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What scripture passages deal specifically with missions?



    
    

Clarify Share Report Asked 6 days ago Mini Diane long

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Mini Grant Abbott Child of Father, Follower of Son, Student of Spirit
Firstly, I want to make sure we are talking about the same thing when we use the word "missions." According to Wikipedia, a Christian mission is an organised effort to spread Christianity. Missions often involve sending individuals and groups, called missionaries, across boundaries, most commonly geographical boundaries, for the purpose of proselytism (conversion to Christianity).

That being said, following are some selected verses to instruct us on the importance of spreading Christianity, by proclaiming the gospel message about Jesus Christ everywhere, and encouraging people to accept Jesus as their personal Saviour and Lord, thereby becoming Christians - his followers. 

In my view, the most important and instructive verses are in Matthew 28:19-20, commonly called the Great Commission.
"Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

The twelve apostles were originally given this mission by Jesus, but every church of every generation has been commissioned with the same task.

Jesus said "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8). On the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was poured out, Peter preached his first sermon, those who accepted his message were baptized, and about 3,000 were added to the church that day (see Acts 2:1-41).

In Matthew 16:15-19 there is an important exchange between Jesus and Peter. Jesus asks his disciples "Who do you say I am?" Peter responds "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." Then Jesus replied "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." The early church interpreted this passage in a way that made Peter the leader of the church and gave him the power (the keys) to control and build the church on earth. The Roman Catholic church holds this view and believes that every Pope is the spiritual descendent of Peter.

However, I don't believe this is what Jesus meant. The "rock" that Jesus was referring to was not the "physical human being called Peter" but, in fact, it was Peter's DECLARATION OF FAITH that Jesus was the Son of God and Saviour of the World. Jesus was going to build his church every time the apostles (and every other missionary) proclaimed the gospel message and declared that Jesus, the sinless Son of God, is the Saviour of the World; so put your faith in him. The keys that Jesus was referring to was not the power and authority to control the church, but rather, the keys were the gospel message. Whenever, the gospel message was proclaimed, the kingdom of heaven was opened for everyone who believed. If and when the church stopped proclaiming the gospel [many churches today never preach the gospel message], the kingdom of heaven would be closed to everyone that God was calling to receive his salvation. The eternal destiny of everyone whom God had chosen to receive his salvation depended on the church proclaiming the gospel message about Jesus.

Peter used his keys to open the kingdom of heaven to the country of Samaria (Acts 8:4-25) and then to all the Gentiles in the whole world (Acts 10:1-48), just as Jesus had prophesied in Matthew 28:19-20.

The entire book of Acts is a detailed record of the missionary activity of the early church through Peter, James, John, Stephen, Paul, Barnabas, Silas, Timothy and many others. Jesus started with 12 apostles; in this generation he has nearly 2 billion followers.

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