At the conclusion of His earthly ministry, the Lord Jesus Christ committed His church to the continuance of His work of r

     At the conclusion of His earthly ministry, the Lord Jesus Christ committed His church to the continuance of His work of redemption.  To the assembled body of (baptized) believers He said: “As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you” (John 20:21).  The Lord’s churches, then, are to duplicate the things done by the Lord – without change!  While so many things Jesus did could not be contained in any number of books (John 21:25), there were some works He did constantly throughout His earthly ministry: Jesus M__ __ __ and B__ __ __ __ __ __ __ disciples (John 4:1).  Jesus T__ __ __ __ __ and trained His disciples (Matthew 5:1, 2).  Jesus built His C __ __ __ __ __ (Matthew 16:18).

 

I.      THE BIBLICAL BASIS FOR MISSIONS

A.     Examine the following Scripture passages that record the instructions of Christ to His Church.

·                   Matthew 28:16-20

·                   Mark 16:14-20

·                   Luke 24:45-49

·                   John 20:19-23

·                   Acts 1:8

B.     Having explored these Scriptures, discover the answers to the following:

1.     What is our church to do?                                                                                                                                       

2.     What is the extent of our mission field?

                                                                                                       

3.     What is the message of our mission work?

                                                                                                                                                                                                               

4.     Where do we get our power to engage in mission work?                                                                 

 

II.     GOD’S PLAN FOR MISSIONS

Look up and read Acts 13:1-5.

 

A.     From where did God call the two men to be missionaries?

The C__ __ __ __ __ that was at Antioch.

B.     Describe the character of the men God called to be missionaries? (See also: Acts 12:25.)

                                                                                                                                                                               

C.     According to 1 Thessalonians 2:4 and 1 Timothy 1:12, who calls and equips men to be missionaries?

                                                                                               

D.     According to Acts 13:3, who is to send forth missionaries?

                                                                                               

The Bible plan is for missionaries to be financially supported by New Testament churches, prayed for by New Testament churches, and sent out by New Testament churches.  World evangelism is a local church responsibility; Christ gave that responsibility to the church.

E.     According to Acts 13:4, when a church sends out a missionary, how is that missionary led or sent forth into his work?

                                                                                               

F.     According to Acts 13:5, what is the missionary to do?                                                                                    

G.    According to Acts 14:23, missionaries are to establish a C__ __ __ __ __ from those won to Christ and baptized.

Other endeavors have the term “missions” applied to them such as, “medical missions,” and “agricultural missions.”  Christian organizations will send out teams of skilled men and women to relieve the suffering and improve the living conditions in Third-world countries. These ventures include establishing clinics, improving the water supply, teaching farming techniques and

 

 

building methods, and generally educating the people. These efforts are noble, and we genuinely appreciate the people who compassionately serve mankind in this way.

However, this is not the mission that Jesus Christ gave the Church.  The Church’s mission is to evangelize the lost, baptize them, establish churches, and train the people in the Word of God.  When this is done and the Word of God prevails, there is a dramatic increase in the character, morality, and work ethic of the people.  All of society benefits.  Change that comes from within (by God) is change that lasts.  Jesus Christ majored on people’s spiritual needs rather than physical needs; biblical missions does the same.

 

III.     GOD’S CHALLENGE FOR MISSIONS

A.     According to John 4:35, what is every Christian to realize?                                                                                                                                                                    

B.     According to Matthew 9:37, what is there a great need for today?  L__ __ __ __ __ __ __

C.     According to Matthew 9:38, what should be our prayer?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

D.     According to Acts 9:6, what question should we ask the Lord concerning missions?                                                                                                                         

 

IV.    HOW SERIOUS IS GOD ABOUT MISSIONS?

The Lord gave very clear, specific instructions to His church before ascending to heaven.  The commission was GLOBAL!  However, the disciples remained in Jerusalem. God had to push the disciples “out of the nest.”

 

 

A.     According to Acts 8:1, what did God use to scatter the Christians? P__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

B.     What was happening to Christians in the church (Acts 8:3)?                                                                  

C.     These trials caused the disciples to leave the nest, the home church at Jerusalem.

As they left:

1.     Where did they go (Acts 8:4)?

They went E__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

2.     What did they do as they scattered (Acts 8:4)? P__ __ __ __ __ __ __ the Word.

D.     Where did the Gospel spread to:

1.     Acts 8:5 S__ __ __ __ __ __

2.     Acts 8:27-39 E__ __ __ __ __ __ __

3.     Acts 9:3f D__ __ __ __ __ __ __ (Syria)

4.     Acts 9:30 T__ __ __ __ __

5.     Acts 10:1f C__ __ __ __ __ __ __

6.     Acts 11:19 P__ __ __ __ __ __, C__ __ __ __ __, A__ __ __ __ __ __

Using the maps in the back of your Bible, identify the location of the places above and record them on the map on the following page.  Draw arrows from Jerusalem to these locations.

