Mark 16:15 And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.
Before His ascension Jesus gave His disciples a commandment to go into all the world preaching the Gospel. That commandment, though, was not limited to the Twelve. It was a commandment given to all of His disciples everywhere and in every age. So it is just as valid for us today as it was for the Twelve. None of His disciples are exempt from this responsibility. However, that doesn’t mean that everyone must pack their bags and head for the airport. But it does mean that all of us are to be involved in a worldwide ministry of the Gospel. Your involvement may be actually traveling to other countries, or it may be financial support, or it may be prayer support. Your worldwide ministry may be in your own country, your own state, or even your own city. The important thing is that we are involved in a ministry that goes beyond the “local church.”
Christians that are self-centered do not grow very much spiritually. They are only concerned about their needs, their wants, their projects, what they can receive from the Lord. Their world is very small. The same is true for a church. Regardless of how numerous the membership may be, it is a small church when it is only concerned about itself. Jesus didn’t tell His disciples to build a large church is Jerusalem; He told them to go into all the world and preach the Gospel.
Jesus said, This Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations (Matthew 24:14). The Word of God must go to the ends of the earth; not the doctrines of a church organization, but the Gospel of the Kingdom, the message of the Lordship of Jesus Christ. There are a lot of churches trying to establish their religious institution in other countries. That is not what the Lord wants. He wants His Kingdom established, not that of a church organization. Those who are endeavoring to establish their brand of Christianity elsewhere are still self-centered and are only involved in their little world.
The last clause in verse 15, preach the Gospel to every creature, is much more revealing in the Greek than the English translation of the KJV. The Greek word for “every” is pas and can be translated “every, any, all, or whole.” The Greek word for “creature,” ktisis, is better translated “creation.” So the phrase “to every creature” should read “to the whole of creation.” There is more involved with the word ktisis (creation), but we will come back to it after we examine the word “preach.”
The Greek word for “preach” is kerusso. Kerusso is a verb. The noun form is kerugma. The closest word we have in English is “proclaim,” which really doesn’t do it justice. Translating it “preach” is even further amiss. If someone is presenting a sermon about Jesus, then the word “preach” is sufficient. But that is a “preaching” that is inferior to kerugma. The Greek word kerusso, or kerugma, not only carries a message about the Lord, but it carries His life, too. Its cargo is the message and the One whom the message is from. So, your see, it is one thing to preach about the Lord; it is quite another thing to minister a Word that carries His very life and nature. That is a living Word! You may learn certain facts about the Lord when you hear someone preach about Him, but when you hear a living Word (kerugma) your life is changed. There is a transference of His life to you. So Jesus is not telling His disciples to preach a gospel about Him to all of creation. He is telling His disciples to minister the Gospel that transfers His life to all of creation.
Now let’s get back to the Greek word for “creature” (ktisis). The word “creation” is a better translation than “creature,” but it falls a little short, too. W. E. Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words says that the word ktisis is primarily the act of creating, or the creative act in process.” So the living Word ministered to the whole creation is not just a ministry of the Word to creation as we know it. It is ministered to a creation in the act of being created, “the creative act in process.” That is, a Word is being ministered that is bringing forth a new creation – a new heaven and a new earth.
The same Greek word is used in Galatians 6:15. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision avails anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature (ktisis – creation). It is also used in II Corinthians 5:17. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (ktisis – creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. The Gospel that Jesus tells His disciples to minister is a Gospel that brings forth a new creation. It is a Word that causes old things to pass away and new things to appear.
Copyright © 1997 by Henry DuBose