The bedrock of missions is not the value of man. It is the spread of God’s glory. The biblical commitment to evangelism and missions is rooted in God’s passionate concern to make His name known.
Missions is about the worship of Jesus. The goal of missions is the global worship of Jesus by His redeemed people from every tribe, tongue, and nation. The outcome of missions is all peoples delighting to praise Jesus. And the motivation for missions is the enjoyment that His people have in Him. Missions aims at, brings about, and is fueled by the worship of Jesus.
Missions by David Mathis taken from Don’t Call it a Comeback, edited by Kevin DeYoung, copyright 2011, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, www.crosswaybooks.org, p. 225.
We face a humanity that is too precious to neglect. We know a remedy for the ills of the world too wonderful to withhold. We have a Christ too glorious to hide. We have an adventure that is too thrilling to miss (Theodore Williams).
God is pursuing with omnipotent passion a worldwide purpose of gathering joyful worshippers for Himself from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. He has an inexhaustible enthusiasm for the supremacy of His name among the nations. Therefore, let us bring our affections into line with His, and, for the sake of His name, let us renounce the quest for worldly comforts and join His global purpose.
If we love God’s fame and are committed to magnifying His name above all things, we cannot be indifferent to world missions.
Why do we desire the spread of the gospel throughout the world? Not out of a sinful imperialism or triumphalism, whether for ourselves or the church or even “Christianity.” Nor just because evangelism is part of our Christian obedience (though it is). Nor primarily to make other people happy (though it does). But especially because the glory of God and of His Christ is at stake. God is King, has inaugurated His saving reign through Christ, and has a right to rule in the lives of His creatures. Our ambition, then, is to seek first His kingdom, to cherish the passionate desire that His name should receive from men the honor which is due to it.
The God who is worthy to be known and served for who He is, is Himself the answer to this world’s longings. And those who know Him best are best equipped to serve Him. He is their message. If we have discovered the glory of God in the face of Christ, we must not hold back. The God of glory must be made known.
The Christian is a God-explorer. The Christian vision is the vision of God. The missionary vision is the vision of God also. It is not something different from the Christian vision. It is the same vision being shared rather than merely enjoyed. It is the same vision being shared with men who have no natural taste for it, in the hope that God will create that taste so that they too will become “God-admirers.” Sharing the vision of God- that is the work of missions.
But what if we look to God for our success? And what if God has “a great multitude, which no man could number” in His eye and on His heart? Why then, we ought to take courage. Who knows what God may do? The missionary is not alone. He is accompanied by the God who has determined to have a people for Himself. And God has made up His mind to take them from “all nations, and kindreds, and tongues” (Revelation 7:9). Here is the missionary’s hope. It is not in himself. It is in God.