Barnabas Bulletin ~ 0157
In Mark 16:15-18 we have recorded the last words of Jesus before He went back to His Father in Heaven. He was speaking to His disciples that He had trained, and gave them what we call The Great Commission; the taking of the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ into all the world with evidences that Jesus is alive from the dead!
If you look at verses 11-14 of Mark 16 you will see the heart condition of Jesus’ disciples at that time. It was not very good. They could not comprehend the fact that Jesus had risen from the dead and had allowed doubt, unbelief and hardness of heart to enter into them. It was so bad that Jesus had to rebuke (“upbraid, to reproach, chide” – Bullinger’s) them for their unbelief and hardness of heart. But they were all He had! Jesus did not have a “Plan B.” Had He over-estimated those men He had called to walk with Him? It looked that way. But Jesus had confidence in the men He had chosen to equip to take the most important Message in all history to all of mankind. He commissioned them to take the Gospel to the whole world. Then Jesus departed while those disciples were left to decide what they would do. Would they believe Jesus, or would they continue to languish in their unbelief and hardness of heart? Verses 19-20 tell us that after Jesus departed they made a positive decision to go and do what Jesus had told them to! Something had to happen in their lives in order to activate them into being obedient to the word of Jesus. They experienced the day of Pentecost. They were the ones who went to the upper room and waited for the Promised Holy Spirit to come and indwell their lives.
- And He came!
- And they were filled!
- And they began to speak in other tongues and prophesy!
- And they were changed!
- Their unbelief and hardness of heart was changed into a positive burning, believing and consuming fire that burned up their unbelief and hardness of heart, and sent them forth to obey the commands of Jesus Christ their Master!
The Bible declares: “They went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen” (Mark 16:20 ).
What conquered their unbelief?
It was their being FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT that inspired them to believe and OBEY the words of Jesus! They experienced in reality the promise of God to them! Their lives were positively changed to the glory of God!
For Christians, our believing must be based on the words of Jesus. Everything else should take second place to what He says. Before their Pentecost experience those disciples of Jesus struggled to accept the most basic fact of why Jesus came to die and be raised from the dead (see 1 Corinthians 15 ). Their being filled with the power of the Holy Spirit caused them to know that JESUS IS ALIVE! Their unbelief was unfounded. Jesus had risen ~ in spite of their not believing it!
What conquers our unbelief?
It is our believing that whatever Jesus says is absolutely true and correct (He cannot lie). What He says comes before everything else and every other voice we may hear.
To believe what He says means that we have to demonstrate to Him that we do believe what He says by our being obedient to what He says and asks of us.
If we do not believe, we do nothing. But when we do believe Him, we have a responsibility to activate the word He speaks by our faith and obedience. It is the action part that releases God to fulfil whatever He has asked of us. Unbelief grows when we do nothing! Be encouraged to take that step of faith and do whatever Jesus asks of you (see John 2:5 ). It is not always logical, but it is right. We have to learn that the more we can submit to what Jesus says, the sooner we will be able to do our part in fulfilling The Great Commission. Remember it is to believers that Jesus is speaking to. Believers do what Jesus says for us to do! Right now, ask yourself: “How active am I in doing what I know Jesus has asked me to do?” When we put faith and obedience before everything else, we will be amazed at how God will supply our needs to do what He asks of us. And He never asks us to do anything we cannot do. We may not have done it before, but it can be done! God bless you, BELIEVER IN JESUS CHRIST! ~ Rodney W. Francis.
Prayer: “Dear Lord God, I come to You in the name of Jesus Christ Your Son, and I ask You to help me to break free from every form of doubt and unbelief that comes between You and me. I ask You to help me to have a much bigger believing heart so that I can demonstrate my faith and belief in You much more positively. Thank You, Lord Jesus, for hearing my prayer. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”