Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Mark 16:15
Missions are important because of the Cross of Christ. If we were to choose only one symbol to represent Christianity over the centuries, it would be the cross. The cross has always been at the very center of our faith. At the cross God demonstrated His love for all humanity and provided a way for all to experience the forgiveness of sin. The Apostle John reminds us that Christ “is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” Since Christ died for the sins of the whole world, it is logical that we should be deeply concerned about reaching every individual with the gospel.
Missions are important because of the Command of Christ. In all four Gospels and also in the Book of Acts, Jesus Christ gives us the Great Commission. It is never presented as an option to be considered, but always as a mandate to be obeyed. For nearly 2,000 years, the marching orders of the church have been, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” The phrase “all the world” means that when it comes to our proclamation of the gospel, everyone is to be included and no one is to be excluded. As one theologian said, “We must be global Christians with a global vision because our God is a global God.” When God’s heart for the world becomes the heart of the church, then the church will surrender to do whatever needs to be done so that “every creature” has the opportunity to hear the gospel.
Missions are important because of the Coming of Christ. In Acts 1, as Jesus ascended up into heaven, two angels asked the disciples, “Why stand ye gazing up into heaven?” It’s as if the angels were saying, “Don’t you have something you need to be doing? You aren’t supposed to be gazing up into heaven, but rather you are to be going into the world.” Then there was the angelic reminder that there is limited time to accomplish the Great Commission because “this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” If we truly believe in the imminent return of Jesus Christ, world evangelism will become an urgent priority in our churches.
Who will go?
God is not willing that any should perish. 2 Peter 3:9
God’s plan is that those who already know the Gospel share it with those around them. God could have chosen any means to propagate the story of redemption; however, He chose us, current believers, to be the ones who shared Christ’s love with others.
God wants the world to know about Christ. He has chosen us as individuals and as churches to share that Gospel with others. An individual can only do so much. Yet, through church mission programs we are privileged to pool our resources to help fund the spread of the Gospel throughout the world.
When Jesus was talking with His disciples one day He looked up at the crowd of people. Jesus could see a great harvest of souls. He knew that there were many people who were ready to hear and receive the Gospel. In Matthew 9:38 Jesus said that we should pray for the laborers to carry the Gospel to the harvest field. The harvest is plenteous. There is a lot of work to be done. What is needed are people to go out and do the work. Jesus said that we should pray that the laborers would step up to the task and accept the challenge of carrying the Gospel to the people.
Some of the last words of Christ before He ascended to heaven was that we should go into the whole world with the Gospel, teach the hearers and baptize believers. Interestingly, the command in those verses (according to Greek scholars) is not emphasized in the word “go,” rather it is on the word “teach.” The verse reads more like this in the Greek, “As you are going, teach…” Jesus knew the persecution that would soon come to the church in Jerusalem. He knew the believers were about to be scattered in the world; He knew they would “go.” He emphasized the fact that since they are going, they should teach what they knew about Christ.
Isn’t that even more true about us today? Just a couple of generations ago people were born, lived, worked and died in the same town or close to the same area. Today the world is such a mobile place, we don’t need to be told to go. We are going. What we need to do now is teach what we know about the Lord as we go.
Who will send them?
How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things! Romans 10:17
Paul wrote in Romans 10 that preachers were needed to carry the Gospel. Who will go to preach? Obviously those who are called to the ministry should be the ones preaching. Then Paul follows up the question of “who will preach” by asking, “who will send them?” The church and current believers have the responsibility to support those who are going into the world with the precious Gospel of Jesus Christ.
What will your part in missions be? We should all be sharing the Gospel with those around us. But, does God want you to be more involved by committing to short term or full-time ministry? Even if you are not called to be a missionary on a foreign field, you can help the cause of missions by supporting missions in your local church. Please continue to pray and support this work financially, and with your time and labor.
We thank the Lord for the years of faithfulness in the India Connection ministry. These pictures of Pune Center show how the Lord has moved in a very tangible way. We began construction by faith, and today Pune Center stands as a witness to His Faithfulness. It is a Center from which many Pastors, Teachers, Evangelists will be sent out, and it is also be a refuge for Pastors, Teachers and Evangelists to come and get refreshed as they continue to serve our Lord.
There is much that still needs to be done; come and be a part of His Vision in India.