Summary: Why missions matters
Woodlawn Baptist Church
September 23, 2007
Does missions really matter? Today I want to address this question in our current sermon series about things that matter. I have said so far that preaching matters, church matters, giving matters, and today I want to demonstrate to you that missions matters. In case anyone is unclear about what missions is, missions has to do with you and me taking the gospel of Jesus Christ to every people, tribe and nation on earth. It has to do with the command God has given us to preach the gospel, to make disciples around the world. Jesus indicated that this work was to begin at home in our own community and spread from there. Missions is not starting churches. Missions is not mailing checks. Missions is not a program. Missions is not a ministry of our church, it is the very purpose for our church. In fact, if missions is the purpose for our church, and you and I as disciples of Christ are the church, then it stands to reason that missions is the very purpose for your existence and mine.
I have not always accepted or believed that, and there are still many days I struggle to live it, but that does not diminish its reality. Missions matters.
I don’t know how much missions matters to you. When I think about our zeal for proclaiming the fame of God in our homes and community, I wonder if it matters very much. I wonder if sharing and declaring and proclaiming our faith matters as much as it does to the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses who are out every weekend. I wonder if it matters as much to us as it does to the Muslims who have suddenly discovered the long lost practice of door knocking. Does missions really matter to you?
Today as I address this concern, I want to demonstrate that missions does matter by giving you a call to action…a call to personal involvement in God’s plan to reach the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ, then I’m going to finish by giving you five simple but costly ways to get personally involved.
Do you remember the Great Commission? Jesus said to go and make disciples of all nations. In Mark 16:15 Jesus said it this way, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” That’s what missions is all about. It’s about you and me taking the gospel to the world. It’s about you and me taking that gospel message and the teachings of Jesus Christ and making disciples. That’s our command to be obeyed as Dr. Cloud mentioned in the video a moment ago. Now, in Matthew 24:14 Jesus was discussing the end times when He made this statement,
“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”
I want you to notice some of the key elements of this statement.
Jesus said the gospel we share is about the kingdom. “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached.” The gospel is about the kingdom of God. It’s about the reign of God. It’s about the Son of God. It’s about the triumphant death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ! He died on the cross for our sins. He purchased redemption for every man. He defeated sin, hell and the grave. Listen, the good news we share isn’t about us. It’s not even really about what we get out of the deal. The good news is about the triumphant, reigning, supreme King of Glory!
Jesus said that the mission will be accomplished. “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached…” When you see the word “shall” in the Scriptures, you can take it to the bank. It’s an absolute promise. It will happen. It’s up to you and me to decide whether we want to be part of it or not. If we’re disobedient to God in terms of us fulfilling our mission, it’s us who loses, not God!
Jesus said that our mission concerns all nations, not just people. “…for a witness unto all nations.” The word nations is translated from the Greek word “ethnos” from which we get ethnic groups. It has to do with all the people groups of the world. That doesn’t mean Americans or Africans, but with each individual cultural and language groups in the world. It may not be realistic to reach every single human being in the world with the gospel of the kingdom, but we can reach every single people group. That’s a task that can be finished, and when it is, Jesus said the end would come.
And let me add one more that is not in this verse, but is found in verse 9, “Then shall they deliver you (the Lord’s disciples) up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.” The point is simply this…