- Ecclesiastes 12:9-11 And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he gave good heed, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs. The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth. The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.
Why use the quotes and sayings of others? Notice what Solomon, the wisest man in the Bible had to say.
I have accumulated a vast wealth of sayings and proverbs and acceptable words and words of truth.
They are as goads – they motivate and prompt me; they stir me; they propel me forward
They are nails fastened by the masters of assemblies – they make things unmovable and they stick with me
We are starting our Missions Conference on Wednesday night.
Why Missions? you may ask.
If I could line up a host of veteran missionaries and let them answer that question, these are the things that you would hear.
If we were to ask them Why Missions? , here is what they would say.
I. BECAUSE OF THE GREAT COMMISSION – see Matt. 28:18-20
Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
“God is a God of missions. He wills missions. He commands missions. He demands missions. He made missions possible through His Son. He made missions actual in sending the Holy Spirit.” — George W. Peters
“If a commission by an earthly king is considered a honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice? Sympathy is no substitute for action.” — David Livingstone, missionary to Africa
“Can’t you do just a little bit more?” — J.G. Morrison pleading with Christians in the 1930’s Great Depression to support their missionaries “We are debtors to every man to give him the gospel in the same measure in which we have received it.”
Hudson Taylor, missionary to China
God isn’t looking for people of great faith, but for individuals ready to follow Him. If I had 1,000 lives, I’d give them all for China. God uses men who are weak and feeble enough to lean on him. God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply. The Great Commission is not an option to be considered; it is a command to be obeyed.
William Carey, missionary to India
“Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God. To know the will of God, we need an open Bible and an open map. Is not the commission of our Lord still binding upon us? Can we not do more than now we are doing?”
“The Bible is not the basis of missions; missions is the basis of the Bible” — Ralph Winter, missiologist
“God was the first ever missionary when in Genesis 3:8 he went out in search of two sinners who had rebelled against Him in order to bring them back into fellowship with Him.”
“The command has been to ‘go,’ but we have stayed — in body, gifts, prayer and influence. He has asked us to be witnesses unto the uttermost parts of the earth … but 99% of Christians have kept puttering around in the homeland.” — Robert Savage, Latin American Mission
“Tell the students to give up their small ambitions and come eastward to preach the gospel of Christ.” — Francis Xavier, missionary to India, the Philippines, and Japan
“The mark of a great church is not its seating capacity, but its sending capacity.” — Mike Stachura
“The true greatness of any church in not how many it seats but how many it sends!” — Unknown
“Only as the church fulfills her missionary obligation does she justify her existence.” — Unknown
“Never pity missionaries; envy them. They are where the real action is — where life and death, sin and grace, Heaven and Hell converge.” — Robert C. Shannon
“I have but one passion: It is He, it is He alone. The world is the field and the field is the world; and henceforth that country shall be my home where I can be most used in winning souls for Christ.” — Count Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf
“If you take missions out of the Bible, you won’t have anything left but the covers.” — Nina Gunter
“Missions is not the ‘ministry of choice’ for a few hyperactive Christians in the church. Missions is the purpose of the church.” — Unknown
“The concern for world evangelization is not something tacked on to a man’s personal Christianity, which he may take or leave as he chooses. It is rooted in the character of the God who has come to us in Christ Jesus. Thus, it can never be the province of a few enthusiasts, a sideline or a specialty of those who happen to have a bent that way. It is the distinctive mark of being a Christian.” — James S. Stewart
“The average pastor views his church as a local church with a missions program; while he ought to realize that if he is in fact pastoring a church, it is to be a global church with a missions purpose.” — Unknown
“The Christian is not obedient unless he is doing all in his power to send the Gospel to the heathen world.” — A. B. Simpson
“If the Great Commission is true, our plans are not too big; they are too small.” — Pat Morley
“If missions languish, it is because the whole life of godliness is feeble. The command to go everywhere and preach to everybody is not obeyed until the will is lost by self-surrender in the will of God. Living, praying, giving and going will always be found together.” — Arthur T. Pierson
“‘Go ye’ is as much a part of Christ’s Gospel as ‘Come unto Me.’ You are not even a Christian until you have honestly faced your responsibility in regard to the carrying of the Gospel to the ends of the earth.” — J. Stuart Holden
“I thought it reasonable that I should seek the work where the work was the most abundant, and the workers were the fewest.” — Scottish missionary James Gilmour on why he went to Mongolia
“A congregation that is not deeply and earnestly involved in the worldwide proclamation of the gospel does not understand the nature of salvation.” — Ted Engstrom, World Vision
II. BECAUSE OF THE GREAT CONCERN – And of some have compassion, making a difference: Jude 22
“Let my heart be broken with the things that break God’s heart” — Bob Pierce, World Vision founder
“Lost people matter to God, and so they must matter to us.” — Keith Wright
“The spirit of Christ is the spirit of missions. The nearer we get to Him, the more intensely missionary we become.” — Henry Martyn, missionary to India and Persia
“If you found a cure for cancer, wouldn’t it be inconceivable to hide it from the rest of mankind? How much more inconceivable to keep silent the cure from the eternal wages of death. World missions was on God’s mind from the beginning. In our lifetime, wouldn’t it be sad if we spent more time washing dishes or swatting flies or mowing the yard or watching television than praying for world missions?” — Dave Davidson
“I have but one candle of life to burn, and I would rather burn it out in a land filled with darkness than in a land flooded with light” — John Keith Falconer
“He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose” — Jim Elliot, missionary martyr who lost his life in the late 1950’s trying to reach the Auca Indians of Ecuador
“There is nothing in the world or the Church — except the church’s disobedience — to render the evangelization of the world in this generation an impossibility.” — Robert Speer, leader in Student Volunteer Movement
When James Calvert went out as a missionary to the cannibals of the Fiji Islands, the ship captain tried to turn him back, saying, “You will lose your life and the lives of those with you if you go among such savages.” To that, Calvert replied, “We died before we came here.”
