Why All Christians Should Give to Missions
All Christians should give to missions in one form or another. Why?
Because the core of the Christian faith is to share the gospel and make disciples who can then teach and share the message with others so it continues to spread, as 2 Timothy 2:2 lays out. This is the modus operandi of Jesus – using his followers to multiply more followers. In the Bible, this is how the gospel spread from just a handful of people in the upper room across the Roman empire in a matter of decades.
Giving to missions is what makes it possible to sustain this work.
There are many ways to give to missions, so this is not to say everyone must give to global missions or to iBAM. You can give to missions through your church. You can give to local missions organizations reaching communities around you. But every Christian should be participating in the spread of the gospel somewhere, because that is the heartbeat of the Holy Spirit.
Missions are the reason the Spirit was given to the disciples, as Acts 1:8 makes clear. They were given power to be witnesses of Jesus to the ends of the earth. We have that same power.
Missions are the best and often only way to reach people who have never heard the gospel, especially in other countries.
Missions – How to Reach Those Who Haven’t Heard the Gospel
Probably the most succinct description in the Bible of the imperative to give to missions can be found in Romans 10:13-15, which reads as follows in the NT Transline:
Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved. How then may they call upon the one in whom they did not believe? And how may they believe the one whom they did not hear? And how may they hear without one proclaiming? And how may they proclaim if they are not sent forth? Just as it has been written (in Isaiah 52:7), “How beautiful are the ones announcing good news of good things.”
To believe in and follow Jesus, a person must be told about the message of repentance and salvation from someone else. In many cases, the only way that happens is if that person – the one proclaiming – has been sent forth by others.
Who does the sending?
The people who give and support the ones going into the mission field.
In other words, not everyone can go to the mission field. But everyone can participate in it through giving and prayer, and this is how God wants his kingdom to operate. Everyone has a role. Every part of his body the church gets to use its talents, gifts, and abilities to help spread the gospel.
For some, that means actually going into the mission field. For most, it means giving to support those people, so they can devote all their time and energy to reaching the lost, knowing that their basic needs are being provided for.
God Cares about Filling His HouseThe theme of gathering and filling God’s kingdom appears all through the Bible. Jesus spoke about it many times, sometimes directly and other times in parables. He compares the kingdom of heaven to a big net gathering fish, a mustard seed growing and giving life and shade to many, a wedding banquet filled with guests, and a place where everyone is invited. In a parable in Luke 14, Jesus tells a story of a wealthy man inviting guests to a big dinner at his home. He invites many, and gives them plenty of advance notice. But as the date nears, his guests start making excuses for why they can’t come. They are too distracted by the cares and worries of life. The master gets angry when they keep canceling. But he doesn’t cancel the party, and he doesn’t eat all the food himself. Instead, he tells his servant to go out and invite other people – the poor, crippled, blind, and lame. That is an accurate description of everyone’s spiritual condition, as Revelation 3:17 makes clear. So, God, represented by the master inviting people to his dinner, wants everyone to come, no matter their spiritual condition. He simply wants people to respond, believe, and follow, and he will clean them up. After this invitation, when he realizes there is still room, he tells his servant again to go out, and this time invite anyone he finds on the sides of the road. Why? “So that my house may be filled.” That’s God’s heart – to fill his house with anyone who will respond to his invitation and become disciples who want to follow him and be with him. And how does this happen?
Why You Should Give to Missions
First, look to the parable. Notice that the master doesn’t invite people himself. He tells his servant to go out and find people to invite. Who is his servant?
That’s us. We should always be looking for people to invite into God’s kingdom. But the missionary makes it their full time work to do this. They are “sent out” with the good news. And they must be supported by people like us out of what God has given us.
Jesus says in Matthew 4:19:
Come after me, and I will make your fishermen of people. (NT Transline)
This is every Christian’s job. We don’t follow God just to follow him. We do it in part so he can transform us into people who will reach out to others and try to bring them along with us.
And this brings us back to Romans 10:15:
And how may they proclaim if they are not sent forth?
Everyone needs to hear the message of the gospel. But to hear it, someone has to invite them to the feast.
In some countries, finding a Christian is a rare experience. The bulk of the culture in many nations has nothing to do with Christianity, and many people know very little, if anything, about the Bible or the basic message of salvation and discipleship.
To bring the good news to these people, someone must be “sent forth.”
To do that requires money and provision. Again, not everyone can go into the full time mission field. But everyone can participate. And if we truly seek FIRST God’s kingdom as Jesus commands in Matthew 6:33, we know that this is the most important task that has been given to us.
In Matthew, Jesus promises that all our needs will be met if we do this:
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (NAS)
This isn’t prosperity gospel. This is simply Jesus promising to take care of us if we put his kingdom first. And one way we do that is by giving to missions. When we do that, people we will never meet will hear the gospel and be invited to God’s kingdom by someone we have sent – through our giving – to go tell them.
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