Now that we’ve discussed some of the common myths about missions, let’s hear from the Word of Truth Himself. Jesus has some words for us about your mission.
Missions is about JESUS and His POWER to save
“all authority in heaven and earth has been given to Me.” Do you remember your mother saying, “Hon, can you clean your room.” And you’d ask, “Why mom?” With a strong tone she’d respond, “Because I am your mom and I said so.” Jesus pulls the authority card, but He doesn’t lord it over He loves it over. He is the card club carrier to all the cosmic power of the universe. He has been delegated authority from the Father. Now that Jesus has your full attention, He takes no questions because He has the right and power to do as He pleases. Today He rules over the earth. He has authority over politics and government, armies and military might, the stock market and your retirement, science and education, TV and Internet, natural disasters and natural phenomenon’s, He even has authority over your life.
Missions is about YOU
“Go and make disciples.” What is the command in Jesus’ word? Many often say it is “go”, but go is the action of the command. In other words it is as if Jesus says, “as you go” or “wherever you go” The command is to “make disciples.” A disciple is a follower or worshiper of Christ. The instinct of a Jesus follower is reproducing followers of Jesus through the power and message of Jesus. To make Jesus followers is just a thing you do! As Jesus says, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel” [Mark 16:15] And as Paul echoes, “How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace” [Romans 10:15]. Missions is not missions without you making disciples as you go, as you live. Coming to Christ makes you a Christian. Obeying Christ makes you a missionary. As my missions professor in college use to say, “Every believer is an immediate missionary for Christ.”
Missions is about PEOPLE EVERYWHERE
“all the nations.” The mission is to make disciples of “all nations.” The word nation here is where you get the word ethnicity [ethnos, cf. Revelation 5:9]. You see, God loves all the people of the world. He loves all ethnicities, nations, and races of people in the world. He does not see color, status or class. Since we are not God it is hard for me to love as broadly as God. I love the Green Bay Packers and mountain biking. I also love bratwursts and cheese. I really love my wife and family. As an “ambassador” of Jesus Christ [2 Corinthians 5:20] I am representative of a foreign land, a home I long for but have not arrived and whose ruler is my Savior. There is no culture or religion beyond the scope of the Great Commission, and Jesus wants to be exalted above every people, nation, and religion.
Missions is about CHANGED LIVES through the power of the gospel
“baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you.” Often these words of Jesus are known as the great omission of the great commission. The forgotten and forsaken part of the mission is to help people live in the power of the gospel. First, a changed life is willing to publically identify with Christ [and His death and resurrection] by walking through the waters of baptism. Second, a changed life loves to teach other about the words of Christ [Romans 1:16]. A changed life is one who is dying to self, bears his own cross [Luke 14:27], and is becoming alive to Christ. The road to Golgotha is tough, but people of the gospel count the cost and are willing to pay the price. But it is not a road we have to walk alone.
Missions is about living confidently within GOD’S MISSION
“And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Jesus begins His short sentence with a great claim and a great command, but He finishes with a great comfort. Who promises to be with you? Jesus—the One with all authority. He promises His presence [cf. Jeremiah 31:33; 32:40]. There is power in God’s presence. There is confidence and courage in His presence. How long does He promise His presence with you? Always, which can literally be rendered, “all the days,” or “until the end of time.” He will be with you without breaks [Hebrews 13:5]. God will not take a vacation from you or His redeeming purposes. God is on a mission. And Christianity is a missionary faith.
I want to hold out to you four ways that you can respond today:
First, make prayer commitment for the rest of this year for an unreached people group [go to Joshua Project] or a missionary—for your own soul and vocational change.
Second, get a loose change can or jar and let it remind you to pray as you give.
Third, buy a good missions biography or other book on missions. Be warned. It is one of the most wonderfully dangerous things you can do to undermine your addiction to the American dream.
Fourth, make a bold commitment and acknowledge that God has been awakening you in both a willingness to go and a desire to take practical steps to be prepared to go. And tell your pastor.
DON’T BE A MYTH. MAXIMIZE YOUR ROLE IN HIS MISSION.