“The evangelization of the world waits not on the readiness of God but on the obedience of Christians.” — Bill M. Sullivan
“You can give without loving. But you cannot love without giving.” — Amy Carmichael, missionary to India
“As long as there are millions destitute of the Word of God and knowledge of Jesus Christ, it will be impossible for me to devote time and energy to those who have both.” — J. L. Ewen
“Since God is a missionary God, God’s people are a missionary people. God only had one Son, and He made Him a missionary.”
“We must be global Christians with a global vision because our God is a global God.” — John Stott
“It is possible for the most obscure person in a church, with a heart right toward God, to exercise as much power for the evangelization of the world, as it is for those who stand in the most prominent positions.” — John R. Mott
“In no other way can the believer become as fully involved with God’s work, especially the work of world evangelism, as in intercessory prayer. The man or woman at home who prays often has as much to do with the effectiveness of the missionary on the field, and consequently with the results of his or her labors, as the missionary.” — R. A. Torrey
“We can reach our world, if we will. The greatest lack today is not people or funds. The greatest need is prayer.”
“Love is the root of missions; sacrifice is the fruit of missions” — Roderick Davis
“Missionary zeal does not grow out of intellectual beliefs, nor out of theological arguments, but out of love” — Roland
“I believe that in each generation God has called enough men and women to evangelize all the yet unreached tribes of the earth. It is not that God does not call. It is man who will not respond!” — Isobel Kuhn, missionary to China and Thailand
III. BECAUSE OF THE GREAT CONSEQUENCES – Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
“To stay here and disobey God — I can’t afford to take the consequence. I would rather go and obey God than to stay here and know that I disobeyed.” — Amanda Berry Smith
“The gospel is only good news if it gets there in time!” — Carl F. H. Henry
“This generation of Christians is responsible for this generation of souls on the earth!” — Keith Green
“No one has the right to hear the gospel twice, while there remains someone who has not heard it once. Any church that is not seriously involved in helping fulfill the Great Commission has forfeited its biblical right to exist. The mission of the church is missions. We talk of the Second Coming; half the world has never heard of the first.” — Oswald J. Smith
“Believers who have the gospel keep mumbling it over and over to themselves. Meanwhile, millions who have never heard it once fall into the flames of eternal hell without ever hearing the salvation story.” — K.P. Yohannan, founder of Gospel for Asia Bible Society
“People who do not know the Lord ask why in the world we waste our lives as missionaries. They forget that they too are expending their lives … and when the bubble has burst, they will have nothing of eternal significance to show for the years they have wasted.” — Nate Saint, missionary martyr
“In the vast plain to the north I have sometimes seen, in the morning sun, the smoke of a thousand villages where no missionary has ever been” — Robert Moffat, who inspired David Livingstone
“Some wish to live within the sound of a chapel bell; I wish to run a rescue mission within a yard of hell. If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him. Christ wants not nibblers of the possible, but grabbers of the impossible.” — C.T. Studd
“The reason some folks don’t believe in missions is that the brand of religion they have isn’t worth propagating.” — unknown
“Someone asked ‘Will the heathen who have never heard the Gospel be saved?’ It is more a question with me whether we — who have the Gospel and fail to give it to those who have not — can be saved.” — Charles Spurgeon
— William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army- “‘Not called!’ did you say? ‘Not heard the call,’ I think you should say. Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear Him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father’s house and bid their brothers and sisters and servants and masters not to come there. Then look Christ in the face — whose mercy you have professed to obey — and tell Him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish His mercy to the world.
“It is not in our choice to spread the gospel or not. It is our death if we do not.” — Peter Taylor Forsyth
“Our God of Grace often gives us a second chance, but there is no second chance to harvest a ripe crop.” — Kurt von Schleicher
“The Church must send or the church will end.” — Mendell Taylor