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Mission Fundamentals

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Introduction:
PRAISE
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Praise God for your faithful giving to the faith promise. Next year, we plan to have some of our missionaries back for our 3rd CFBC Missions Conference which will take place MARCH 2020.
Today, we take break from our studies in the Gospel of Mark and devote our time to the topic of Missions. Today we will not look at a specific text as we normally do or have an expositional sermon, but we will look at several scriptures as we think about the Fundamentals of Missions.
People Guess What Christian Phrases Mean
Many years ago Buzzfeed posted a video on youtube where Christians asked their non-Christian friends about various phrases and words Christian use.
A Christian asked his non-Christian friends about terms like “being washed in the blood” , “love offering” , “tithing” “10/40” window, “seeing the fruit”.
Many were perplexed with some of the questions and gave funny responses.
Well, in the church, we often throw phrases around that even Christians don’t understand. And one of those words we use is the word “Mission”.
Mission is a buzzword. Mission is one of those words we throw around in church where sometimes it can get lost in translation.
Mission is a buzzword. Mission is one of those words we throw around in church where sometimes it can get lost in translation.
Sometimes we say that everyone is a missionary right? Or talk about missional communities? Or how we should be missionaries to our neighbors.
Or we think of missionaries as those extremely gifted in evangelism or the super Christians who are willing to be martyrs in the jungles of Africa or South America.
Today, I would like to just bring clarity to the word Missions. What do we mean when we speak of missions?
The word mission is not found in our Bibles just like the word Trinity or Incarnation. However, we use the word mission to define a biblical concept.
Mission comes from the Latin word meaning “to be sent”. Missions denotes a specific task that has been given by Jesus to Christians.
Missions is therefore the sending of Jesus’ disciples into his global harvest of all people. Missionaries are therefore “sent ones”. As one writer defines missions: “Missions is the church’s sending out of missionaries (the sent ones) to pioneer the church among peoples who otherwise have no access to the gospel.” Finish the Mission, David Matthis
It a general sense, we are sent by God. But in a specific sense, missions is specifically those called to preach the gospel in a cross-cultural setting to establish local churches and raise up local leaders where there are no churches or leaders.
Today, I would like to talk about the Mission Fundamentals. We need to understand the basic of missions if we are going to faithfully fulfill the task of missions. I want to give clarity and biblical support on the who, what, where, why, and how of missions so that we could be good steward of the resources God has entrusted to us and be faithful in our engagement in missions. I have five questions...
Why Missions? Why should we care about mission work?
Who of Missions? Who should be engaged in this mission work?
What of Missions? What should we be doing in this mission work?
4. Where of Missions? Where should we be doing mission work?
5. How of Missions? How should we be doing this mission work?