NOTE: Acts 13 through 28 covers the major missionary journeys of the Apostle Paul, Barnabas, Silas, Timothy, and others.  Through their labors the gospel went from Israel to Syria, Asia Minor (modern Turkey), Greece, Italy, and Europe.  From Europe the Gospel came to the Americas.

How serious is God about world evangelism?  Serious enough to allow persecution to force the early disciples to leave the comforts of their homeland and spread the Gospel to the regions beyond.

 

 

 

V.     OUR MISSIONS PROGRAM

A.     Our Responsibility is World Evangelism.

YOU have a responsibility to evangelize the world! (Matthew 28:19) “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:”

(Acts 1:8) “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

B.     Our Philosophy is Partnership.

Paul had a special relationship with the church at Philippi.  Paul was a missionary and the church at Philippi was supporting him “from the first day until now” (approximately 10 years).  He used two words to speak of their relationship:

(Phil. 1:5) “For your F__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ in the gospel from the first day until now;”

(Phil. 1:7) “[Y]e all are P__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ of my grace.”

Both these words (fellowship and partakers) come from the same Greek word – koinonia.  It is a word which speaks of community, partners, sharers together, participation together in a common interest.  This was unquestionably true of Paul’s relationship with the Philippian church.  They had a common interest (evangelizing the world) and were partners in accomplishing that interest.  This is also our philosophy of achieving world evangelism.  We must become partners with God-called missionaries who are carrying the Gospel to the world.  How?

C.     Our Opportunity is Support.

Our church pools its funds to support missionaries.

We are interdependent upon other New Testament

 

 

churches of like-faith; together we send thousands of missionaries throughout the world.  Your involvement may seem insignificant, but it is not.

D.     Our Conference is Annual.

Each year we highlight world evangelism through our Missions Conference.  Veteran and new missionaries join us to educate, challenge, and motivate our members toward greater involvement in spreading the Gospel.  Personal friendships develop, and we learn of their needs firsthand.  We are challenged to give financially to fund the Great Commission Missionary efforts.  It is a most exciting week!  Your active participation encourages God’s servants.  If you cannot go to the mission field, you can encourage and support those that do.  They can’t go without you.

 

VI.    HOW TO SUPPORT MISSIONARIES

A.     We are to Pray for Missionaries (Romans 15:30- 31).

1.     Pray for                                                                                                                                                                   

(2 Thessalonians 3:2).

2.     Pray for                                                                                                                                                   

(Ephesians 6:19).

3.     Pray for                                                                                                                                                   

(Hebrews 13:18).

4.     Pray for                                                                                                                                                   

(2 Thessalonians 3:1).

B.     You May Adopt a Missionary Family.

You can make a missionary family your special project for one year (until next conference).  Missionaries need moral supporters – be one!  What can you do to support your adopted family?

 

 

1.     Reach out to the missionary family.

a.               Write letters and send E-mail.

b.                Send birthday and anniversary cards to the family members.

c.                Send them a sermon tape from our church that blessed your life.

d.                Share with them what is happening at our church.

2.     Communicate with our church about your adopted missionary family.

a.               What is happening in their ministry?

b.                What are their family’s needs?

C.     We Are To Give Financially To Missions.

In 2 Corinthians 8, 9, and 10, the Bible deals with the subject of giving to the work of the Lord.

An Example of Two Churches

After waiting a year for the Corinthian church to fulfill their promise regarding their promised offering, Paul writes 2 Corinthians 8 to challenge them.  In order to effectively get the message into their hearts, he begins with an example of what the Macedonian churches had done.  Remember, the Macedonians had participated in the same offering because of the report they had received from Paul about Corinth’s promise (2 Corinthians 9:1-5).  Why did Paul chose the Macedonians as an example?  Why not the Romans or the Galatians?  The answer to this question is clear when we consider some things said about at least two of the Macedonian churches – Philippi and Thessalonica.  Paul said to the church at Philippi, (Philippians 4:14) “Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction.”  The word “communicate” here means sharing of material provision.  Notice what Paul reveals, (Philippians 4:15, 16) “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.  {16} For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.”  By this time, Paul had won countless people to Christ and had established many churches, but only this church had a burden for him and his missionary ministry.

The other Macedonian church, at Thessalonica, was founded in part because of the support of the Philippians.  Of that church Paul said, (1 Thessalonians 1:8) “For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.”  This church sent out Gospel-preaching missionaries.  They had a burden to obey the Great Commission.

