at this moment preparing to 'go'!"

Words of strong authority from the captain to the soldier; from master to servant; from Redeemer to redeemed; from king to subject. No doubt as to possibility, no discussing of dangers, no calculating of results — "Go!" Great oceans, high mountains, wide deserts are in the way; shipwreck, fever, starvation, death — "Go!" The people are brutish and hard of heart; they have slain the Lord; they will not hear the disciple — "Go!" I am but a child, a man of unclean lips; I forsook the Lord and fled; I denied Him "Go!"

(C. M. Southgate.)

There is one feature of Christianity which must strike the mind of every observer, viz., that no other system of religion in the world is missionary. They all limit themselves to the people, country, and clime where they have grown. Where are the missionaries of the religions of China, India, Africa, Persia, or Japan? But no sooner was Christianity introduced into the world than it sent forth its agencies beyond the place of its introduction. "Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the utmost parts of the earth" are the scope of its operations. "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature," is the command of the Spirit to all its agents. And hence Christianity has its agents, institutions, literature, and means in every quarter of the globe. What does this prove for Christianity? That, as a system of religion, it is nobler, grander, more benevolent and diffusive than any other; and the success which has crowned Christianity wherever it has gone demonstrates that it is Divine in its origin; adapted to all minds, hearts, lives, and countries; civilizing, meliorating, saving, and beautifying in its effects; and the only religion which can restore a fallen world to its glorious Creator and God.

(John Bate.)

A professional diver said he had in hi, house what would probably strike a visitor as a very strange chimney ornament — the shells of an oyster holding fast a piece of printed paper. The possessor of this ornament was diving on the coast, when he observed at the bottom of the sea this oyster on a rock, with a piece of paper in its mouth, which he detached, and commenced to read through the goggles of his headdress. It was a gospel tract, and, coming to him thus strangely and unexpectedly, so impressed his unconverted heart, that he said, "I can hold out against God's mercy in Christ no longer, since it pursues me thus." He became, whilst in the ocean's depth, a repentant, converted, and (as he was assured) sin-forgiven man. Saved at the bottom of the sea.

The apostles understood their commission to be general and indiscriminate for every creature; so they received it from Him who laid the foundation of such an extensive ministration by tasting death for every man. Accordingly, they went forth on their commission, to preach the gospel to all the world. They did not square their message by any human system of theology, nor measure their language to the lines of Procrustean creeds. They employed a dialect that traverses the length and breadth of the world. They did not tremble for such an unreserved exhibition of the ark and the mercy seat. They could not bring themselves to stint the remedy which was prepared and intended to restore a dying world, nor would they cramp the bow which God had lighted up in the storm which threatened all mankind.

(Dr. T. W. Jenkyn.)

During the American war, a regiment received orders to plant some heavy guns on the top of a very steep hill. The soldiers dragged them to the base of the hill, but were unable to get them any farther. An officer, learning the state of affairs, said, "Men, it must be done! I have the orders in my pocket." So the Church has orders to discipline the world.

We sometimes complain of the slow progress of missions, as though nothing had been done. Is it nothing that the Church has been aroused to her duty? that every large branch of Zion has her missionary organization? that these amount to eighty? that four thousand missionaries are in the field? that the Word of God is preached in fifteen thousand localities of the heathen world? ten million dollars are collected annually to sustain these missions? that six hundred and eighty-seven thousand converts are enrolled in Africa, and seven hundred and thirteen thousand in Asia? and that, if we add to these the fruits of the Romish missions, we shall number Christians by the million in the heathen world?

(Bp. H. M. Thompson.)

The late Duke of Wellington once met a young clergyman, who, being aware of his Grace's former residence in the East, and of his familiarity with the ignorance and obstinacy of the Hindoos in support of their false religion, gravely proposed the following question: "Does not your Grace think it almost useless and absurd to preach the gospel to the Hindoos?" The Duke immediately rejoined: "Look, sir, to your marching orders, 'Preach the gospel to every creature.'"

Carey and his compeers, the first English Baptist missionaries, laboured seven years before the first Hindoo convert was baptized. Judson toiled on for years without any fruit of his labour, until the few churches in this land which sustained him began to be disheartened. He wrote, "Beg the churches to have patience. If a ship were here to carry me to any part of the world, I would not leave my field. Tell the brethren success is as certain as the promise of a faithful God can make it." The mission was commenced in 1814. In 1870 there were more than a hundred thousand converts.

As Peter walked at eventide, his lengthened shadow, as it fell on the gathered sick in the streets of Jerusalem, healed as it swept over them; even so is Christianity going through the earth like a spirit of health, and the nations, miserable and fallen, start up and live as she passes.

(F. F. Trench.)

I. THE EXTENT OF OUR COMMISSION.

1. "All the world" — because all the world is involved in transgression.(1) We learn this from Scripture (Romans 3:19, 23; Romans 5:12).(2) Experience confirms this. All the foundations of the world are out of course.

2. "All the world" — because man's wants are everywhere the same. All need pardon; all need enlightenment; all need peace.