I. Why?

Why should we care about missions? We should care about missions because we serve a missionary God centered upon a missionary Savior. I read an excellent book that I would commend to you entitled:
Salvation to the Ends of the Earth: A Biblical Theology of Missions by Andreas Kostenberger and Peter O Brien
The saving mission of Jesus constitutes the foundation for Christian mission, and the Christian gospel is the message of mission, a mission that is not optional but mandatory. pg. 19 Kostenberger
“All aspects of this mission in its various dimensions can be traced back to the heart of a loving God and his redemptive initiative in his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.”251
To put it another way, missions is the story of the Missionary God seeking to rescue a lost humanity through His Son.
Our Missionary God and Savior
Missions belongs to the very heart of God and it is the story of the Bible. One of the central themes of Scriptures is the glory of God. And in our brief time, I just want to walk through the story of the Bible to show you that missions is a theme that runs from creation to new creation.
And God’s intention from the beginning was to bring glory to himself through human representatives. God made man to display his worth and glory.
And God’s intention from the beginning was to bring glory to himself through human representatives.
Creation
Genesis 1:27–28 ESV
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Genesis 1:
Man was to be a visible icon or statue of God’s glory. The whole earth was to be filled with image-bearers who displayed God’s glory in their relationship with Him and their relationship with one another.
The Fall Makes Missions Necessary
But we know that shortly after, man fell into sin when he believed the serpent rather than the loving Creator. Mankind and creation was cursed as a result of their disobedience. Sin entered the world and death spread to all mankind through one man’s sin. Yet God did not leave man without hope. He made a promise that one day the serpent’s head would be crushed by the seed of the woman.
Genesis 3:15 ESV
I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
“The Lord himself is missionary who gathers and rescues, not simply the dispersed of Israel, but also people from ‘all nations’, in order that they may see his glory. The goal of mission is the glory of God, that he may be known and honoured for who he really is.” pg. 52
“The Lord himself is missionary who gathers and rescues, not simply the dispersed of Israel, but also people from ‘all nations’, in order that they may see his glory. The goal of mission is the glory of God, that he may be known and honoured for who he really is.” pg. 52
“following Jesus involves conflict, rejection by one’s own, even the bearing of one’s cross. 75
“It is readily apparent that Mark unequivocally presents Jesus’ mission as the core mission of his Gospel, with the cross functioning as the focal point, not merely for discipleship, but also for mission (e. g. 14:9).”83
“The present charge makes clear that mission entails the nurturing of converts into the full of obedience of faith, not merely the proclamation of the gospel” 105
“mission the church’s primary task between Christ’s first coming and his return” 108
“All aspects of this mission in its various dimensions can be traced back to the heart of a loving God and his redemptive initiative in his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.”251
“The mission of the early Christians was unique. It was rooted in Jesus’ appropriation of Old Testament messianic prophecy and his inauguration of Old Testament eschatological expectations regarding the inclusion of the Gentiles into the orbit of God’s salvation, and it was carried out in fulfilment of his commission to disciple the nations and extend the good news of salvation and forgiveness of sins to the ends of the earth.” pg. 71
The apostle not only proclaimed the gospel and, under God, converted men and women. He also founded churches as a necessary element in his missionary task. Conversion to Crhist meant incorporation into him, and thus membership within a Christian community. 180
“Proclaiming the gospel meant for Paul not simply an initial preaching or with it the reaping of converts; it included also a whole range of nurturing and strengthening activities which led to the firm establishment of congregations” 184
“The activities in which Paul engaged as he sought to fulfill his missionary commission included not only primary evangelism, through which men and women were converted, but also the founding of churches and the bringing of believers to full maturity in Christ.” 184
The church’s mission is not to be carried out as an individualistic enterprise. The mission should rather be undergirded by the corporate life of the community, as believers reflect God’s love and unity. 226
The Fall necessitates Missions.
God’s Plan to Bless the Whole World
And in , God blessed a man named Abram “exalted father” which his name eventually changed to Abraham “Father of the nations”. And you see in , God’s intention was to bless the whole world through this man.
Genesis 12:1–3 ESV
Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
It is interesting that the three major world religions all trace their lineage back to Abraham? Why? Because he would be the father of the nations. As the story progresses, they did not have a land nor were they blessed.
Exodus
The people multiplied. The people were in a foreign land and enslaved. Yet God delivered them through Ten Plagues and made a covenant with the people of Israel.
And they were to be a parable or a preview of God’s reign over the whole world by the way they lived because of the God they worshipped.
Exodus 19:5–6 ESV
Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.”
In the OT, Israel was to witness by attraction. It was a come and see approach. If you wanted to become Israelite, you were to be included in the people or proselytized.
One way we win people is our distinct way of life. It was evangelism by attraction. The nations were to see how blessed the people were because of the God that was committed to them.
Joshua, Judges, Kings
And yet we know that they rebelled as soon as they received God’s commandments. Even Moses was not allowed to entered the Promised Land. They enter the Promised Land after forty years of wandering because of their disobedience. They get into the land and as soon as they are in the land, they rebel again in the time of the Judges.
In fact, they reject God as their king in seeking a human king in order to be like the culture around them.
Human nature is to rebel against God. Sin makes life all about us while faith makes life all about God. Sin focuses on self while faith focuses on God. Sin makes us the center of the universe, while faith makes God the center of the universe.
Yet God, found a man after his own heart. David. And even though David had great failures, he still loved God and was quick to repent whenever he fell into sin. God promised David an everlasting Kingdom.
2 Samuel 7:13 ESV
He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.
The promises of God were not only blessing to the nations, but a forever King who would rule the nations that come from David’s line.
David and Solomon
And David would not complete the Temple, but His Son Solomon would. And there would be peace on all sides and Jerusalem would be at the peak of its prosperity. It was a preview of what God’s reign over his people would look like.
1 Kings 4:23 ESV
ten fat oxen, and twenty pasture-fed cattle, a hundred sheep, besides deer, gazelles, roebucks, and fattened fowl.
1 Kings 4:20–21 ESV
Judah and Israel were as many as the sand by the sea. They ate and drank and were happy. Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the Euphrates to the land of the Philistines and to the border of Egypt. They brought tribute and served Solomon all the days of his life.
But Solomon fell into the same pattern as Adam and Israel, he disobeyed God’s Word and judgment was brought upon them.
Exile and Return from Exile
And because of their disobedience, they would be cast out of the land. They would be removed from their homeland. They would be oppressed by foreign nations
Prophets
Yet the Prophets predicted a day where God would continue to fulfill his promises to Abraham, and David.
Isaiah 2:2 ESV
It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it,
Isaiah 45:22 ESV
“Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.
Isaiah 45:2 ESV
“I will go before you and level the exalted places, I will break in pieces the doors of bronze and cut through the bars of iron,
OT mission focused on historical ingathering and escahtalogical promises realized.
, , , . , , , Revelation 4:9
Isaiah 42:6 ESV
“I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations,
Isaiah 42:6–7 ESV
“I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.
NT
And that is why when we get to the NT, Matthew writes to his Jewish audience beginning with a genealogy
Matthew 1:1 ESV
The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Mark 1:15 ESV
and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
God was going to fulfill his promise to bless the nations through Jesus Christ, the son of Abraham, the Son of David. He would bring blessing to all nations, and he would be the forever and eternal King. A new day has dawned in the person of Jesus Christ. He would fulfill the promises of God and prophecies of the prophets where God would rule over his people again in God’s place. As one writer puts it,

