Imagine over 6,000 people groups — spanning billions of individual people — who have yet to even hear that God loves them. Some of them have never even heard the name of Jesus.
Meanwhile, Jesus has given us, as His followers, a clear command: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, HCSB).
We call this command the “Great Commission” and the Gospel the “good news” of what God has done in Christ. We owe this Gospel to the world. As Paul said in Romans 1:14, we are “obligated” to tell the nations this good news. Believers this side of heaven owe the Gospel to lost men and women this side of hell.
But do we really believe Jesus was serious in His commission to us? And do our actions, our decisions, our use of resources and our lives show that we are serious about getting the Gospel to people who have never heard it?
“The Gospel is only good news if it gets there in time,” Christian theologian Carl Henry said.
In order to get the Gospel to people all over the planet on time, the IMB is focused on exalting Christ, mobilizing Christians, serving the church and completing the Great Commission.
More than anything else, we want to exalt Jesus Christ in everything we say, think and do. Jesus must be at the center of any mission strategy. After all, the beauty of the Great Commission is that Christ promises to be the One who will accomplish this mission through us. “Remember,” He said, “I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20, HCSB).
We exalt Christ when we trust His Word. God’s Word is the authority for what we believe and how we operate. Our aim in missions is not to come up with plans and ask God to bless them, but to align with the plan He has already promised to bless. That plan is to make disciples and multiply churches in all nations, and we exalt Christ when we obey His plan.
More than we want our own lives, we want the glory of Christ among all nations. We’re captivated by a vision of Him high and lifted up, receiving the praise He is due from all the peoples of the earth. His exaltation is what drives us in our mission.
In order to exalt Christ, we must see our lives as uniquely designed and ultimately blessed for this purpose. The reason why we have breath, and the reason why we have the Gospel, is to make His grace and His glory known to the ends of the earth. That means that global mission is not a compartmentalized program in the church for a select few who are called to that. Instead, global mission is the purpose for which each one of us was created.
Throughout the history of the International Mission Board, 20,000 missionaries have been sent out — and we praise God for that! But we need 20,000 right now. And our task is too great not to be thinking like that. Such thinking is not idealistic. It’s imperative.
IMB desires to help followers of Christ with different skills and gifts, in different locations, with different jobs, all realizing that we have a role to play in the global mission of God.
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SOURCE: Baptist Press