The Bible chronicles mans fall from what God created him to be, and God’s desire to restore a sinful man unto Himself through missions. Even though man was originally made perfectly in the image of God, man would eventually succumb to his free will and his own selfish desires. Once man allowed evil into his heart, fellowship with God was broken, along with His heart. Through His sovereign grace and mercy, God seeks to restore order to His earthly kingdom. We find God’s plan and outline in the pages of His word as He makes a way for man to be redeemed from the chains of sin. The awesomeness of the situation is that God allows us to be part of the mission to reach out and share the Gospel to a lost and dying world. Ultimately, the mission of God finds its fulfillment in man’s worship and service to God in His kingdom.
In order to understand the scope and goal of missions, it must first be defined. Moreau, Corwin, and McGee, introduce “missions” as “the word used for the specific task of making disciples of all nations. It is seen through the work of mission agencies, churches, and missionaries around the world.” Missions could be looked at as the broad action reflected from its root, mission. The word mission then, “refers to everything the church does that points toward the kingdom of God.” George Peters explains the mission as the, “biblical assignment of the church that encompass the upward, inward and outward ministries of the church. It is the church as sent in this world.” The church accomplishes the mission by sending representative messengers known as missionaries “with a message from God, sent forth by divine authority for the definite purpose of evangelism, church-founding, and church edification.” In an attempt at reaching the world and spreading the Gospel, today’s church uses missionaries to personally touch lives in a way that the church as a body cannot.
The foundation for missions has been laid by God Himself and is strengthened by His constant desire for man to accept His offering of His Son as a means to be reborn. Jesus was sent as a missionary to the world and gave a heavenly touch to a sinful man, as only a King could do. The Holy Spirit would also come and be the agent of change that confirmed the teachings of Jesus. Missions rely on the Holy Spirit to “pave the way for evangelistic fruit by means of his invisible work in the hearts of people around the world. It is the Spirit who guides the church in all truth and in its missionary labors. He works inside the human heart, empowering Christians for witness, motivating them to witness and giving them words to say.” The fact that God has gone to such great lengths to give man the opportunity to restore our relationship with Him, proves the need to go and tell others that we do not have to be doomed to eternity in hell. God’s nature and will is revealed through the scriptures and we will attempt to touch on just a portion of His revelation in order to understand the theology of missions.
Missions reflected in the Old Testament
As mentioned before, the Old Testament begins with God’s perfect creation and the fall of man into a sinful state. With the defeat of Satan behind Him, God moved toward restoring His earthly kingdom through man. Quite some time would pass before God called out Abram in (Genesis 12:1-3). The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
With this calling, it was evident that God was calling and raising up a people to carry his plan of redemption and restoration to the world. The blessings that God placed on Abram and his descendants meant that “they were to be missionaries and channels of the...
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Moreau, Scott A.; Corwin, Gary R.; McGee, Gary B. Introducing World Missions: A Biblical,
Historical, and Practical Survey. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2004.
Peters, George W. A Biblical Theology of Missions. Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1972.
Piper, John. Let the Nations Be Glad! The Supremacy of God In Missions: Grand Rapids, MI:
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Weiss, G. Christian. The Heart of Missionary Theology. Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1976.
Wright, Christopher J.H. “Mission and God’s Earth” in Perspectives on the World Christian
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