Why do we do missions? Why do we travel across the world to tell people about Jesus and bring them His hope and love? Besides the warm fuzzy feeling that you get, it is a biblical mandate given to us at the beginning of creation. It also comes from wanting to share the love we have seen from Christ to others.
- God’s desire for mankind from the very beginning was for the whole Earth to know him and praise him. It started when he told us to spread out over the earth and subdue it (Gen 1).
- It was included in His promise to Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3, “all nations will be blessed through you”)
- In the prophecies of Isaiah (Isaiah 49:6 “he says: “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”)
- In the Psalms of David (Psalm 67: 1-2: “May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us so that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.”)
- It was reinforced by Jesus (great commission Matt 29:19, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…”)
- It was demanded by Paul and other new testament authors (Romans 9 and 10, Gal. 3:8, Acts 3:24-26)).
Throughout the whole Bible there is this entangled thread of purpose for God’s love and salvation to reach the nations. This love led Him to send his son Jesus to redeem us to himself, us, the gentiles from across the world who did not know his love.
How do we now know Him? Because in every generation since Jesus death, someone told someone, who told someone, who told someone, all the way down to this very generation, then told you. If no one had brought the Gospel to our culture, we wouldn’t know it. The Gospel cannot be discovered, it must be disclosed. Someone has to share it or someone must be given a bible in order to understand it. Romans 10:14: “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?”
There are still thousands of tribes and languages that don’t have a bible written in their language or a gospel of hope and power of death brought to them. God is reaching the whole world, and he wants to use his people to grow his kingdom. That’s always been how he has spread his love, through His people. That is why He chose a nation as his own, so that they could be a shining example of his love to the world.
That is who we Christians are to be today. We have the great opportunity to participate in God’s kingdom building. Part of the joy of getting to be one of his children, is getting to recruit others to join your family. Only God can save and redeem them, but you still have a part to play.
How do you view people who are in poverty or under oppression? Do we view them as just as valuable and loved as us? Am I an upper tier Christian because of my wealth, fancy church building, my country of origin? Am I better than the poor, because I can provide for them? Jesus, the creator of the Universe, came to our world in a barn, out of wedlock (sorta), to what was likely a teen mom who was relatively homeless. How do you view people in your world who look like that? We are called to serve them humbly. The bible has constant threads of subverting the tiers of culture to elevate the lowly and bring down the proud. Again, the Old and New Testaments are unified on this point. Jesus reiterated the calls of the Psalms (146:5-9) and the wisdom of the Proverbs (22:9, 3:27) and the cries of the prophets (Isaiah 1:17) when he called for the wicked and proud to be cast down and the lowly to find life in him (Luke 6, 14, Matthew 25). How are you mirroring God’s love by caring for the orphans and widows, downcast and downtrodden? The bible demands that we stand up for the poor and oppressed, and says we will be blessed when we do. “It is impossible to have a right relationship with God while persisting in neglecting or oppressing the needy neighbor”. Our mission is not to fix the poor, but to point them to the only one who is able to heal them. We bring relief and development because it is one component of God’s mission to restore people to Jesus. It is one way God shows the world that there is freedom and hope to come. People will believe in the life-changing hope of Jesus when they see lives around them transformed by Jesus.
1 John 3:17-18: “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”
So, what can we do?
- Learn – about global and local missions, you can read biographies or histories.
- Pray – for those working in the field and those nearby, pray for the lost to have fertile hearts
- Go – pray for God to open up doors to new service opportunities, local and global
- Send – help to provide for others to serve His kingdom
- Welcome – people from other cultures who have come to America
- Mobilize – encourage people who are considering missions and equip them to go.