Missions is taken from the biblical phrase “to be sent”. Missions is the sending of laborers into the harvest field to preach the biblical gospel.
The story of the Bible is one of missions. It is about a saving God rescuing a sinful humanity.
From creation to new creation, the unfolding drama of Scripture is about God being actively involved in rescuing the lost and taking a people for himself to declare his glory.
God is a Missionary God.
Our Savior is Missionary Savior.
John 17:18 ESV
As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.
Missions begins with God. Theologians and writers have called it the “missio dei” which means the Mission of God. And the mission of God centers on the saving work of the Lord Jesus Christ. And he created the Church to be a missionary institution until He returns. Now we are commanded to go and tell after our Lord’s Resurrection.
After his resurrection from the grave.
The Lord of the Scriptures is a missionary God who not ony reaches out and gathers the lost but also sends his servants, and particulary his beloved son, to achieve his gracious saving purpose. As many have rightly observed, the most important mission in the Scriptures is the missio dei. Jesus Christ is the ‘missionary’ par excellence: the basic and foundational mission is his. 269
The Church is a Missionary Insitutition
Acts focuses on the continuing mission of the exalted and ascended Christ through his church. The church exists to display God’s glory by creating a gospel people through a gospel community.
New Creation
Revelation 5:9 ESV
And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation,
Christian—Do you see the glorious calling we have? Our lives as Christian is not just about us. The plan of God to reach the nations is bigger than you. And he invites you to be part of the mission.
And out of obedience and love for Christ, we will do whatever it takes to get the gospel out.
“A man has the love of Christ in his heart you need not train him to witness; he will do it” Lloyd Jones
Non-Christian—If you are not a Christian, realize that the church exists to proclaim the gospel message: that God sent His Son to be punished for your sins because you have sinned greatly against God. And he rose from the dead and is coming again to judge the living and the dead. Those who repent and trust him will be welcomed into paradise while those who reject him now will be cast into the lake of fire. The reason why God hasn’t come to judge the world yet is because He is patient with you and desire all men to come to a knowledge of the truth.
We should care about missions because our God is a missionary God and Savior and because this is the story of the Bible.
Transition: Why Missions? Because of the heart of God to redeem sinners back to Himself to bring Himself Glory. The whole storyline of the Bible is one of mission. Next, notice the who of Missions?

II. Who?

Who should be involved in missions?
Super Christians. Like the Jim Elliots who are willing to go to natives and be speared to death. Or apostle Paul who was beaten and shipwrecked on his three missionary journeys.
Gifted Evangelists. Those who have incredible zeal for the gospel.
What I want to argue is that Missions is for every Christian. You might not be called to be a missionary, but every Christian is called to be involved in missions. And the primary place where mission work should begin is the local church. The Great Commission was given to the local church and individual Christians.

The Christian.

