Understanding Missions The Biblical Rationale for Taking the Gospel to the Ends of the Earth The Master’s Mission
Understanding Missions • God is at work gathering His people out of all the nations Acts 15:14; Rev. 5:9-10 • God’s purpose in choosing Israel was to bring in the nations Gal. 3: 8; Gen.12:3; Rom. 11:25-32; 15:8-9
Understanding Missions • His timing in salvation history, Acts 14:16; 17:30, was a mystery that is now revealed Eph. 3:1-13 • All this for the praise of the glory of His grace (mercy through Christ) Eph 1:3-14
Understanding Missions • This process outlined in Scripture is reflected in the Great Commission Luke 24:45-47; Mat. 28:18-20 • The gospel is the only way God addresses the desperate condition of man. Acts 26:16-23; Eph. 2:1-7; 4:17-24; 2 Cor. 4:1-6
Understanding Missions • Missions is the proclamation of this good news by preachers sent out by churches. Romans 10:12-17 • Comprehensive proclamation is the task of missions, Acts 20:26-32, which results in holy practice.James 1:27, 2:14-17
Understanding Missions • This kind of comprehensive proclamation demands both involvement and modeling (teaching/discipling) in the context of local churches as its basic methodology. 1Thes. 2:7-14; 1Cor. 9:19-22; Acts 14:22-28
Understanding Missions • This gospel is the only provision for man’s salvation. Acts 4:12; 13:38-39, 46-48 Acts 10:22 w, 11:14 John 3:16
Understanding Missions • The Glory of God Motivates our involvement in Missions 2 Cor. 3 • The Mercy of God keeps us from discouragement 2 Cor. 4 We witness not primarily to see people saved, but rather because we are saved. With this perspective we don’t lose heart. • The Love of God constrains us to be ambassadors for Christ 2 Cor. 5
Understanding Missions • The Word of God directs our methods as well as our message in extending the gospel to others. 2 Cor. 4:2-7; 2 Cor. 6:1-10
Understanding Missions Biblically Gives us Guiding Principles in evaluating many contemporary practices in missions
Authoritative in Methodology • Won’t use Koran • Won’t drink blood - understand provision of pressures to compromise • Won’t leave too quick or create dependency - understanding when to move on
Authoritative in Methodology • Won’t follow cost effective strategies that violate the Word • avoid churches • yard sales, bake sales, car washes • support of nationals only • Won’t be satisfied with a “glorified” peace corp.
Authoritative in Methodology • Won’t confuse or substitute witnessing for congregationalizing. • Won’t limit our fields of service (10/40 window; homogeneous & indigenous errors)
Authoritative in Methodology • Won’t define Miracles and Prayer as Animists do prayer walking, Spiritual warfare mapping, signs and wonders power encounters and apostolic authority
The Missionary/Evangelistic TaskA Scriptural Methodology involves: • Confidence in the Word of God to do its work in human hearts. I Thes. 2:13, Acts 16:14 This confidence is reflected in the words that define evangelism in the New Testament. • They “reasoned from the Scriptures” Acts 17-19 • This is the method commonly employed by all men in finding truth. They question, debate, argue
This way of making the truth of the Gospel clear involves: • explaining (nas) / opening (kjv) • giving evidence (nas) / alleging (kjv) • proclaiming (nas) / preaching (kjv) • testifying, bearing witness
With the view toward persuading • persuading with words involves exposition they expounded • persuading with words involves exhortation they exhorted, beseeched, urged, begged
Exhortation The content of exhortation: • Initially to be saved/converted • Then to continue/to grow in the faith: • And finally to contend for the faith The method of exhortation: many words & much exhortation and with all endurance • Our personal responsibility when exhorted: to heed
Persuading results in confirmation: • See Acts 14:21-23 for the combination of these practices in doing the missionary/evangelistic task • also Acts 18:24-28
Persuading involves confounding • To be confounded was to be confused or ashamed because of the inadequacy of your belief or gods to meet your needs or explain life’s challenges. • This is why David prays fervently in the Psalms not to be confounded for that would be a bad testimony for God’s reputation.
Confounding • A person is confounded when he cannot respond to an argument in such a way as to win his case. This puts him and his belief in a weak position. This challenges him to find a more adequate belief system.
