God’s heart is for mission. He came to seek and to save that which is lost. That is why He sent Christ. His heart is outreach and evangelism to all people. Our mission is to every person of every nation, of every religion and of every background. We go to the cities and the far away villages, to the civilized and to the naked, with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
We preach the free grace of Christ urgently to all men, women and children, compelling them to repentance and to faith through Jesus Christ. This urgency and zeal marks all true believers in Christ.
In this chapter we look at missions as the life of Christ manifested in us, in contrast to a methodological approach. Topics covered include:
• Missions in the 1st millennium.
• Contextual theology.
• Traditional and biblical factors in missions.
• The social gospel.
• Interviews with missionaries.
• Factors affecting mission in Islamic centres.
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All power is given to Me in heaven and in earth. Go therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world. Amen. (Matt 28:18-20).
The mission of Christ is based on His victory and His complete authority in all realms in heaven and on earth. This mission does not require the permission of any person, devil or human government. It comes from the highest authority – Christ Himself. We do not have to “earn” the opportunity to preach Christ to any person. We have it already in the Commission.
The mission was not only given to the 11 disciples in this passage, but to the church as a whole. When Jesus prayed for His disciples in John 17:20, He included all that would hear the gospel through them. His commands to them are also His commands to us. The “world” (age) in Matt 28:20 refers not to the Jewish age, but to the whole church age before His Second Coming.
Mission is necessitated by the truth of the total depravity of man. All classes and races of men are equal. All are born depraved before God and all require salvation through Jesus Christ. The total depravity of fallen man means there is no superior race and that any blessing a people has comes only from the gospel. This truth has inspired mission to all people. Sometimes people think their nation is blessed because the people are good. No, any goodness is only because of the grace of God.
Some recent theories in mission ignore fundamentals of biblical truth. Theories that find truth in culture or human religion deny sola scriptua and total depravity. This is a common trend in our time, trying to make the gospel acceptable. Truth is only found in Jesus Christ.