I received the following question:

This afternoon I was having a conversation with a friend, and he was wondering why the Lord wouldn’t make it clearer in Scripture that the Mark 16 commission had already been accomplished after Acts 28:28.  I guess in a way I would also want it to be more blatant, but maybe that’s why the Lord wants us to be looking into His Word more.  Knowing Christ is knowing His Word, so if we were given such answers maybe we would not search out the Word as He would like us to?  Does that make any sense?

Yes, it does. I think He hides a lot of things for that reason. We do not really appreciate things if we don’t have to work for them. (Why many “born and bred” Christians don’t care very much about their faith.) God wants us to have to dig for these truths, so they will be as precious to us as they are to Him.

Proverbs 25:2 reads,

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, But the glory of kings is to search out a matter.

This verse tells us that the Lord is glorified when He conceals things, but even kings (so certainly we) are glorified when they search them out. So it is a great honor to be able to search and find these things. Of course, one always has to be careful he is finding things that are really there, for there is no honor in imagining things there that don’t exist!

As for the commission being fulfilled, I do not think it is that unclear. It is just that we fail to see it because we are either not looking for it, or are prejudiced by traditional thought. Consider Mark 16:20. 

20.  And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.

Could anything be more clear? The Lord tells them to preach the gospel “to every creature,” which we know better translated means “in every creation.” He tells them that He will work with them by giving them confirming signs to follow those who believe. Then, this verse tells us that they went out and preached everywhere (the same thing as “in every creation,”) and the Lord worked with them and gave them the signs. What could be more clear?

Colossians 1:5b-6a.  the word of the truth of the gospel, which has come to you, as it has also in all the world,

Clear enough?

Colossians 1:23b.  the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven.

Again, how much more clear could you be?

Romans 10:18.  But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed: “Their sound has gone out to all the earth, And their words to the ends of the world.”

This last verse was in the Acts period, as this great work was wrapping up. Again, could it be more clear that the commission was being fulfilled? It isn’t unclear…we just aren’t looking! “Everyone knows we are still fulfilling the great commission today…right?”

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