Embracing God's Missions from Genesis to Today
God is a missionary God.
Some people believe that “missions” began in the New Testament when Jesus told his disciples to go. However, the concept of missions was established in the very beginning.
“Now the Lord said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’ “ Genesis 12:1
God made a promise to Abram: Go and I will bless you so you can bless others. The people of Israel were to be God’s missionaries to the world. Consequently, so are all who claim to be children of God because they are spiritual descendants of Abram. And guess what? The mission has not changed. Children of God are still blessed, to be a blessing with the mandate to share the Gospel.
In somewhat modern times, it seemed like no one knew this better than Billy Graham, especially when he started preaching internationally. He wanted to see all evangelicals unite together to refocus and reframe Christian mission in the world. He understood the blessed to be a blessing mandate.
In 1974, over 2,400 people from 150 nations gathered in Lausanne, Switzerland and formed the First International Congress on World Evangelization. This became known as the Lausanne Movement and the blessed to be a blessing was seemingly expressed in the following key statement, "The whole church taking the whole gospel to the whole world.”
The whole church includes the entire body of Christ. The whole gospel, the Good News of Jesus makes us right with God and consequently effects how we treat, value, and love others. The whole world includes every home, community and continent. And scripture makes it clear that ALL believers are called to action because they are blessed to be a blessing!
Evangelism is the heartbeat of our missionary God. Is it yours?