The Mandate For Missions
By James Merritt
1. I want to begin by asking a question: How many of you here are Christians? What I mean by that is not that you have joined the church, not that you have been baptized, not that you try to live a good life; but you have repented of your sins, by faith acknowledged Jesus Christ as God's Son, accepted His death on the cross as payment for your sins, and totally committed your life to Him as your Lord and Savior.
2. Now my second question is this: How many of you are missionaries? Now be very careful, because if you responded to the first question, but not to the second question, then you ought to be embarrassed. Because a Christian and a missionary
are really the same thing.
3. What is a missionary? Webster's dictionary defines a missionary as "a person sent on a mission, especially on a religious mission." Well by that definition every Christian is a missionary. Because every Christian is here on a mission.
That mission has been defined for us in II Corinthians 5.
"Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God.
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (vv. 18-21)
It has been well said that every person on earth is either a missionary or a mission field.
4. Have you ever thought about the last words Jesus ever said before he ascended into heaven? Did you know that the last words Jesus ever uttered while he was on this earth were these: "to the end of the earth." (Acts 1:8) When Jesus left this earth He had missions on his mind. Jesus came as a missionary from heaven that he might make us missionaries for heaven. Since we are celebrating our first world missions' conference, I would like to raise an answer to three questions:
5. The first question is: Why hold a conference for missions? Well, the first reason is information. We need to learn what we are doing for missions, where we are doing mission work, and how we can personally get involved.
6. I believe that many of us are woefully ignorant of our responsibility to missions and the great heritage that we have as Southern Baptists in taking the gospel around the world.
7. I heard about a pastor who asked his WMU Director to visit a new Baptist family that had just moved into town. After the visit was over she came back and said, "Pastor, you won't believe this!" She said, "When I began to talk to this lady I asked her who Annie Armstrong was, and who Lottie Moon was, and she told me she had never he ...
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