A Biblical Mandate for Missions

Definition of Missions:
Task on which God sends a person that He has called, particularly a mission to introduce another group of people to salvation in Christ. In the Christian context the person sent is called a missionary. This person is charged with the task of spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ to people to whom he is sent. The mission of the churches is to send our missionaries to all parts of the world until everyone has had the opportunity to hear the message of Jesus and accept Him as Lord.  (Compton)

Where do we find the Biblical mandate for Missions?

1. The Great Commission

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.
-Matthew 28:19-20

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.
-Acts 1:8

Did God’s concern for other nations and people groups change?  No, the commission that Jesus gave to take the gospel to all nations is founded in the Old Testament.

2. The Promise to Abraham

And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
-Genesis 12:2,3

And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;
-Genesis 26:4

Jesus shown as a great light to those in darkness.  He is the ultimate fulfilment of God’s promise to Abraham that in his seed all the nations of the earth would be blessed.  God blessed Israel in order for them to be a blessing.  As God revealed Himself to Israel through the prophets, they were to be a blessing to other nations by sharing the truth of God.

3. Psalm 96:2-4 “Declare His Glory among the heathen”

Sing unto the Lord, Bless His name, Shew forth His salvation from day to day. (v.2)  God desired that His people would sing praise to His name.  He desired that they would display His salvation.  The Psalmist understood that.  He understood that God alone is worthy of our worship.

Declare His glory among the heathen, His wonders among all people. (v.3)  Not only did he recognize the necessity of worshiping God, he acknowledged the responsibility of declaring God’s glory among the heathen.

Because He is Great, He is to be praised, He is to be feared above all gods. (v.4)  Verse 4. gives the why behind verses 1-3.  God is to be praised because He is great and to be feared above all gods (the idols worshiped by other people groups).

The psalm goes on to discuss God’s strength, His holiness, His judgement.  In verse 10 we see further explanation of the message that Israel was to declare to the heathen nations.

Say among the heathen that the LORD reigneth: the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved: he shall judge the people righteously.
-Psalm 96:10

Why are we as believers today to be concerned with missions?

First, Obedience.  We should be concerned with missions because of Jesus’ command in Matthew 28 and Acts 1.

Second, We should be concerend with missions because we have been blessed and should share that blessing with others.

Third, We should be concerned about missions because God is great, He is to be praised, He is to be feared above all gods.


Work Cited:

Bob Compton, “Mission(s),” ed. Chad Brand et al., Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2003), 1140.


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