Whether you are a sender or goer, everyone is called to be involved actively in missions.
Hold the Rope
William Carey, a early missionary to India, wrote on his Journal “O what is there in all this world worth living for but the presence and service of God—I feel a burning desire that all the world may know this God and serve Him” (1794)
He, a missionary to India, used the famous imagery of a miner going into a deep mine. He said to Andrew Fuller and John Ryland and other pastors, “I will go down if you hold the rope”
We are, all of us who believe, either goers, senders, or disobedient—those who drop into the mines, those who hold the ropes, or those who think it’s not their business. Piper
If you are not involved or have no care or concern for lost people, ask yourself if you are a Christian. A true Christian will desire lost people to be saved. A true Christian will feel the pain and suffering of those who don’t know Christ because He has a new heart.

The Church.

The church is God’s plan A for missionary activity. Jesus gave the local church the keys of the Kingdom and He gave the local church the Great Commission:
Matthew 28:19–20 ESV
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Am I called to be a missionary? Not everyone is called to be a cross-cultural missionary, but everyone is called to be involved in cross-cultural missions whether be supporting or going.
Acts 1:8 ESV
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
The church is a missionary institution. A church that ceases to be focused on missions will become unhealthy or worst cease to be a church because that is the whole reason why we exist.
We will become a social club or a holy huddle.
Our mission and vision statement: We exist to glorify God by leading people to Christ and growing people to Christ.
And included in that statement is the call to missions.

The Called.

How do you know you are called to be a missionary? Not every Christian is called to be a missionary, so how do you know it is God’s will for you to be sent out to a foreign place to preach the gospel and form local churches? I would argue that the same qualifications of a pastor, belong to a missionary as well.
Acts 13:1–3 ESV
Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 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.
These were two of their best men. These were qualified pastors if they remained in churches. And notice that the church of Antioch sent them.
Are you called?
“Stop Sending Missionaries: Why More isn’t Always Better”
Instead, we should look to Paul as an example of zealous patience. From the moment of his conversion, he was told his purpose. But you’ll see in Acts that it was more than ten years before his first missionary journey. In the interim, he spent three formative years in Arabia, time in his home city of Tarsus, and finally a season at the church in Antioch until he was sent out with Barnabas. This is Paul, mind you, who at conversion already had an immense knowledge of the Scriptures. It appears Paul did not begin his mission in earnest until he was sent by his “home” church of Antioch at the Holy Spirit’s leading through the elders and congregation.
Church, stop sending people who don’t know their God, don’t know their message, and don’t know what it is like to submit to authority. Please, for the sake of God’s glory, stop.
Desire is commendable, but desire comes and goes. It is calling that should be required and celebrated. Not just any “calling,” mind you, but a calling rooted in truth and affirmed by others, particularly those who know you well and have for a long time, one that has accompanied years’ worth of fruitfulness, that has as its chief aims the glory of God and the sure promises of the gospel as revealed in Scripture.
2. Do you have the qualifications?
Do you meet the qualifications of elder as found in and ? Do you demonstrate a godly lifestyle?
3. Do you have the skills necessary?
Do you have relational skills? Do you have language skills? Do you have Bible skills? Are you able to teach.
One of the worst things you can do as a “missionary” is to teach bad doctrine because all you are doing is importing bad theology to people.
4. Do you have the affirmation of the local church?
So many missionaries are self-sent without any oversight of the local church. And something has gone wrong with our philosophy of missions because we have mission agencies trying to evaluate the character of people they never met. You see, you don’t get immediately holy by jumping on a plan.
Desire is commendable, but desire comes and goes. It is calling that should be required and celebrated. Not just any “calling,” mind you, but a calling rooted in truth and affirmed by others, particularly those who know you well and have for a long time, one that has accompanied years’ worth of fruitfulness, that has as its chief aims the glory of God and the sure promises of the gospel as revealed in Scripture.
“Sanctification by Aviation”
Desire is commendable, but desire comes and goes. It is calling that should be required and celebrated. Not just any “calling,” mind you, but a calling rooted in truth and affirmed by others, particularly those who know you well and have for a long time, one that has accompanied years’ worth of fruitfulness, that has as its chief aims the glory of God and the sure promises of the gospel as revealed in Scripture.
It is the local church that vets that out. If you haven’t demonstrated any faithfulness in your local church in attending regularly, submitting to church leaders, giving regularly, evangelizing and discipling in the local church, what makes you think your going to do well over there?
The local church protects and trains and equips future missionaries.
If you are not willing to talk to Mr. Chow across the Street, what makes you think you are called to China.
I have heard it said to go on missions without oversight of an local church is liking baptizing yourself.
The church’s mission is not to be carried out as an individualistic enterprise. The mission should rather be undergirded by the corporate life of the community, as believers reflect God’s love and unity. 226
5. Do you have particular calling to a specific people where you can meet that need? Is there an “open door” of ministry?
Do you have gifting to win people to Christ? Do you have gifting to raise up local leaders? Do you have gifting to help establish churches? Or Discipleship? Have people seen that.
We cannot separate the local church from missions anymore than we separate evangelism from discipleship.
Am I called to be a missionary? Not everyone is called to be a cross-cultural missionary, but everyone is called to be involved in cross-cultural missions whether be supporting or going.
The local church is essential in calling, affirming, supporting, and sending missionaries.
Don’t divorce the missions from the tasks of the church of the local church.
Transition: The what of missions? What should missionaries do when they get on the field?

