Missions: Why does missions exist?
Last fall I started an in depth look at the whole concept of missions. After a break during the holidays, I am ready to tackle this subject again – especially since our theme this year for P4C will be on missions. So, I invite you to join me in the study of what the Scriptures have to say. I can promise you this: I am going to try and make each post a little shorter. My desire and hope is to value your time and interest. So let us begin again…
Before the break, we considered what the motivating focus of missions was. Our conclusion was the gospel [see previous post]. But now we want to understand ‘why missions exist’. In reality, they both have the same answer. In the ‘Motivating Focus of Missions’, we saw that we could not be moved away from the gospel. The gospel must be at the core of motivating missional work. It demands the center of everything we do. But lets go deeper in the motivation of missions. Why does it exist? Why are we commanded to GO unto the entire world?
Simply and profoundly: missions exists to glorify our God by making much of his great and matchless name. To understand this, we will take a look at Psalm 67:1-6 [ESV].
“May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations. Let the peoples praise you, O God; Let all the peoples praise you! Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. Selah. Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, shall bless us. God shall bless us; let all the ends of the earth fear him!”
A quick look at this passage may cause some to say, “but what about the blessings that are spoken of in this passage?” This is true – blessings are spoken of. But, let us conclude that the blessings are only a byproduct. What is this passage really saying? Why are we being blessed?
The answer lies in the following portion of text: “that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations.” This is speaking of the gospel being made known – proclaimed. To what end? That “the nations be glad and sing for joy…” God’s blessings exist so His people will glorify His great name. God blesses to the end that His “saving power” is proclaimed among all nations and in so doing He is glorified. The ultimate end is that God is glorified in the hearts and minds of His people from every tribe, tongue, and nations. And, we can further say that true joy is discovered in the glory of God.
So missions exist, not to rid the world of social injustice – though that is a worthy endeavor – or to just bless people, but it exist to let God’s people of every nation “be glad.” And what is it we are glad in? Our great God. So, when you engage the world with the gospel, whether in another country or your own backyard, GO make disciples with the gospel as the core motivation. Let the end be that God is glorified in the gladness of those who know Him from every nation. May our prayer of blessing and praise be: “Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you!” Amen.