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Thursday: The World: The Arena of Mission — 8 Comments

  1. At our General Conference sessions, we often bask in the glow of our statisticians' reports about how many Seventh-day Adventist Church members there are, how many countries we are active in, and so on. With my mathematical background, I often have a wry smile to myself about this somewhat blatant misuse of statistics. I am reminded of the person who drowned crossing a river with an average depth of 6 inches!

    Relying on statistics for confirmation of success is risky business when it comes to faith.

    Jesus told a parable recorded in Luke that starts with the searching question:

    Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? Luke 18:8 last part KJV

    Here is the parable:

    Then he told this story to some who boasted of their virtue and scorned everyone else:

    “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a proud, self-righteous Pharisee, and the other a cheating tax collector. The proud Pharisee ‘prayed’ this prayer: ‘Thank God, I am not a sinner like everyone else, especially like that tax collector over there! For I never cheat, I don’t commit adultery, I go without food twice a week, and I give to God a tenth of everything I earn.’

    “But the corrupt tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed, but beat upon his chest in sorrow, exclaiming, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner.’ I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home forgiven! For the proud shall be humbled, but the humble shall be honored.” Luke 18:10-14 TLB

    Are we going into all the world as proud Pharisees or humble forgiven tax collectors?

    • Your point Maurice speaks to our “rich and increased with goods” laodicean condition. Because of man’s sinful condition, I believe all knowledge comes with a catch 22. We consider that the more knowledge we have, including knowledge of the truth, the better. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”. Hosea 4:6. However, the more knowledge we have, or think we have, the greater the danger to be puffed up by it. This undermines our witness for the Lord, the foundation of which is humility. “Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies”. 1 Corinthians 8:1. May the Lord save us from ourselves.

  2. "If we accept the truth as it is in Jesus, national prejudices and jealousies will be broken down, and the spirit of truth will blend our hearts into one." This is a tremendous and fitting idea for the present moment (although it was probably written months ago). The mission left for Christians on this planet is to be filled and spread the Love of God for His creatures in all corners of this planet, either close or far.

  3. To me, the fact that the Apostle John first only hears the number of the 144,000 and also 12,000 from each tribe of Israel but does not see them but then turns and sees a numberless multitude that are "Holy and flawless" etc., means to me that they are "One and the same group of saved people" from every kindred and nation and people. And also because the entire 22 chapters of the book of Revelation are 22 Chapters of "Symbolic Prophecy" I go on to concur that it is very much the same saved group of people before Jesus comes to claim them all as saved for eternity.

  4. When our Lord and Savior gave the go-ahead to take the Gospel into all lands, it was done for the purpose to expose all peoples to the Word of God - it’s Light and Life to be found within. When carried to all corners of the world, the Holy Spirit will work to increase the Word’s power to change lives.

    There is still the opportunity for the Gospel to travel to uncharted waters, though most populated places have received by now the life-changing, all powerful message that humanity has one Creator and Jesus Christ is His Son. The remaining mission effort is like that of Paul in his days - planting seeds of faith in God’s Word and to encourage people to steadfastly embrace their new faith.

    Supporting the efforts of the local congregations to further THEIR outreach into their communities, neighboring regions and especially reaching into areas difficult to be reached by ‘foreigner’ is where I see the bulk of the mission work to take place; undergirding all efforts with the unwavering commitment that we will always come alongside the efforts of the fledgling families of new believers. We are not an ‘invading’ force, we all belong to the same family - being brothers and sisters IN Christ Jesus.

  5. I agree with the three stage approach to mission, but it is a collective mission. Many of the followers of Jesus never left their initial area, whether Jerusalem or elsewhere. The same is true for us. But the church as a whole has a mission to the whole world.

  6. That this collection of the redeemed are from every people group around the world, means that the gospel of Jesus is relevant and life changing for anyone. We somehow need to grasp His power in our own individual contexts. We need to live authentically. We need to have our own testimony of being made a 'new creature' (II Cor. 5:17). Our enthusiasm for our Savior can ignite the faith of a person who may have nothing in common with us culturally, God be praised.

  7. To accomplish the mission of God, the church needs to "Mission-Centric".
    1. Focus the church on mission
    2. Spend the church's money on Mission
    3. Train the church to do Mission.
    **To look for opportunities in theie immediate environment
    4. Task particular officers to monitor the process.
    **Put our money, energy, time and resources where our mouth is.


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