 

There are lessons about giving to learn from these Macedonian Christians.

1.     They gave when it was inconvenient.

a.     According to 2 Corinthians 8:2, they were in a “G__ __ __ __ T__ __ __ __ of affliction.”

These Christians knew what it meant to suffer for Christ, and it strengthened their faith!

b.     According to 2 Corinthians 8:2, they gave out of “D__ __ __ P__ __ __ __ __ __.”

They were not just poor, they were extremely poor.  But even with such limitations they gave with “an abundance of joy” and that giving “abounded unto…riches” (verse 2).

2.     They gave beyond their ability.

a.     According to 2 Corinthians 8:3, they gave “to their P__ __ __ __.”  That is, they gave according to their ability.

 

 

b.     And above this they gave “B__ __ __ __ __ their power,” that is, beyond their ability to give. How?

By faith! Their burden to give was so great that they gave beyond their ability to take care of themselves and God supplied their need.

3.     They gave more than money.

According to 2 Corinthians 8:5, what did the Macedonians first give to the Lord?

T__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __.  Here is a group of totally committed Christians; they are holding back nothing from God.

4.     They gave willingly.

The Apostle Paul is encouraging the Corinthian Christians to follow the Macedonian’s example.  In verse 8 he says, “I speak not by commandment;” it is a willful offering and not one that is commanded.

a.               How much are you to give?  According to 2 Cor. 9:7, “Every man according as he P__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ in his heart, so let him give….” You determine the amount.

b.                With what attitude are you to give?

According to 2 Corinthians 9:7, “not

G__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __” but as a

“C__ __ __ __ __ __ __ giver.”

5.     Their giving proved the sincerity of their love (2 Corinthians 8:8).

It was an act of worship toward God in response to the great gift that Jesus gave them (2 Corinthians 8:9).

6.     Their giving was effective; it enabled the Gospel to go to the “R__ __ __ __ __ __ B__ __ __ __ __,” (2 Corinthians 10:16).

D.     God Blesses a Missions-minded Church.

 

 

Read: Philippians 4:14-19

1.     Which church helped Paul financially?

The church at P__ __ __ __ __ __ __

2.     What abounded to the heavenly account of this church? F__ __ __ __

3.     What did God promise to supply for this church? A__ __ their N__ __ __ __.

 

VII.   YOU CAN PRODUCE A MISSIONARY!

Where do missionaries come from?  They are somebody’s grown up boys and girls!  During their formative years someone encouraged these young people to give their lives to Christ in a sacrificial way, and in the fertile soil of their hearts they planted a vision.  A mom and dad, a pastor and Sunday School teacher, a faithful church – all worked together to raise a missionary.  What did they do?  What can you do?

A.     Live a vibrant Christian life yourself!

B.     Make church a priority.

Serve Christ through His church so your children will understand that this is essential to Christian living.

C.     Entertain pastors and missionaries in your home.

Your children will interact with these precious people; they will laugh together and hear their interesting stories.  Most importantly, your children will learn how God’s servants view life.

D.     Support your church leadership.

Children who constantly hear the church leadership criticized will develop distaste for the ministry.

E.     Encourage your children to enter the ministry should God call them.

Parents can discourage their children from full-time ministry.  They may even do that for selfish reasons wanting their children and grandchildren living nearby. “Someone else can go,” they counsel.

 

 

F.     Lay up treasures in heaven and not on earth.

Your materialism may distract them.  They can develop an appetite for what you have.

 

TEN LITTLE MISSIONARIES

 

Ten little missionaries heard God’s call divine;

Mom steered her child away from it—

“Enough,” she said, “is nine.”

 

Nine little missionaries to reach a world of hate;

Dad wanted his son an athlete and

Cared not God had but eight.

 

Eight little missionaries to point the way to Heaven;

“Children make mistakes,” shrugged one,

“God must need only seven.”

 

Seven little missionaries, then one began to mix

With peers backslidden and far from God;

Of course, the count turned six.

 

Six future missionaries to preach “Christ is Alive!”

One’s goal became the dollar, and

That left only five.

 

Five future missionaries to open salvation’s door;

One claimed, “I lost my burden.”

And left the world with four.

 

Four future missionaries from sin to set men free;

To one, sin became a pleasure, so

Those willing then were three.

 

 

 

Three future missionaries had glorious plans in view;

But after Satan’s sifting trials,

The faithful numbered two.

 

Two faithful missionaries, when at first ten begun;

One gained a wife who would not go

And that left God with one.

 

One little missionary, who heard God’s call divine,

Left all to serve His Savior

Unlike the other nine.

 

Nine chosen missionaries – each with his own reason

Why to his call he was not instant,

In and out of season.

