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Mark 285 - Go



He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.


Mark 16:15,16


I remember our first vacation like it was yesterday. Yes, there was a day when my dad didn’t get a paid vacation. But when he got one, we packed up the car and drove from Baltimore to Florida. This was in the days before:


  • The Interstate highway system – so we drove through all the red lights, stop signs, cities, towns, and villages along the eastern seaboard.

  • Driving direction apps – so we had a collection of paper maps that never seemed to fold up all the way.

  • Fast food restaurants – so we had a loaf of bread and a cooler with lunchmeat and mayonnaise in the trunk.


There was mighty preparation before we took off. We packed every suitcase we had with shorts, tee-shirts, flipflops, and suntan lotion. And since we didn’t have a credit card, we had to convert cash into Travelers Checks.


And on that fateful Saturday morning, we woke up early and piled into our tri-toned 1956 Buick Special[1] with Dynaflow[2] transmission with all the excitement we could muster. Dad put the keys in the ignition, and we were off. Little did we know about how our lack of air conditioning would melt us in the upcoming days.


But when Jesus told his followers to go, it didn’t include any details about the how. He didn’t tell them which route to take. Where to travel. He wanted them to become uncomfortable with where and what they knew, turning to him for those things. He wanted them to become increasingly comfortable and dependent on the who. On him.


Their message was simply the gospel. The good news. It was good because our broken relationship with our great creator God and Father had been repaired. Fixed better than new. It was good because it didn’t require us to do some great task. Achieve perfection. Become someone different.


It was news because it was already done. You report news on what’s happened. You repeat news after it’s over. Once it’s over, once it’s done, it can’t change because the doing is done.


If it’s not already over and done, then it’s a possibility. It’s a maybe. It’s a prediction.


Think about baking a cake. You can have the recipe. All the ingredients. Utensils. Pans. Even a heated oven. You can mix all the ingredients. Pour them into the pan and put it into the oven. But it’s not news yet. The cake isn’t done yet. It’s not done till you completely bake it. Take it out and let it cool. Then the cake’s done. Then it’s news.


With Jesus, our relationship with God is already accomplished. Already completed. That’s why it’s news. When Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, the payment was made. Completed. Once and for all. What we deserved was put on him instead of us. Our guilty verdict is overturned once-and-for-all in the court of heaven. Our debt has been paid in full. Totally whipped out and clean.


No more sacrifices for sin. No more trying to get God’s attention. No more doing stuff just to make God look at us. Trying to be doing something good just to make him like us. Or at least not punish us so much.


The gift of God is complete restoration and renewal. He paid the price. He did all the heavy lifting. He did all the work. And all we have to do is receive it. It’s that simple. But it’s also that demanding.


Have you ever seen a loving parent, who’s given life to a child. Given them a loving home and all they need for life. And then watched in disbelief as the child rejects the parent. We scratch our heads. We feel so sorry for the parents and wonder what in the world is wrong with the kid.


In an eternal way, this is our story. It’s my story. God has given us life. Himself. And oh so much more. We then turn our backs on him. Wanting our own way. Our own life.


And because God is a gentleman, he offers himself and everything we ever could need or want. But he will not force us to do anything. He only gives what we ask for. That’s what condemnation is. It’s based on our rejection of God, not his rejection of us. He’s reaching out.


Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other.


Isaiah 45:22


God is right there, asking you to turn to him. That’s all we have to do. We do the turning towards him. And he does all the rest. He does all the paying. He does all the forgiving. He does all the reaching out and restoring.


He did the going from heaven to earth. Now, we go to our friends and family. Doesn’t that sound like good news?

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buick_Special [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynaflow

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