Summary: Why be a missionary - because Jesus commanded us to go. This message is to encourage people to become a missionary and get out of their comfort zones.
The Great Commission
“True Missionary Work”
District Elder M.L. Maughmer, Jr.
WHAT IS A MISSIONARY? – According to the dictionary a missionary is a member of a religion who works to convert those who do not share the missionary’s faith. The word “mission” is derived from the Latin “missionem” meaning “act of sending” or “mitto, mittere” literally meaning “to send” or to dispatch. The Greek equivalent is “Apostle” meaning messenger. Therefore a missionary is a messenger that has been sent to convert those not of the faith and bring many sons and daughters into glory.
WHY FOREIGN MISSIONS? – Because Jesus commanded it in Matthew 28:19 when He said “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations…”, also He said that you would be a witness to the utter most parts of the earth Acts 1:8, so with that in mind why not foreign missions?
Mt. 28:18-20 : “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen”. This particular passage of scripture is comprised of “C.I.A” not the governmental department, but Command, Instruction, and Assurity.
This passage of scripture has become known as “The Great Commission”. Here Jesus is commissioning his disciples to undertake a worldwide mission, to become missionaries converting those not of the faith bringing many sons and daughter’s into glory. However, this worldwide mission of Jesus comes in direct contrast to another worldwide mission that is already operating at that current time, namely the mission of the Roman Empire. What is extremely interesting and important is the placing that Matthew places this commission at. Jesus declares the worldwide mission immediately after the description of an incident that illustrates how manipulative and deceptive the Roman Empire operated. By doing this we are able to see how there is contrast between the mission of the Roman Empire and the mission of Jesus. We must understand that the Bible is 2 dimensional, the 1st dimension is natural the 2nd dimension is spiritual. This commission is 2 dimensional because it deals both with the natural and the spiritual aspect.
BACKGROUND: - At the time in which Jesus lived the Roman Empire was effectively maintaining a ruthless mission to dominate the entire world and bring it under its authority and dominion. The Roman Empire was the most vicious and most methodical system that had ever existed they ruled by shear domination and exploitation in Matt. 20:25, referring to the Roman Empire Jesus said, “But Jesus called them [unto him], and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.” This system is being revived again and will become very powerful in the future and play a major factor in the tribulation period – The Revived Roman Empire. Realize that much of the New Testament was written during this period of domination by the Roman Empire; therefore, it is natural for the writers to assume that the readers are knowledgeable about the claims, pervasiveness, and mission of the Roman Empire. It was common knowledge that anyone who posed a threat to the Roman Empire, emperor worship, and the total dominance system was eliminated, mostly by crucifixion just as Jesus was crucified. Crucifixion was used for the most heinous crimes, such as murder and treason against the established governing system.
When Jesus was born and Herod understood that the ‘King of Israel, the King of the Jews”, a possible threat to the Roman authority was born, therefore; to protect the Roman Empire and his dominance he wanted to eliminate the baby Jesus. In his demented attempt that failed he ended up committing one of the greatest massacres of all time in the killing of all the baby boys in that region up to two years of age. Later on, at the time of crucifixion, Jesus was repeatedly mocked as the ‘King of the Jews” this was a attempted to slander His authority and to illustrate to any other that would try to rise against the Roman Empire their ultimate fate; therefore intimidating them into submission. Such was the power and force of the Roman Empire. (Remember Caiaphas told Pilot he would not be a friend of Caesar if he didn’t crucify Jesus).
According to the Roman belief, the Roman Empire was supposed to have been founded by divine orders, and its mission to dominate the world was ‘entrusted to it by the gods’ and enacted through the emperor, the military and political personnel, and the religious elites. The emperor was not just to be obeyed but also to be worshipped as he was divine and in fact represented the gods.