Christ did not establish His church in order for it to simply care for itself.
Jesus’ parting words focused upon the church’s mission. Christ’s intention is for His church to look beyond itself. He established it to share the light of His love and the message of His salvation with the world.
Read and summarize the following texts. How does each passage reveal Jesus’ heart desire for His church?
Once Christ ascended to heaven, His church was to be a visible manifestation of His love and grace to the world. The disciples had a mission. They had a message to share. They had a task to complete. They were to carry on the work that He began.
“The church is God’s appointed agency for the salvation of men. It was organized for service, and its mission is to carry the gospel to the world. From the beginning it has been God’s plan that through His church shall be reflected to the world His fullness and His sufficiency. The members of the church, those whom He has called out of darkness into His marvelous light, are to show forth His glory. The church is the repository of the riches of the grace of Christ; and through the church will eventually be made manifest, even to ‘the principalities and powers in heavenly places,’ the final and full display of the love of God.Ephesians 3:10.”-Ellen G. White, The Acts of the Apostles, p. 9.
The burden of Jesus’ heart is the salvation of the human race. The apostle Paul wrote to his young friend Timothy that it is the Savior’s desire that “all . . . be saved and . . . come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4, NKJV). The apostle Peter adds that the Lord is “longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9, NKJV).
What in your life shows your interest in outreach to others? Or does anything show it? What does your answer tell you about yourself and your priorities?