With its characteristic conciseness and clarity, the Gospel of Mark presents the commission in one short sentence:
Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15, NKJV). As in Matthew, the verb go in Greek is a participle that indicates not the task but the movement needed to fulfill the task. The mission itself is expressed by the Greek verb Kerusso, given here in the imperative mood. Kerusso means
to proclaim aloud, to announce, to preach. Mark uses this term 14 times, more than any other Gospel. The church must proclaim the gospel.
During Jesus’ ministry, the Twelve had been sent not to the Gentiles but only
to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matt. 10:6). Now they are sent
into all the world and
to every creature. The eleven alone could never announce the gospel to the entire world, much less to every creature living in it. A task of such worldwide dimension requires the participation of the entire church. It is entrusted to all the believers in Jesus in all ages. This includes you and me.
Read Revelation 14:6-12. How do these verses encompass the worldwide mission of the church?
Preaching the gospel to every creature, however, doesn’t automatically mean that everyone will accept it. Only
he who believes and is baptized will be saved (Mark 16:16, NKJV). We should preach eagerly, hoping that every hearer will yield to the gospel invitation. Nevertheless, we have to be aware that many will not accept the Word, as the image of the narrow gate clearly shows (Matt. 7:13-14).
What assurance do we have that this worldwide mission can and will be fulfilled? See Matt. 24:14.
There is an encouraging parallelism between Mark 16:15 and Matthew 24:14. Both texts refer to the proclamation of the gospel to all the world. While the first passage presents Jesus’ commission to preach, the second gives Jesus’ promise that the mission will actually be carried out.
made full provision for the prosecution of the work, and took upon Himself the responsibility for its success. So long as they [His disciples] obeyed His word, and worked in connection with Him, they could not fail. — Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 822. The question, then, that we each need to ask ourselves is, How willing are we to be used by Him in this crucial work?