MISSIONS. Though this word is not found in the Bible, the idea of sending someone out to preach the Gospel is. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent?” (Romans 10:13-15) A missionary can be for both home missions (in one’s own country or even in one’s town) and foreign missions, as was the Apostle Paul who ended up in Europe. Christ and the apostles and those sent out in the New Testament did not start schools, hospitals, or orphanages, and certainly these are all very good things and I applaud those who do such, but those sent out in the Bible started churches, as Paul and Barnabas did in the book of Acts.
All Christians should be involved in missions, going, as Paul and Barnabas, or sending, as the church in Antioch. “As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.” (Acts 13:1-3) God called those who were faithful to His Church, to go out and start more churches. They were already teaching in the church showing themselves able ministers of the Word of God, and were sent out by the Holy Ghost and the local church. (See CHURCH) Do not send yourself out, go with the approval of your church. If your church does not believe you will be faithful or the calling of God is not evident in your life, then stay and win souls where you are and get them into church. Jesus said “Ye shall know them by their fruits”, if you cannot win souls where you are now, how can you win souls on the mission field? There are “unguided missiles”, who need to grow, with zeal but no call of God on their lives and they end up causing more trouble. (See CALLING OF GOD).
Still, someone needs to be willing to go, and someone needs to be willing to send, “how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent?” In Philippians 4:14-16 it says, “Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.” We are not smarter than God and we will not improve upon His method, for the first century Christians “turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6, Romans 10:18). We are to go “unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts I:8) “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 always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28:19-20) This was not just for the apostles who stood there that day and heard these words, but for the Church. The apostles died off in the first century but the Church is still here and we have this commission from Christ who said, “even unto the end of the world”. So we are to go “and teach all nations”!
MONEY. See FINANCE.
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