by Jerry Vines

Portrait of a Missionary
Jerry Vines
Romans 15:18-21

We are moving along in our study of the book of Romans and god willing in just a little while now we will complete our study of this wonderful, wonderful book in the Bible.

Romans 15 - some very personal words from the Apostle Paul this morning and I believe they have a message for every one of us. These very personal words from the heart of the Apostle Paul let us know that he was not only a great soulwinner, but he was also a great missionary. Of course, there is a sense in which both of these are the same. Every person who knows Jesus as Savior ought to be a soulwinner. Every person who knows Christ as their Savior ought to be a missionary seeking to take the Gospel to others. Wherever you are you ought to be winning souls to Jesus and wherever you are - that is your mission field - that's where God has placed you to carry the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

There is a wider sense that a missionary is different. A missionary, in the wider sense, is someone who has been called of God and sent out by a local congregation of believers into another place. I believe a missionary is absolutely essential in order to fulfill the great commission of Jesus. Jesus said "go ye therefore into all the world and make disciples." It's impossible for me to go to all the world, literally. It is impossible for this church to go to all the world, literally. But we can obey the commandment of Christ as we pray and as we give and as we send others to tell this world about the Lord Jesus.

Some congregations make the mistake of being local in concern only. Other congregations make the mistake of being global only. If a church is only local in its concern, then it's selfish. If a church is only global in it's concern, then it is inconsistent. But what God wants us to do is to have a heart for our local place of service and have a heart for the world that the whole world might come to know Jesus as their Savior.

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