World missions – What does the Bible say?
Though the Bible alludes to missions worldwide, the words "world missions" do not appear. God surely is missions-minded (Luke 19:10) and extends His love throughout the world (John 3:16).
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God, as Scripture shows, created all people, cares about all people, and desires that all people be saved through their knowledge and acceptance of the truth about Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 2:4). World missions, the sharing of the gospel to every nation and every people-group, is part of God's plan and charge to His people (Isaiah 9:2; Acts 1:8).
In the Great Commission, Jesus calls for His disciples to "make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19), and in Acts 1:8 He tells His followers that they will "… be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and the to the end of the earth."
Paul's work to establish and build up churches took him throughout much of Europe. He wrote, "… I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else's foundation, but as it is written, 'Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand'" (Romans 15:20–21). The book of Acts shows the missionary work, the world missions, of the early disciples and followers of Jesus.
Because every person is infected with sin and deserves the punishment of death (Romans 3:23; 6:23), each person needs to hear and respond to the good news that Jesus came to offer Himself as the sacrifice for their sins, died on the cross, and then rose from the dead in victory over sin and death. "How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, 'How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!'" (Romans 10:14–15). World missions is a valid response to God's love for all people and His desire that all come to know Him through Christ (1 Timothy 2:4).
We know that people from all nations, or people groups, will be represented in heaven (Revelation 21:22–27). Even when the angels announced the birth of Jesus they declared that the birth of the Savior would cause "great joy that will be for all the people" (Luke 2:10). When we take part in sharing the gospel, by sharing the Good News with someone or by helping others to go to share the gospel to people far away, we are fulfilling what Isaiah wrote in Isaiah 52:7: "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, 'Your God reigns.'"
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