III. What?

What do missionaries do? Teach English? Medical Missions? Dig Wells? Establish Schools? Hospitals? Feed the poor? Help orphanages? Get a job in a foreign country? Host evangelistic crusades? Hold marriage conferences? All those are good things, but it has been well said,
“If everything becomes missions, then nothing is missions”
We are a small local church with a small budget. We can’t support every need even if it is something good.
Acts 14:19–28 ESV
But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. But when the disciples gathered about him, he rose up and entered the city, and on the next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe. When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed. Then they passed through Pisidia and came to Pamphylia. And when they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia, and from there they sailed to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work that they had fulfilled. And when they arrived and gathered the church together, they declared all that God had done with them, and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles. And they remained no little time with the disciples.
Acts 14:19–23 ESV
But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. But when the disciples gathered about him, he rose up and entered the city, and on the next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe. When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
What is the Mission of Missions? A recent Sermon by Kevin DeYoung which I commend to you....
The mission of missions is to preach the gospel to those who have not heard, to disciple those new believers in the life and doctrine of the faith, and to establish those disciples into healthy churches with sound teaching and good leaders. Kevin DeYoung
“If the apostolic model is to be followed by missionaries in the contemporary scene, then the initial proclamation of the gospel and the winning of converts does not conclude the missionary task. Forming believers into mature Christian congregations, providing theological and pastoral counsel against dangers arising from inside and outside churches, strengthening believers both individually and corporately as they face suffering and persecution, so that they will stand fast in the Lord, all fall within the scope of what is involved in continuing the mission of the exalted Lord Jesus Christ. 268
In other words, missionary work is defined as evangelism, discipleship, and church planting. Or to put it another way, winning new converts, placing them in churches, and bringing them up under godly leadership so that they would also reproduce.
More is not better
So many times, we just have missionaries who write a post card about how many thousands accepting the Lord. I get skeptical because how many are growing disciples of the Lord.
Support those Doing this Work
Now, a missionary may be specialized in evangelism, or discipleship, or church planting. But true missionaries will be doing one of these three things.
Evaluate Missionaries according to this Principle
And like I said, we cannot support everyone. It is better to support a few faithful men, then support many unfaithful missionaries who are not doing what the Bible calls as missions.
Missionaries should be prioritizing preaching the gospel, discipling new believers, and establishing new churches in regions where there are no converts or churches or church leaders.
That is the missions of missions.
Church, We need to be Wise Stewards.
We have a limited budget. So our guidelines in who and what we support should be in line for biblical priorities.
If a person comes to us asking for support, are they following the biblical mandate?
It is not wrong to feed the poor. It is not wrong to help with dental or medical supplies in third world countries. It is not wrong to get a job in a foreign country in hopes of evangelizing people.
But we cannot support all of these things, therefore we must give our resources to that which promotes the gospel to those who have never heard, to growing believers in maturity, and to establishing healthy churches with godly leadership.
AGMM reaches out to the poorest of the poor trying through evangelism and discipleship seeking to establish churches among the various dialects of the Philippines.
Faly is involved in training up men in the local church to pastor and reach others.
As a church, we hold the rope and our limited resources help the work of missions.
“Stop Sending Missionaries: Why More isn’t Always Better”
Instead, we should look to Paul as an example of zealous patience. From the moment of his conversion, he was told his purpose. But you’ll see in Acts that it was more than ten years before his first missionary journey. In the interim, he spent three formative years in Arabia, time in his home city of Tarsus, and finally a season at the church in Antioch until he was sent out with Barnabas. This is Paul, mind you, who at conversion already had an immense knowledge of the Scriptures. It appears Paul did not begin his mission in earnest until he was sent by his “home” church of Antioch at the Holy Spirit’s leading through the elders and congregation.
Church, stop sending people who don’t know their God, don’t know their message, and don’t know what it is like to submit to authority. Please, for the sake of God’s glory, stop.
Desire is commendable, but desire comes and goes. It is calling that should be required and celebrated. Not just any “calling,” mind you, but a calling rooted in truth and affirmed by others, particularly those who know you well and have for a long time, one that has accompanied years’ worth of fruitfulness, that has as its chief aims the glory of God and the sure promises of the gospel as revealed in Scripture.