 

Now God searches to and fro – nine vacant spots to fill.

He urges, “Who will go for Me?”

And waits to hear, “I will.”

 

Try to commit Mark 16:15 to memory.

 

VIII. WHAT ABOUT THOSE WHO HAVE NEVER HEARD?

Billions of people have never heard about Christ!  Is God being fair?  Are the people who have never heard of Christ really lost?  If the Gospel is “good news” why is it such a secret to so many?  What is our responsibility toward those who have never heard?  These are serious issues; they demand Bible answers!

A.     People must hear that Jesus Christ is the ONLY way to heaven.

(John 14:6) “Jesus saith unto him, I am the __ __ __, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, B __ __ B__ M__.”

(Acts 4:12) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for

 

 

there is N__ __ __ O__ __ __ __ name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

This isn’t bigotry; it is truth.  It isn’t narrow-minded for an aerospace engineer to propose that the only way to fly to the moon is by spacecraft, not by hang glider.  Nor is it scientific bigotry to say that gasoline can burn but water cannot.  These issues are matters of truth, not of prejudice.  This same logic applies to salvation.  Jesus is the only way!

A Common Absurdity

Some have presented the argument that if an unbeliever never hears the Gospel, never has the opportunity to trust Christ as Savior, then God will take him to heaven.  This teaching is wrong; it is against the Scripture, and it is absurd.  If this was true then the most effective way to evangelize the world is to disobey the Scriptures.  Burn all the Bibles, destroy the churches, kill all the Christians, and in one generation everyone will be saved because they will all be in ignorance.  Jesus then did not come to “seek and to save that which was lost,” He actually came “to seek and lose that which was saved” – because He told them the truth and therefore succeeded in condemning their souls.  The crucifixion was not an act of love, but the most diabolical, heinous act that God could commit. Then Satan, who tried to kill the Christ-child in Bethlehem, was actually the benevolent one who attempted to save the world by keeping it ignorant of the Savior.

B.     Isn’t it enough to be sincere?

Sincerity will not fill the gap when there is a lack of skill or knowledge – sincerity won’t pass a college entrance exam, it doesn’t win an automobile race, it doesn’t fix a software problem, and it doesn’t pay your mortgage bill. Sincerity is important, but it’s not an adequate

 

 

substitute for knowing the truth.

Jesus said we must worship Him in “spirit and in

T__ __ __ __” (John 4:24).

C.     Isn’t God being unfair?

Do people who have not heard about Jesus Christ today have a legitimate complaint against God?

Man NEVER has a legitimate complaint against God! Sinful man is not in the position to judge the holy God. In Romans 1:18-25 Paul emphasizes man’s accountability for what God has revealed.

God has revealed Himself in several ways:

1.               Through His written revelation, the Bible.

2.               Through creation (Romans 1:20; Psalm 19:1) – this provides enough revelation for men to know that God does exist as a wise, powerful, glorious Being.

3.               Through conscience (Romans 1:19; 2:14- 15) – those without a written revelation have a moral law written in their hearts, that is, a consciousness of right and wrong.  Conscience reveals the existence of God and, to some extent, the nature of God. According to Romans 9:14-24, God is perfectly fair in the way He treats us.

What has God revealed?

a.               His wrath (Rom. 1:18) – allowing us to see the moral character of God.

b.                His eternal power (1:20)

c.                His Godhead (1:20) – His absolute supremacy, He is in charge

d.                His Glory (Psalm 19:1) – the composite of all

His attributes

The conclusion is “so that they are without excuse.”

D.     How will the heathen be judged?

People will not be judged because they did not hear

 

 

about Christ, but because they have rebelled against the knowledge they did have about God.  God will judge men according to the light they have received.

Read Luke 12:47-48 and Romans 2:12.

E.     If God is love, how can He condemn someone to hell?

God is just and God is love, these attributes do not contradict each other.  His love must be just, and His justice must be love.  It is not love to allow murderers to run loose on the streets, nor is it just to arrest the innocent.  Expect to see all of God’s attributes on display in His treatment of mankind.

F.     Why doesn’t God shout the truth from every mountaintop so all can be saved?

He is allowing humanity to reap the results of its own rebellion against Him. He has chosen to use people to reach people.

G.    Are we responsible for the spread of the Gospel to the entire world?

Absolutely yes! Read Romans 10:13-15.

“[A]nd how shall they hear without a

P__ __ __ __ __ __ __?”  This is where some people’s responsibility lies.  They must go!

“And how shall they preach, except T__ __ __ be

S__ __ __?”  This is where others' responsibility lies. They must send men to the mission field.  Should we feel responsible?  Yes we should!