God’s mission since creation includes filling the earth with people who believe Him; willing-hearted people who acknowledge His greatness, who know Him, who reflect back His worth, His glory, and who relate well with others who share Him as their greatest treasure. (Gen. 6:13)
Prerequisite to pleasing God is believing Him. Hebrews 11:6 A prerequisite to believing God is hearing His Word. Before people can hear God’s word someone who has heard must speak it. Before someone can speak His Word, especially in distant places, a messenger must be sent from those people who have heard to those who have not. Romans 10:13-17
The Bible is full, from beginning to end, with God’s mission concerning mankind. God’s mission is the reason the Church is still on earth.
Knowing the mission: What is God doing?
“Missions” is about the Church discovering and engaging in God’s mission. So, Why Missions?
God’s identity – Job 38, Isaiah 40 – As the all-powerful God who spoke everything into existence, stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth, God, our Designer, Creator, and Owner, possesses the right, the power, the authority, and the expectation that His creation and His created beings should function within His designed purpose and plan. He is worthy. Knowing His identity is enough reason to engage in His mission.
God’s character – Exodus 34:5-10 – God is good. His goodness, lovingkindness, mercy, righteousness, justice, and grace demand that we be like Him and extend His goodness to all people everywhere. That which is not good must be judged and punished as a necessary part of His goodness. In His goodness, He has paid the penalty through Christ and given the keys to His kingdom to His ambassadors, who have been commanded to tell everyone. Embracing the goodness of His character is reason enough to engage in His mission.
God’s plan – 1Timothy 2:3-4 – Since before Creation God has planned to fill the earth with people who believe Him. His plan has not been thwarted and will be accomplished. (Genesis 1:28, 6:13, 9:1) We are part of His plan and that is reason enough to willingly engage in His mission.
God’s purpose – God’s purpose was and is that all people should know Him, walk with Him, and reflect back to Him the glory that is due to Him. Walking with Him includes living with Him in right relationship, in fellowship, in joyous harmony, and with all people through trusting in the finished work of Christ. His designed purpose, His glory, is reason enough to engage in His mission.
God’s Word – Isaiah 55:11 – What God has said will actually happen. He has shown us that people from every tongue, language, tribe, nation, people group, and ethnic group will be among those redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. He has told us what happened in the past, has given us everything we need to live in the present, and revealed enough of His plan for the future to fully enter into it with confidence. His Word is reliable. His Word is reason enough to engage in His mission.
God’s method – Romans 10:13-17 – God’s usual means of communication throughout human history has been through those who have come to know Him telling those who have not heard; so that they may believe, trust and obey Him. God’s usual method of delivering His message is through a personal courier. Us. See 2 Corinthians 3, 4, & 5. 2Corinthians 5:18-20 His method is reason enough to engage in His mission.
God’s heart – 2 Peter 3:9 – He is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. Psalm 67 His heart for us and others is reason enough to fully engage in His mission.
God’s command – 1 Corinthians 15:34 “Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.” His command is reason enough to engage in His mission.
God’s commission – Mark 16:15 – Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. 2 Corinthians 5:17-20. His commission is reason enough to engage in His mission.
God’s kingdom – Matthew 24:14 – This topic of the kingdom was so important that over the next forty days after His resurrection Jesus continued to engage them; to reassure them that He really is alive, and to ensure that they really caught what was on His heart: The Kingdom. Acts 1:3. Wouldn’t it be nice to know what He told His disciples? We do know! They wrote books and they told other people who wrote books: Matthew, John, Peter, James, Jude, Mark, Luke, and Paul. – His kingdom is reason enough to engage in His mission.
God’s rewards – Matthew 6:20 – The heavenly layaway plan. Lay up treasure for yourselves in heaven. Good deeds and other people are all that we can take with us. Heavenly treasures are reason enough to engage in His mission.
God’s priorities – Matthew 6:33 – Some things are more important than others. Jesus told His disciples to seek God’s kingdom first. God’s priorities are reason enough to engage in His mission.
God’s accountability – 2 Cor. 5:10-11, Revelation 20:11-15. – We will each give an account of what we have done. “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men…” Our day of accountability is reason enough to engage in His mission.
God’s wrath – Romans 1:18 – Every person should seek to avoid it live in such a way as to help others avoid God’s wrath by believing Him. – See Hebrews 10. God’s wrath is reason enough to engage in His mission.
God’s grace – Ephesians 2:8-9 – God’s unmerited favor is a gift. It is beneficial to anyone who receives it. We received it because someone else cared to tell us about Him. The grace we have received is ours to share. We are God’s delivery service. God’s grace is reason enough to engage in His mission.
God’s mercy – Titus 3:4-5 – Because He has been merciful to us, we should extend His mercy to others. God extended His mercy to us through someone who told us about Him. Through our faith and obedience, He will extend it to others. God’s mercy is reason enough to engage in His mission.
God’s love – 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 – The love of Christ compels us. – God’s love compels us that we should no longer live for ourselves but for Him. God’s love for the world, God’s love for us, our love for God, and God’s love through us to the world are reason enough to engage in His mission.
God’s preparation – Ephesians 2:10 – God has prepared good works in advance for us to do. – God’s preparations are reason enough to engage in His mission and those good works.
God’s promise to Abraham – Genesis 12:3 – Through Abraham all the families of the earth will be blessed. He was blessed to be a blessing. His promise to Abraham, fulfilled in Christ and extended through us to every family, is reason enough to engage in His mission.
God’s Abrahamic promise through the Church – Galatians 3:7-9 – By faith (believing God), we are the spiritual seed of Abraham. In Christ alone all the families of the earth are and will be blessed. We are blessed to be a blessing just as Abraham was. By means of the proclamation of His glory through believers, all of the families of the earth are to be blessed. We are blessed to engage in God’s mission.
Christ’s suffering – Galatians 2:20, Matthew 16:24, Luke 9:23, Colossians 1:24, Philippians 3:10, Luke 14-27. Christ’s sufferings are offered in-person to those for whom Christ died through the sacrificial living, word, and testimony of those who have believed already. Christ’s suffering for us is reason enough to suffer for His sake to proclaim Him to others as part of His mission.
Plus, God’s Son, without whom was not anything made that was made, gave His disciples, very specific instructions:
God’s Son told us to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Doing that requires that we adopt His values regarding people.
God’s Son told us to love our neighbors as ourselves. How can we love them without telling them about Him?
God’s Son told His disciples to lift up their eyes and look at the fields because they are ready for harvest.
God’s Son told His followers to pray for laborers… just before He sent those same praying disciples to go to work in those fields.
God’s Son said, “As the father has sent me, so send I you.” John 20:21 And that was after He told them that they were the light of the world and have the keys to the Kingdom.
God’s Son stayed around for forty days after His resurrection to ensure that His disciples understood their task. Acts 1:3 It’s a good thing that they wrote books so that we could understand it, too!
- Because God’s mission is to bring people into fellowship with Him.
- Because the word of God that He has already spoken is enough information for any living person to act with complete abandon toward obedience.
- Because has already given us everything that we need. (2 Peter 1:3-10)
- Because no more revelation is needed or necessary to actively engage in what He is doing.
- Because missions is taking the next step in walking with Him in what He is doing to bring people in remotes places into fellowship with Him.
- Because people of many languages will not hear the message of God’s grace unless one of us who has heard it is sent to tell them in a language they understand.
- Because the goal is not evangelism, but disciples of Christ who are able to disciple others.
A Thriving Church for Every People