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Call of missionaries

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God calls and sends out his people into the world. All believers are called to share the good news of the gospel, though some are specially commissioned by God, confirmed by the church and compelled by the gospel message to missionary service.

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The call to all God’s people

See also ; ;

Missionaries in the OT

Those sent to their own people

Isaiah 6:8–10 ESV
And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” And he said, “Go, and say to this people: “ ‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’ Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”
See also Noah; Jeremiah’s ministry extended further but was primarily to his own people, Judah; Ezekiel

Those sent to other peoples

A priest from Samaria returns to teach the resettled population about the Lord.

God’s servant is to bring salvation to the whole world:

; ;
Amos, from Judah, is sent to the northern kingdom of Israel.

Jonah is sent to the city of Nineveh:


Missionaries in the NT

John the Baptist

John 1:6–7 ESV
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him.
See also ; ; ; ; ;

Jesus Christ’s disciples

Healing and deliverance accompanies preaching as part of the disciples’ mission.
See also During Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry the disciples’ mission was limited to Israel; ;

Other believers

Acts 11:19–20 ESV
Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except Jews. But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who on coming to Antioch spoke to the Hellenists also, preaching the Lord Jesus.
See also Philip; Apollos; Paul

Receiving the missionary call

The call given by God

Jeremiah 1:4–10 ESV
Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the Lord.” Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me, “Behold, I have put my words in your mouth. See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.”
See also Peter and Andrew; Philip; Paul

The call confirmed by the church

Acts 13:2–3 ESV
While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.
See also ; ; Paul’s call to be a missionary to the Gentiles is communicated through Ananias; Paul’s mission to the Gentiles is recognised by the other apostles.

The call through circumstances

Persecution drove the early church to wider mission.
See also Joseph sold into slavery in Egypt; Daniel among those taken into exile in Babylon; Priscilla and Aquila left Rome because of persecution.

Missionaries compelled by the message

Acts 4:18–20 ESV
So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.”
See also ;
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