The glory and goal of missions

“Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, ‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!’ And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!’” (Revelation 5:11-13)

Have you ever seen those pictures that make you cross your eyes and make funny faces in order to try and see the hidden three-dimensional (3-D) image? When you first see these pictures, the variety of the colors and the detail of the individual shapes distract your focus from seeing the hidden image; however, when you look through the image and focus on the big picture, rather than the individual images, then the hidden image emerges (or it’s supposed to).

If we’re not careful, life can be like looking at those 3-D images. At least, that’s what people mean when they say, “You can’t see the forest for the trees.” Sometimes we’re so focused on the smaller details of life that we fail to see the “big” picture. The same thing happens in the church. We won’t understand our mission if we don’t first see the big picture. The details of our mission help us answer the who, what, when, where and how questions. When we think about the big picture, though, then we are asking the “why” question—why do we do evangelism and missions? If you try to answer the why question by merely looking at the details, your answer will be incomplete or possibly even skewed. You won’t see the forest for the trees.

The Big Picture

Although the book of Revelation seems difficult to understand, it offers a clear message about the glory of God and his power to bring about his plan in history no matter how bad the present circumstances (the details) may appear to his people. By looking around us it seems like the world is falling apart, yet Revelation 4 reminds us that God is still on his throne. Additionally, in Revelation 5, we see that there is only one who is able to accomplish God’s saving plan—the one whom God has placed beside him on his throne: Jesus Christ, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David (Revelation 5:5), the Lamb that was slain (Revelation 5:9, 12). 

Jesus purchased a people for God from every tribe, language and nation, making them a kingdom of priests to God (Revelation 5:9-10). Our role in this plan is to make disciples of all nations (the details) in order that those who presently do not worship Jesus Christ may become worshipers of the one true and living God (the big picture). 

So, the ultimate reason we do missions is the glory of God in Christ—that Christ would become famous in all the world as the treasure most worthy to be prized and praised. But the glory of God in Christ is not just the goal of mission, it is also the rule for mission. When we understand that we make disciples of all nations to the glory of God in Christ, we should be moved to share Christ with everyone the Lord brings into our lives—whether across the street or across the world.

The Details

We share the gospel with our unbelieving family, friends, neighbors, acquaintances and co-workers (evangelism) that God may be glorified in Christ Jesus. We pray for, give to and go on mission preaching the gospel to all the world so that those who presently do not worship God, in Christ, by the power of the Spirit, may become true worshipers in spirit and in truth. It is our privilege to participate in God’s eternal plan to exalt Jesus as King and Lord over all things by sharing the gospel and calling all peoples everywhere to repent and believe in King

So, share the good news of Jesus with unbelievers as the Spirit gives you opportunity and pray for missionaries who are serving throughout the world. But don’t stop there. Help send missionaries to peoples who do not know Jesus. Consider GOING—whether short-term, mid-term, or for life. However we engage, may the glory of God fuel our evangelism and missions. 

“To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever” (Revelation 5:13)! 

juan sanchez
Recording Secretary, SBTC
Juan Sanchez
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