3. "All the world" — because God has designed to collect a people for Himself from all the tribes and families of men.

II. THE OBJECT OF OUR EMBASSY. To preach the gospel — the glad tidings of mercy and grace.

1. The gospel must be preached faithfully. Nothing of our own put in; nothing of God's left out.

2. The gospel must be preached affectionately. Not to drive men away, but to gather them in; not to terrify, but to console.

3. The gospel must be preached in complete and entire dependence upon the grace of Christ.

III. THE RESULTS THAT WILL ATTEND THE ACCEPTANCE OR REJECTION OF OUR MESSAGE. None can perish but by their own fault.

(George Weight.)

I. THE NATURE OF THE CHRISTIAN MINISTER'S COMMISSION. To preach the gospel, explain its doctrines, to enforce its precepts, to proclaim its promises, and to denounce its threatenings.

II. THE END OR DESIGN OF THE CHRISTIAN MINISTER'S COMMISSION. To preach the gospel in all the world and to every creature.

1. This implies that all mankind stand in need of the gospel.

2. It implies universality of design on the part of God to bestow the benefits of the gospel on those who receive it.

3. It implies universal grace and efficiency as accompanying the ministry of the gospel to render it effectual for the salvation of all.

4. It implies an obligation on the part of the Church to send its ministers literally into all the world and to every creature.

III. THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE GOSPEL FROM THOSE TO WHOM IT IS PREACHED.

1. The gospel requires faith from those to whom it is preached. Saving faith consists of two parts.

(1)The faith by which the sinner is justified. And in this there are three distinct acts.

(i)The assent of the understanding.

(ii)The consent of the will.

(iii)The soul's repose and reliance upon Christ for pardon.

(2)The faith by which the Christian daily lives. Trust. Confidence in God, leading to prompt and willing obedience.

2. Baptism. The duties imposed upon all baptized are —

(1)To maintain an open connection with the Church.

(2)To defend the cause of Christ against all adversaries.

(3)To live a holy life.

IV. THE RESULTS OF THE RECEPTION OR REJECTION OF THE GOSPEL.

(E. Grindrod.)

Huber, the great naturalist, tells us that if a single wasp discovers a deposit of honey or other food, he will return and impart the good news to his companions, who will then sally forth in great numbers to partake of the fare which has been discovered for them. Shall we who have found honey in the rock Christ Jesus be less considerate of our fellow men than wasps are of their fellow insects?

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

I heard of a woman once who thought that there was no promise in the Bible for her; they were all for other people. One day she got a letter, and, when she opened it, found it was not for her at all, but for some other woman of the same name. It led her to ask herself, "If I should find some promise in the Bible directed to me, how should I know that it meant me, and not some other woman?" And she found out that she must just take God at His word, and include herself among the "whosoevers" and the "every creatures" to whom the gospel is freely preached.

(D. L. Moody.)

A Christian is one who professes to obey Jesus. Jesus has distinctly told us to go and preach the gospel through. out the world; therefore, whatever objections may be brought against Christian missions, are really brought against the authority of Christ and against Christianity itself. The Christian who opposes Christian missions is an anomaly. Some philosophers may say that Christianity is unsuited to the circumstances of every nation. Some philanthropists may say there is a bettor method of doing good to the world; some patriots may say that all we can do should be done in our own country; some politicians may say that it is unwise to interfere with the established institutions of other countries; some practical men may say the results accomplished are not worth the pains taken. Now, if we have no distinct reply to any of these objections, it is sufficient that we are under the orders of Christ, and those orders we must comply with. Suppose that when the commander-in-chief of an army calls his officers to him and says: "You are to storm every battery, to attack every position, of the enemy," then the subordinate officers were to say: "I can't see the reason of this; there's an insuperable difficulty yonder; we had better delay the execution of the command." It would be monstrous, although it might be that your commander is mistaken, or perhaps the command itself is ambiguous. But in this case the command is not ambiguous; nothing could be more clear — go; go everywhere, go everywhere and preach; preach the gospel to everyone. Nothing could be plainer. And then there is great emphasis given to the command by the circumstances under which it was uttered. A command in battle may be given in the time of conflict, and at the order may be mistaken; but this command was not given under the excitement of conflict; the conflict was over, the battle finished, the victory over death had been won, and calmly, as by a conqueror, this word of command was given. We think much of the last words of anyone who addresses us. These are Christ's last words: there is great emphasis about them. Part of Christ's work was complete, the great work of offering a sacrifice for the world; but part of Christ's work was not complete, the work of publishing the gospel. His own personal ministry was limited — in locality, in time — it only extended over Palestine, and only lasted three years. But the ministry of Christ in the publication of His gospel was to be continued through the agency of His Church.