Confounding • The apostles in the book of Acts, as they reason with the people, are seeking to be used of the Spirit to show the inadequacy of Jewish and pagan belief systems that don’t acknowledge God’s work in Christ.
Confounding • A non-Christian is confounded when all his objections to the truth are adequately answered by the Scriptures and when at the same time the one witnessing is not being embarrassed [confounded] by the “tough” questions. • When this happens the non-Christian is closer to being persuaded of the truth of the Gospel. Acts 26:28
Confounding • This is the principle behind II Tim. 2:14-15, 23-26. We must know the Scriptures, and what arguments, questions, and discussions are valid and which are frivolous, while we depend on God to grant repentance. • This is where our confidence lies: in God doing His work through His Word.
Confounding • Our work is in giving an answer for the hope which lies within us. I Pet. 3:15 • And in preaching in season and out of season, with zeal and compassion. II Tim. 4:1-8
Confounding • This is the way God has chosen to evangelize the world. It is the Word that does the work, not our eloquence. • Therefore our skill in rightly dividing it, in “giving an account” and a “defense” for the hope that is ours is crucial.
The Missionary Task • Our zeal in making the most of every opportunity is of utmost importance. Col. 4:6; Eph. 5:16 • It is God who grants repentance, while we are responsible before God to ‘argue’ the truth effectively, but never in a quarrelsome manner.
Remember: Whoever believes in him will not be put to shame/confounded. Whoever will call upon the name of the lord will be saved.Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. And how shall they believe in him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? And how will they preach, unless they are sent? Romans 10:13-17
So Paul requested prayer this way: “praying at the same time for us as well, that God may open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speakforththe mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned; in order that I may make it clearin the way I ought to speak.”Col. 4:3-4
Doing the Missionary/EvangelisticTask involves: Proclaiming:persuading and confounding with the Scriptures; with gentleness and patience. With confidence in the Word not in methods or eloquence or abilities or signs & wonders. Practicing:making the most of their time to create opportunities where they are ready to give an answer for the hope that lies within. Not substituting grandiose “mission strategies” for obedience.
Both aspects reflect Biblical qualifications:A qualified missionary is one the church recognizes to be: • Sound in doctrine – demonstrating an aptitude to reproduce in others the truths committed to us. • Faithful in family living – in order to model for new converts the difference and joy Christ brings to these relationships as a result of true conversion. • Authentic in their witness – a lifestyle and reputation respected by those outside the faith. I Timothy 3, Titus 1, 1 Peter 5, Acts 20
Academic and/or Technical training are not substitutes for the Biblical standard. These opportunities should normally help a person become prepared for missions ministry, but are often used as a filtering process to reduce the number of applicants that a particular board can handle. Those without the extra biblical credentials are weeded out although they may have the biblical qualifications. While desirable, these formal credentials and academic degrees should not replace the Biblical criteria as a requirement to do ministry.
The Biblical qualification emphasizes family involvement. The Missionary’s family is the visual aid for new believers and congregations. His lifestyle with his family and with those outside the faith demonstrate the change that the gospel brings to life’s relationships. His behavior, as he ministers to others, must “adorn” the gospel. His family provides many opportunities and platforms for ministry. Missionaries are not advisors only but active partners and participants in the local ministry where they are sent.
Elders shepherd the flock … • The congregation needs leadership in following a biblical philosophy of missions. Does the church’s emphasis of ministry reflect God heart or is missions an ‘add on’ if they find time and interest? • The congregation must be led to pray for one of their own. The Laborers are few, but if ...
Elders shepherd the flock … • By finding and partnering with appropriate projects, missionaries, and nationals toward the goal of sending one of their own members. Elders, remember our charge, this is our responsibility, if we don’t do it - it usually won’t get done!
Your Invitation • If you are traveling through western North Carolina, please come by to see us. • Give us a few days lead time and we can provide accommodations for you and your family and/or missions leadership. • Come enjoy the Smoky Mountains and see missionary training first hand.
Let us pray for grace that we would prove ourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers. James 1:22
To discuss missions further Contact David Blackney by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by cell phone: 828-735-0013 Or toll free at: 1-800-419-8618 more information is available at our web site: www.mastersmission.org