IV. Where?

Mark Noll, a Church Historian, writes about how Christianity is declining in the West and growing in the East.
This past Sunday it is possible that more Christian believers attended church in China than in all of so-called “Christian Europe.” Yet in 1970 there were no legally functioning churches in all of China; only in 1971 did the communist regime allow for one Protestant and one Roman Catholic Church to hold public worship services, and this was mostly a concession to visiting Europeans and African students from Tanzania and Zambia.
This past Sunday more Anglicans attended church in each of Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda than did Anglicans in Britain and Canada and Episcopalians in the United States combined—and the number of Anglicans in church in Nigeria was several times the number in those other African countries.
This past Sunday more Presbyterians were at church in Ghana than in Scotland, and more were in congregations of the Uniting Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa than in the United States.
This past Sunday the churches with the largest attendance in England and France had mostly black congregations. About half of the churchgoers in London were African or African-Caribbean. Today, the largest Christian congregation in Europe is in Kiev, and it is pastored by a Nigerian of Pentecostal background.
This past week in Great Britain, at least fifteen thousand Christian foreign missionaries were hard at work evangelizing the locals. Most of these missionaries are from Africa and Asia.
The reason why it was growing in the East because faithful missionaries were compelled to go to hard places like India, the Middle East, China and communist countries closed to the Gospel.
The Church is alive and well in the world. It may be dying because of complacency and indifference here because our material prosperity, but it is fascinating to see the rapid growth of Christianity in places there were closed to the gospel 50 years ago.
Where do we go?
Romans 5:18–20 ESV
Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,
Romans 15:19–21 ESV
by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God—so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ; and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation, but as it is written, “Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand.”
Romans 15:18–20 ESV
For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—by word and deed, by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God—so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ; and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation,
As we read in our Scripture, the places we go is not where Christ has already been named.
Jesus commanded us to make disciples of all nations and even to the ends of the earth.
Where has Christ not been named? Where is there no gospel witness? No local church? No established leadership?
Europe becomes a mission field now. Remote places of the Philippines becomes a mission field. Villages in Africa becomes a mission field. The Middle East.
See, this is why I understand missionary in the narrow and specific sense. We need missionaries to go to unreached peoples where there are no churches or Christians.
Wherever there is no gospel witness, no gospel church, or no established leadership, this is where we go. That is how we define unreached people groups.
America has many local churches and gospel influences. But many countries have little or no access to Christians or Churches.
Established Missionary Relationships
I think this is where we use a little sanctified common sense here. Where do we have established relationships with? Our current missionaries would also know where people are unreached and maybe if God is calling you, you can partner with them.
Pray for Unreached People Groups
We pray in our prayer meeting for unreached people. That is deliberate. We want to have a global vision
Romans 15:21 ESV
but as it is written, “Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand.”
John Stott, a great Bible teacher of the 20th century, wrote about a shallow experience in a church concerning their prayers..
“I remember some years ago visiting a church incognito. I sat in the back row. I wonder who’s in the back row tonight.
You know they often slip in there incognito. I’m not going to tell you the church. You won’t be able to identify it; it’s thousands of miles away from here.
When we came to the pastoral prayer, it was led by a lay brother, because the pastor was on holiday. So he prayed that the pastor might have a good holiday. Well, that’s fine. Pastors should have good holidays.
Second, he prayed for a lady member of the church who was about to give birth to a child that she might have a safe delivery, which is fine.
Third, he prayed for another lady who was sick, and then it was over. That’s all there was. It took twenty seconds.
I said to myself, it’s a village church with a village God. They have no interest in the world outside. There was no thinking about the poor, the oppressed, the refugees, the places of violence, and world evangelization.”
I pray that CFBC is not just a village church with a village God. But that we have concern for the world and the mission the Lord has entrusted to us.

