What is “missions” anyway? I suppose most people would equate the missions enterprise with evangelism. It is about preaching the gospel in order to get conversions, we might think.
Now, this conception of missions is largely correct. It is certainly about evangelism. But, it also about more than this. Biblically speaking, the missions task is about the spread of the Kingdom of God. It is about the spread of God’s reign, his rule, his dominion, to the ends of the earth.
And as God’s Kingdom advances, the world is changed. People submit to his rule. Business practices follow the teachings of Scripture. Marriages are renewed and revived. Vocations are pursued for the glory of God.
In short, missions is about rolling back the curse that was begun with Adam and Eve at the Fall.
One of my favorite scenes in C.S. Lewis’ The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe is when the White Witch can no longer ride in her sleigh because the snow is melting. The melting snow is a sign of the advance of Aslan’s Kingdom. It is a rolling back of the curse of the White Witch and her perpetual winter. It is a picture of how Aslan is on the move.
And that is what happens with missions. It is God on the move.
A week ago, I had the privilege of doing a weekend missions conference for Chestnut Mountain Presbyterian, just outside of Atlanta. I gave three sermons on missions, but the first one (Mark 1:14-20) started with this very theme, namely the coming of the Kingdom of God.
Here are the three messages. For more, see the link on the CMPC website.
March 14, 2014 Worship Service
“The Basis for Missions” Mark 1:14-20
March 15, 2014 Worship Service
The Call to Missions” Jonah 1:1-4
March 16, 2014 Worship Service
“The Marks of a Missionary” 1 Cor 16:5-11