Are You Missions-Minded?June 28, 2013
Over the years I have heard various philosophies and arguments from people who are either for missions or against missions. Even though I have always been associated with the idea of missions I will confess there was a time in my early ministry when I placed little emphasis on supporting missionaries around the world. When I began the ministry I was associated with some people who were skeptical and uninformed about the concept of missions; so therefore they simply avoided the idea of missionary work altogether; regrettably, I did the same.
God however began working in my heart about what it meant to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In theory, on paper, and perhaps even with my words I promoted the idea that “God so loved the world.” But through a series of events I began to wonder, “If I really believe God loves all people, what am I doing to let them know?” God began working in my heart and my ministry; I realized that I should place the emphasis where God places the emphasis. And the emphasis for the New Testament Church is the Great Commission.
There are some people who avoid missions-giving simply because they do not understand it. Some fear that the work of the missionary is only taking people’s money. Some have difficulty embracing a philosophy or practice of a particular church. Logistics, ideologies, and networking can sometimes be arduous; but I have discovered that one only needs to embrace a few questions to become missions-minded:
1. Do I believe God’s Word is True?
If I believe God’s Word is true then I must place it as the ultimate authority over my life. I cannot only believe His Word is true in principle, I must believe it is true in practice; therefore I must subject my life to its instruction and commandments.
2. Am I Willing to Obey the Lord?
The last thing Christ instructed His church to do before He ascended was to preach the Gospel to all nations. Hudson Taylor, the great missionary to China said, “The Great Commission is not an option to be considered, it is a command to be obeyed.” It is a sin of disobedience not to follow the last commandment given by our Savior.
3. Do I Really Believe Sinners Will Go to Hell?
In our busy lives we fail, including myself, to always see men as sinners lost without God. We fail to recognize the fate of their souls. No one in the world needs Jesus any less than I do. Every nation, every tribe, and every race deserves to hear the only message that will save their souls from eternal damnation. If you do not tell them, who will?
4. How Shall They Hear the Good News of Jesus?
Someone has to tell sinners, whether they live next door or in a third-world country that Jesus died for their sins. The apostle Paul asked the question in Romans 10:14- “How Shall They Hear?” And the answer is that they need a preacher, a preacher who is sent by God with the message that Christ saves! Our practice should follow the same pattern as Christ’s: He came to seek and to save that which was lost. His reason for coming to the world should be our reason for going into the world: the love of God.
5. What Can I do to Involve My Life in Missions?
Every one is a missionary in the sense that we have all been entrusted with sharing the gospel of Christ. However, not every person who is missions-minded will leave house and home to travel to another region. However, missionaries need partners and givers. When you partner with your church in sending forth missionaries, your life is an extension of grace wherever God sends that missionary family. Pray for them daily, give to your local church missions program, support missionary families individually, and be willing to go yourself if God calls.
Perhaps you are reading this today and you have not given much thought to missions work. Why not ask the Lord right now to speak to your heart about this subject. Perhaps God would send you, or perhaps God would use your financial giving to help someone who is going. What’s important is not whether or not I completely understand something, but if I completely obey something- and that something is the Great Commission entrusted unto us by our Lord and Savior. Have you given much thought to this command?
“The worst crime of the desert is knowing where the water is and not telling.” – Anonymous
“The reason some folks don’t believe in missions is that the brand of religion they have isn’t worth propagating.”- Anonymous
“The gospel is only good news if it gets there in time” –Carl F. H. Henry
“The spirit of Christ is the spirit missions. The nearer we get to Him the more intensely missionary we become.” -Henry Martyn