Afterward he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at table, and he rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen. And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”
The moment at which God changed my life and brought me out of death is a moment I want everyone to experience. No one had to show me any portion of the Gospel message for me to understand that Jesus can change a person in an instant because I experienced it. Each saint who once was a sinner, each follower of Christ who can pinpoint that moment of rebirth, should be moved to lead others to that same moment. Whether working in full-time ministry or making any other work our mission field, the Holy Spirit will lead us to opportunities to speak life into the dead. The Great Commission is instruction to do just that, but we cannot forget an important point. The good news is not about only people but is about all creation.
It can be easy to discount a simple two-letter preposition, but such a small word can mean so much. Jesus does not command his disciples to preach the Gospel message in the whole creation; He instructs them to preach the Gospel message to the whole creation. This is not because trees, rocks and birds can be saved. However, scripture is clear that the coming of Christ brings a renewal of all things. There will be a restoration of this physical world to a state of perfection. All creation will be redeemed. This instruction is so interesting because Jesus is telling us to let everyone and everything know that He will set all things right. It is simply a proclamation of the truth. It is a way to worship him when we proclaim to the land and the sky that even they will be redeemed at his return.
We know that God’s affection for us is more than his affection for the birds of the air and the lilies of the field, but the birds and the lilies still matter to him. There is no part of his creation which is inconsequential or disposable. All of it proclaims the glory of God, and it is vital and just that God would glorify himself through his creation. Call us weirdos, but we must speak to all creation in celebration of the coming of a Lord who will redeem all things. It is already an incredible miracle that God would restore and redeem us, but we must remember that He goes above and beyond to redeem all creation. Father, thank You for your mercy and your grace, and remind us to be confident that one day You will make all things new.