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WHAT THE BIBLE says about missions

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WHAT THE BIBLE

SAYS ABOUT MISSIONS

I. The word “missions” does not appear in the Bible

A.   Evangelist as found in Ephesians 4:11 and “witness”  as found in Acts 1:8 come closest in meaning to missionary.

1.     Ephesians 4:11-12 (NIV) 11 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up [1]

2.     Acts 1:8 (NIV) 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” [2]

3.     Acts 10:43 (NIV) 43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” [3]

4.     Acts 14:17 (NIV) 17 Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.” [4]

B.   Old Testament references to the divine purpose of having God’s Word proclaimed include:

1.     Proverbs 14:25-27 (NIV) 25     A truthful witness saves lives, but a false witness is deceitful. 26     He who fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge. 27     The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death. [5]

2.     Isaiah 6:8 (NIV)8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” [6]

C.   Old Testament Missionary activity is seen in the following:

1.     Joshua 2:17-19 (NIV)17 The men said to her, “This oath you made us swear will not be binding on us 18 unless, when we enter the land, you have tied this scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and unless you have brought your father and mother, your brothers and all your family into your house. 19 If anyone goes outside your house into the street, his blood will be on his own head; we will not be responsible. As for anyone who is in the house with you, his blood will be on our head if a hand is laid on him. [7]

2.     2 Kings 5:2-4 (NIV) 2 Now bands from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife. 3 She said to her mistress, “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.” 4 Naaman went to his master and told him what the girl from Israel had said.[8]

3.     Jonah 1:2 (NIV) 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” [9]

4.     Jonah 3:2 (NIV) 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.” [10]

5.     Psalm 96:1-13 (NIV) 1     Sing to the Lord a new song;sing to the Lord, all the earth. 2     Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day. 3     Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. 4     For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. 5     For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the Lord made the heavens. 6     Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and glory are in his sanctuary. 7     Ascribe to the Lord, O families of nations, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. 8     Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come into his courts. 9     Worship the Lord in the splendor of hisa holiness; tremble before him, all the earth. 10     Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns.” The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity. 11     Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it;12     let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy; 13     they will sing before the Lord, for he comes, he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his truth. [11]

II. During this present age, God is seeking men

A.   John 4:23 (NIV) 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. [12]

B.   He calls people to preach the gospel everywhere.

1.     Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV) 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them ina the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” [13]

2.     Acts 1:8 (NIV) 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” [14]

C.   Believers have an obligation to be ambassadors of Christ.

1.     Romans 1:14-16 (NIV) 14 I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. 15 That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are at Rome. 16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. [15]


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[1]  The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984.

[2]  The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984.

[3]  The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984.

[4]  The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984.

[5]  The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984.

[6]  The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984.

[7]  The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984.

[8]  The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984.

[9]  The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984.

[10]  The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984.

a  Or Lord with the splendor of

[11]  The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984.

[12]  The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984.

a  Or into; see Acts 8:16; 19:5; Romans 6:3; 1 Cor. 1:13; 10:2 and Gal. 3:27.

[13]  The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984.

[14]  The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984.

[15]  The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984.

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