The Church - Missions and EvangelismFrom The Heart
Publish date: 10/24/2010
The mission of the local church is: Preaching and teaching; Making disciples; Fellowship; Worship; Missions and evangelism; Maturity of the believer; Ministry in the home; Ministry to material needs.
Missions and Evangelism:
And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:7-8 NKJV
The Great Commission was all about world evangelization. Jesus intended for the Gospel to be carried beyond Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria – outwards, to the very ends, or uttermost parts, of the earth. Jesus told the disciples to “Go into ALL the world and preach the gospel to EVERY creature” (Mark 16:15). It was a command, not a suggestion. However, it took persecution to scatter the Church and send evangelists as far as Antioch.
Acts chapter 8, verse 1 says, “Now Saul was consenting to his death. At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.” And verse 4 says, “Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.” Acts 11:19-21 says, “But some of them were men from Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they had come to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists, preaching the Lord Jesus. 21 And the hand of the 19 Now those who were scattered after the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to no one but the Jews only. 20 Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord.”
The Lord has made bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God. Isaiah 52:10 NKJV
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. Matthew 24:14 NKJV
The Lord loves people – people of every nation – He has promised that the ends of the earth would see His salvation! Every one of them has a right to hear how much He loves them. This is the Church’s job – no one else is going to do it. The problem is that we have to be constantly reminded that it is our responsibility. Not only that, but also how urgent it is that all nations have not yet heard, been converted, and discipled, and the uttermost part of the earth has not yet been reached.
For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 14 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? 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! Romans 10:12-15 KJV
Whoever calls on the Name of the Lord WILL be saved! But how will they call on Him if they don’t believe in Him? And how will they believe in Him if they have not heard about Him? And how will they hear without a preacher? And how will they preach unless they go? The Church has never had the luxury of sitting in one place and having the world flock to them for salvation. It has always been the case that the Church had to leave the building, leave the security and comfort of their own little world and go to the big world out there who need to hear and experience the power of the Gospel!
Missions and evangelism is the calling and the work of the Body of Christ, however, most Christians do absolutely nothing of what Jesus asked of them. Some might even send a little money to others to do it, and yet still do nothing themselves. There are a million excuses as to why Christians do not fulfill the Great Commission, but not one of them will hold water on the Day we give account to Jesus for our life here on earth. You need to ask yourself this question regularly: “What am I doing for Heaven’s sake?”
For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient — 19 in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. 20 And so I have made it my aim to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build on another man’s foundation, 21 but as it is written: “To whom He was not announced, they shall see; And those who have not heard shall understand.” Romans 15:18-21 NKJV
At the end of his life Paul could confidently say, “I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.” Who of us can say the same? It’s time for the Church to be the Church – for each member of the Body of Christ to fulfill his or her calling and fulfill his or her personal part of fulfilling the Great Commission. The Father made the world a promise. It is our job to keep this promise on His behalf!