V. How?

1. Praying

We need to pray.
Luke 10:1–2 ESV
After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.
We need to pray for our missionaries.
2 Thessalonians 3:1–2 ESV
Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith.
Read their letters and pray for specific needs. We remember them in our pastoral prayers.

2. Teaching

We need to make sure our teaching aligns with the Bibles. Grow in knowledge of what missions entails. Missions Sundays. Missionary biographies. Mission Conferences. Sermons on missions. Book recommendations.
Bible
Let the Nations be Glad
Missions by Andy Johnson
Salvation to the Ends of the Earth
9 Marks Journal

3. Giving

Philippians 1:4–6 ESV
always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
Philippians 4:14–16 ESV
Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again.
Philippians 4:14–19 ESV
Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit. I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:
3 John 6 ESV
who testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God.
3 john 3

Suffering

William Carey didn’t see his convert after 7 years.

4. Sending

My prayer is that God raises up faithful and fruitful in this church. And the church would be able to affirm and send one of our own to where the gospel is not heard, or a gospel church is not established. We are waiting. But the best thing you can do right now if you feel called to be a missionary is just be a good church member.
You wouldn’t want a missionary who doesn’t show up to church, doesn’t submit to authority, doesn’t demonstrate godliness in relationship with others.

Suffering

Isn’t it a shame that Mormons and Jehovah’s witnesses send more missionaries preaching a false gospel than do local church with the real gospel?
William Carey didn’t see his convert after 7 years.

5. Going

Matthew 28:19 ESV
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Are you a goer? Some of us our senders. But some of us will be called to go. Has God called you to a specific place for specific task in preaching the gospel, establishing churches, and raising up leaders under the affirmation and oversight of the local church?