I. WHAT? what is it we have to do?

1. Preach the gospel. The world had to be possessed for Christ. By the employment of what weapons? Shall swords and spears be collected, soldiers trained, armies organized? "Preach the gospel." Shall the arts of diplomacy be used? Shall statesmen and rulers be upraised so that they may pass laws by which whole communities under their influence shall be gathered, at least outwardly, into the Church? "Preach the gospel." Shall the servants of Christ be engaged to amass wealth, so that by money — which is said to be able to do everything — we may purchase the adhesion of the world? "Preach the gospel." Disdaining these carnal methods referred to, shall we apply ourselves to other methods more spiritual? Shall we apply ourselves to philosophy? Shall we take ourselves to the current theories of the day, and try to overcome the prejudices of the learned, and win the intellect of the wise? "Preach the gospel."

2. What, then, is this gospel? Good news. That, then, is the gospel — the Saviour — Christ. And this gospel is to be preached — not displayed in outward forms and mystic ceremonies, as the ceremonies of the Old Testament indicated typically the glory that was to come. Go and preach it, declare the truth, speak it to men's minds, that it may enter their hearts.

3. But why should it be preached by men? Why should it not have been made known by some supernatural, miraculous manner to everyone? Why the delay connected with preaching? There are mysteries we cannot solve. The arts and sciences have been left for man to work out. God gives us the materials for food — we prepare them; provides the land — we have to cultivate it; gives salvation — we have to accept it; the gospel message — we have to propagate it. Then, again, we might say our own spiritual culture requires this work; it would be an injurious thing for us if we had not this work to do. It is not likely we can understand all the mysteries of the Divine procedure, but there is the distinct precept we have to obey. "Preach the gospel."

II. WHY? Ancient predictions prepared us for this commission. Some say — we all say — charity begins at home, so the commission runs, "beginning at Jerusalem." The apostles unfurled the banner of the cross at Jerusalem, and then went forth displaying it before all the world. Very soon after they began to preach at Jerusalem the gospel was proclaimed at Damascus, Ephesus, Athens, Rome, and afterwards it extended to Macedonia, Spain, and Britain. Does someone say our own country needs all we can do to benefit mankind, all our efforts and all our money, let us wait till all evil is rectified in our own land? Then I would ask who are doing the most for their own land; are they not generally found to be those who are doing most for other lands? But cannot man be saved without hearing the gospel? Why therefore go to them? That might be said with reference to people here in England. Why preach at home? If the objection holds good in one case, it would hold good in the other. "Go into all the world." But don't you increase the responsibility of a nation when you make known to them the gospel, supposing they reject it? Is not the man more guilty the more he knows? Such an objection would apply equally to preaching at home, so we should have no preaching at all. But if one country in the world is well adapted for this particular system of truth, there are other countries that are altogether different from that country, and what is fit for it cannot be good for the other. "Go ye into all the world." We keep to our commission; the command is very clear. Well, but some countries are too cold; their icy mountains frown away the fanatics who would go to those shivering wretches gorging their blubber in their snow huts to try and explain to them the mysteries of Christianity, "Go into all the world." But some countries are too hot; the burning suns, scorching blast, and arid deserts forbid the things that are suited to temperate climes. "Go into all the world." But some nations are highly civilized, and don't need your gospel as savage nations do. "Go into all the world." But some are two barbarous, eating one another, and looking hungrily at you; it's madness to go and teach them the mysteries of Christianity. "Go into all the world." But some parts of the world are the homes of ancient idolatries; their gods are visible, and their worship is fortified by the indulgence of cruelty and lust. It is impossible to win such nations to the pure worship of an invisible Spirit. "Go into all the world." But some nations are the worshippers of one God with a comparatively pure form of faith; why disturb them? "Go into all the world." But your religion of the West cannot be suited to the customs of the East. That which suits Anglo-Saxons cannot suit Orientals. But our religion had its birthplace in the East. Missionaries from Syria first came to Britain; now we take back the gospel that we received from them. The gospel has been preached throughout the world: it has gone back to Palestine, Egypt, Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the earth. The Anglo-Saxon race — the depositories of Christianity — have spread through the world; our commerce is in every country, our ships sail over every sea, our language is spoken in every clime; by the aid of printing, Bibles and books are multiplied in almost every language.

III. TO WHOM? "To every creature." Not only to nations, you will observe, as though we could convert a nation at once by gaining over the rulers and their passing laws. No; "go and preach the gospel to every creature." Christianity is a personal thing. Believe thou the gospel. It is for every creature. God would not invite to a banquet those for whom there was no room. Yes, for "every creature." Christ, who constitutes the gospel, is Divine, and therefore infinite; if not Divine, and merely human, there would be a limitation about His power. "To every creature." The most unlikely persons to receive the gospel have often been the first to accept it. Publicans and harlots enter the kingdom of heaven before some of those who seemed to be far advanced on the way; therefore we are to preach, not only to barbarous tribes as such, but to the most degraded specimens of those tribes. What! to this hoary-headed heathen whose heathenism is bound up in his very life? "Every creature." What! to this fierce cannibal gloating over his victories? "Every creature." What! to this wild tenant of the woods whose intellect seems little above the intellect of the brutes; who seems as if he had no wishes but the most debased of his own debased people. "To every creature." What! to this man of cultivation? "Every creature." It is for sinners, and I am a sinner. It is for all, and I am one of the all; and so, having received it, I publish it to others.

(N. Hall, LL. B.)

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