The Widespread Gospel
(Mark 16:15) And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
The apostles were here given a monumental task. The glad tidings of the saving work of Messiah had “...from the beginning of the world...been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ” (EPH 3:9), hidden considerably even to Israel due to the shadowy nature of the Law (COL 2:16-17; HEB 8:5; HEB 10:1). It was obscured to that nation which was “...kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed” (GAL 3:23) and discriminatingly hidden for centuries from the Gentiles to whom the Scriptures were not even delivered (PSA 147:19-20). But Christ had now come and conquered death: the Immortal had become mortal “...that mortality might be swallowed up of life” (2CO 5:4), death “...swallowed up in victory” (1CO 15:54) and by the publishing of such great salvation, the deliverance of “...them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (HEB 2:15). Life and immortality, the means thereto and the hope thereof, had been revealed in Him “Who only hath immortality...” (1Ti 6:16), Who gave eternal life to “...as many as [the Father had] given him” (JOH 17:2). This salvation was to now be brought “...to light through the gospel” (2TI 1:10), the believing of which shows that one is justified by Him:
(ACT 13:39) And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.
The world to which they were to preach this gospel was not limited to their immediate boundaries: they were to be witnesses unto Christ “...both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (ACT 1:8) in satisfaction of the Father's promise to the Son, “...I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession” (PSA 2:7-8). The middle wall of partition between Jew and Gentile had been broken down, taken away in the cross of Christ (EPH 2:11-15) and the apostles must soon see that God “...had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles” (ACT 14:27). This solemn duty fell upon a few chosen men who could all identify with the later Apostle Paul who would bear the bulk of the work of the gospel to the Gentiles, saying, “And who is sufficient for these things?” (2CO 2:16).
The amazing thing is that they did it! Though many today deny or overlook it, the Holy Ghost Who empowered them to preach (ACT 1:8 c/w 1PE 1:12) did also record that they fulfilled their commission to the letter! They were to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature (our text). Consider:
1) “And they went forth, and preached everywhere...” (MAR 16:20).
2) “...the gospel; Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world...” (COL 1:5-6).
3) “...and which was preached to every creature under heaven...” (COL 1:23).
4) They “...turned the world upside down...” (ACT 17:6).
The outbreak of the gospel was far greater then than many will now concede. That world and those creatures who were meant to receive it did so and though many nations have since sinned away the light of its message, yet the word went forth everywhere as commanded. Human reasoning says, “Impossible, ridiculous.” Faith says, “They went forth and preached everywhere in all the world to every creature under heaven, turning the world upside down in the process.” Let God be His own interpreter and “...let God be true, but every man a liar” (ROM 3:4).