Why should I care?
You should care about missions because God cares.
The subject is important to God; because God’s own glory is important; and God's glory is the overall theme of the Bible.
1. The whole Bible is about God’s glory and the way He gets glory is by:
a. Saving sinners from all the nations throughout all of history. (Revelation 5:9; 7:9; 2 Peter 3:8-15). One reason why Christ has not returned yet is because He still wants to save people.
b. Purifying His bride, His people, in all nations. The church among all the nations grows in holiness and proclaiming the transforming message of the Gospel. See Ephesians chapters 3, 4, & 5 and Revelation chapters 4-5 and 19-22. “to Him be the glory in the church in all generations”, ie, “throughout all history” – Ephesians 3:20-21 All of history is about God getting glory for Himself as the church is spread and the kingdom of God is extended among all the nations / peoples.
c. God also gets glory by executing His justice against sinners who never repented or trusted Christ in hell, after they die. John 3:18 – they are already condemned. Acts 4:12 – there is only one name under heaven by which we must be saved. Romans 9:20-23; Revelation 19-20; Revelation 14:10; Matthew 25; Matthew 5:21-30; Mark 9:48 Hell is real and it is God’s justice – His wrath. Either one trusts in the one who took the wrath and justice on the cross ( Romans 3:25-26; Hebrews 2:17; 1 John 2:2; 1 John 4:10).
2. You should care about missions because Christ commanded it. e.g. – Matthew 28:18-20; John 20:21. This was predicted and grounded it the OT Scriptures – “thus it is written” – Luke 24:46-47 (that the Messiah should be preached is also written in the law, the prophets, and the Psalms); and He sent the Holy Spirit to empower missions – Acts 1:8
3. You should care about missions because God rebuked Jonah for his lack of care. Jonah knew God was compassionate and loving and merciful and wanted him to reach out and preach to the Ninevites/ Assyrians, but Jonah tried to run away from God’s purpose for him and then even after God saved many of them, Jonah was still angry and full of self-pity that God saved them.
4. You should care about missions because the story of redemption is the structure of the entire Bible story.
- Genesis 1-2 – creation
- Genesis 3 – the fall of man into sin
- Genesis 3:15 – the promise to send a champion who will crush the serpent’s head. (The Messiah who would be born of the seed of the woman)
- Genesis 6:5 – “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man upon the earth was great, and that every thought of the imaginations of his heart was only evil continually.” The great problem of sin all over the world, deep in the human heart (Mark 7:20- 23); and the only remedy is Christ Himself.
- Genesis 10-11 – The Tower of Babel, Tower of Pride – ungodly unity and one language and culture; and the resulting creation of nations and cultures and languages.
- Genesis 12:1-3 – God chooses one of those nations to be His missionary people in order to bless all the other nations / families of the earth.
- This purpose is so important that it is specifically repeated in Genesis 18:18; 22:18; 26:4; 28:14 and referred to in Galatians and Hebrews as a lynchpin argument for God's plan of salvation.
- Matthew 28:18-20 – Because all authority and sovereignty belongs to Christ, which He proved by His resurrection from the dead, “Therefore, go and make disciples of all that nations . . . ” We can go based on His power and authority to get the task of missions done.
- Luke 24:44-49 – “Thus it is written: that the Messiah should suffer, rise again from the dead, and repentance for forgiveness of sins must be preached in His name to all the nations . . .
- John 20:21 – as the Father has sent Me, so I am sending you.
- Acts 1:8 – the Holy Spirit and power to witness and power to take the Gospel to the furthest reaches of the earth
- Romans 10:13-15 – how shall they hear without a preacher?
- Romans 15:20-21 – a godly ambition to preach the gospel where Christ has not yet been preached
- Romans 16:25-27 – Paul ends his great theological letter with praise to the only wise God who is spreading His gospel among all the nations.
- Revelation 5:9 – some from all nations have been redeemed by the blood of the lamb
- Revelation 7:9 – a great multitude which no one could count from every nation and people and language
- Revelation 21:3 – “they shall be His peoples” (λαοι = laoi = plural)
Not everyone will serve God specifically in missions overseas or in another culture, but every true Christian should own the vision and ambition that Paul has to preach the gospel not where Christ is named as Lord, so as to spread His gospel and glorify God.
Those that don’t go, own the ambition and vision by praying and giving and supporting and encouraging missionaries (those that do go).