6. Suffering

William Carey didn’t see his first convert until after 7 years of ministry.
Acts 14:22 ESV
strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.
Philippians 1:29 ESV
For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake,
Philippians 4:1
2 Timothy 3:10–11 ESV
You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me.
Mark 10:29–30 ESV
Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.
William Carey didn’t see his first convert until after 7 years of ministry.
There is great reward for following Jesus. But we must remember there is a cross we must bear before we receive the crown of righteousness.
What are the fundamentals of missions?
Why? We serve a missionary God and savior
Who? The Local Church who God has designed to support or send called individuals.
What? Preaching the gospel, discipling new converts, and establishing new churches with healthy leaders
Where? Wherever Christ is not named and there is not gospel witness or gospel church.
How? Praying, Teaching, Giving, Sending, Going, Suffering
Conclusion
Before we conclude in prayer, what role does the Lord want you to play in this great drama of history? How can you be more involved in missions?
Before I close in prayer, just you and the Lord be still.
Maybe you don’t know Christ, and you feel an empty void in your heart because you have been living for yourself. Have you considered you were made to live not primarily yourself, but for God?
Can you pray for greater passion for world evangelization? Free you from fear and apathy?
Do you need to give to missions?
Are has God given you a desire to reach the unreached?
What role do you have to play because of our great salvation in Jesus Christ?
Matthew 16:18 ESV
And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
What role do you have to play in this great missionary endeavor? We have the greatest story ever told in our hands and he wants us to share this news with others to a hurting and broken world without hope and without God in this world.
The saving mission of Jesus constitutes the foundation for Christian mission, and the Christian gospel is the message of mission, a mission that is not optional but mandatory. pg. 19 Kostenberger
May the Lord make this little church faithful in that calling.
“The Lord himself is missionary who gathers and rescues, not simply the dispersed of Israel, but also people from ‘all nations’, in order that they may see his glory. The goal of mission is the glory of God, that he may be known and honoured for who he really is.” pg. 52
“following Jesus involves conflict, rejection by one’s own, even the bearing of one’s cross. 75
“It is readily apparent that Mark unequivocally presents Jesus’ mission as the core mission of his Gospel, with the cross functioning as the focal point, not merely for discipleship, but also for mission (e. g. 14:9).”83
“The present charge makes clear that mission entails the nurturing of converts into the full of obedience of faith, not merely the proclamation of the gospel” 105
“mission the church’s primary task between Christ’s first coming and his return” 108
“All aspects of this mission in its various dimensions can be traced back to the heart of a loving God and his redemptive initiative in his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.”251
“The mission of the early Christians was unique. It was rooted in Jesus’ appropriation of Old Testament messianic prophecy and his inauguration of Old Testament eschatological expectations regarding the inclusion of the Gentiles into the orbit of God’s salvation, and it was carried out in fulfilment of his commission to disciple the nations and extend the good news of salvation and forgiveness of sins to the ends of the earth.” pg. 71
The apostle not only proclaimed the gospel and, under God, converted men and women. He also founded churches as a necessary element in his missionary task. Conversion to Crhist meant incorporation into him, and thus membership within a Christian community. 180
“Proclaiming the gospel meant for Paul not simply an initial preaching or with it the reaping of converts; it included also a whole range of nurturing and strengthening activities which led to the firm establishment of congregations” 184
“The activities in which Paul engaged as he sought to fulfill his missionary commission included not only primary evangelism, through which men and women were converted, but also the founding of churches and the bringing of believers to full maturity in Christ.” 184
He, a missionary to India, used the famous imagery of a miner going into a deep mine. He said to Andrew Fuller and John Ryland and other pastors, “I will go down if you hold the rope”
We are, all of us who believe, either goers, senders, or disobedient—those who drop into the mines, those who hold the ropes, or those who think it’s not their business. Piper
“God’s saving plan for the whole world forms a grand frame around the entire story of Scripture. His mission is bound up with his salvation wich moves from creation to new creation.” 263
“If the apostolic model is to be followed by missionaries in the contemporary scene, then the initial proclamation of the gospel and the winning of converts does not conclude the missionary task. Forming believers into mature Christian congregations, providing theological and pastoral counsel against dangers arising from inside and outside churches, strengthening believers both individually and corporately as they face suffering and persecution, so that they will stand fast in the Lord, all fall within the scope of what is involved in continuing the mission of the exalted Lord Jesus Christ. 268
“We have understood the notion of ‘mission’ (which, strictly speaking, is not a biblical term) as intimately bound up with God’s saving plan that moves from creation to new creation, and as framing the entire story of Scripture. It has to do with God’s salvation reaching the ends of the earth: that is, his gracious movement in his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to rescue a desperately needy world that is in rebelling against him and stands under his righteous judgment” 268
The Lord of the Scriptures is a missionary God who not ony reaches out and gathers the lost but also sends his servants, and particulary his beloved son, to achieve his gracious saving purpose. As many have rightly observed, the most important mission in the Scriptures is the missio dei. Jesus Christ is the ‘missionary’ par excellence: the basic and foundational mission is his. 269
The mission of the exalted Jesus is accomplished through the witness of the apostles in the power of the Holy Spirit. 269
“The Lord himself is missionary who gathers and rescues, not simply the dispersed of Israel, but also people from ‘all nations’, in order that they may see his glory. The goal of mission is the glory of God, that he may be known and honoured for who he really is.” pg. 52
“following Jesus involves conflict, rejection by one’s own, even the bearing of one’s cross. 75
“It is readily apparent that Mark unequivocally presents Jesus’ mission as the core mission of his Gospel, with the cross functioning as the focal point, not merely for discipleship, but also for mission (e. g. 14:9).”83
“The present charge makes clear that mission entails the nurturing of converts into the full of obedience of faith, not merely the proclamation of the gospel” 105
“mission the church’s primary task between Christ’s first coming and his return” 108
“All aspects of this mission in its various dimensions can be traced back to the heart of a loving God and his redemptive initiative in his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.”251
“The mission of the early Christians was unique. It was rooted in Jesus’ appropriation of Old Testament messianic prophecy and his inauguration of Old Testament eschatological expectations regarding the inclusion of the Gentiles into the orbit of God’s salvation, and it was carried out in fulfilment of his commission to disciple the nations and extend the good news of salvation and forgiveness of sins to the ends of the earth.” pg. 71
The apostle not only proclaimed the gospel and, under God, converted men and women. He also founded churches as a necessary element in his missionary task. Conversion to Crhist meant incorporation into him, and thus membership within a Christian community. 180
“Proclaiming the gospel meant for Paul not simply an initial preaching or with it the reaping of converts; it included also a whole range of nurturing and strengthening activities which led to the firm establishment of congregations” 184
“The activities in which Paul engaged as he sought to fulfill his missionary commission included not only primary evangelism, through which men and women were converted, but also the founding of churches and the bringing of believers to full maturity in Christ.” 184
The church’s mission is not to be carried out as an individualistic enterprise. The mission should rather be undergirded by the corporate life of the community, as believers reflect God’s love and unity. 226
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