Derek Smith, Lead Pastor LHBC

Mark 16:17-18
“And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

On February 7, 1996 three teenage friends in Tampa, Florida, decided to go bowling together. Randall White, Kevin Farr, and Brian Hernandez were on their way home from the bowling alley when they were tragically broadsided by a 8 ton truck and killed. What makes the story much worse, however, is the fact that the stop sign that stood at the very intersection where they were struck had been pulled from the ground and laid down. See, just one night before another group of three friends, Christopher Cole, Nissa Baillie, and Thomas Miller, all three in their 20’s, decided to pull 19 different signs from the ground across Tampa as a prank. Had that stop sign been in place those three young men would not have driven into oncoming traffic and would most likely still be alive today. On June 21, 1997, Cole, Baillie, and Miller were each sentenced to 15 years in prison for what they thought was an innocent prank. All three cried and repeatedly wiped their eyes with tissue while standing before the judge in orange jail jumpsuits, their hands cuffed. Their families and friends stood behind them and the families of the victims across the courtroom. The moral of the story is that when a traffic sign is missing it’s a huge deal that carries abiding consequences. 

After His resurrection and before ascending back to heaven on a cloud, Jesus told the disciples to “go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” He continued by talking about the importance of believing the gospel and being baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then here in the gospel of Mark we see that He made an interesting statement. He said that signs would accompany those who came to faith. These signs and wonders are a reference to the authenticating witness of the Holy Spirit on the preaching of the gospel in the early New Testament church. However, there is also a principle here; when anyone comes to faith in Christ signs will accompany him. Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount that each person will be recognized by his or her fruit. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5 that if anyone is in Christ he or she is a new creation in Christ. In other words, it is the fruit of your life which indicates the root of the gospel in your heart. If you KNOW Jesus there is fruit, and vice versa; if there is NO fruit there is NO Jesus. 

Friend, what about you? Are there signs in your life that Jesus really does reside in your heart? Are you a new creation in Christ? Jesus said in John 13:35 that the world would know we are His disciples by how we love one another. In Galatians 5:22-23 Paul tells us that those who walk in the Spirit have certain gospel fruit including peace, patience, kindness, and self-control among other characteristics. Jesus said we are salt and light, but if the salt is tasteless and the light is hidden what good is it? Today, examine your life and recognize the signs. Are there signs that Jesus lives in you or that you merely live for you and your own self-interests? If there’s no sign, there’s no Savior, and where there is no Savior judgment awaits. Thank God for Jesus! 

Father God, You say in Your Word that anyone in Christ is a new creation. Your Word says that in Christ we become dead to sin and alive to God, that we now walk in newness of life. Father, display your glory through my life. May my thoughts, words, and actions bring honor to You and serve as signs that You are real. In Jesus name I pray, amen. 

Matthew 5:16
 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.