2 Corinthians 8
Intro: Why is missions such an important part of my ministry focus?
Why is missions such an important part of our church’s ministry?
Why is missions such an important part of the Scriptures?
How important is Missions to the New Testament local church? Here are a few quotes from some tremendous men of God and servants of God that understand the importance of World Evangelism.
- “The Bible is not the basis of missions; missions is the basis of the Bible” — Ralph Winter, missiologist
- “The mark of a great church is not its seating capacity, but its sending capacity.” — Mike Stachura
- “Only as the church fulfills her missionary obligation does she justify her existence.” — J. Harold Smith
- “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
- ” ‘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
- “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
Paul gives us three very important reasons to make world missions a part of our lives.
Turn to 2 Corinthians chapter 8
I. The Experienced Reality – vs. 1-6
Paul started this chapter out with a personal illustration of what he had seen.
Paul basically started out with this reason: It works!
- Verse 1 – we do you to wit (inform you; certify; make known; declare)
- Verse 3 – I bear record
- 9:13 – by the experiment of this ministration
The apostles in Acts 4 were highly motivated by what they had seen and heard.
- Acts 4:20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.
Paul had personally witnessed the grace of God being bestowed on the churches in Macedonia.
Though we do not place unhealthy emphasis on personal experiences, we do have a testimony to share.
ILLUSTRATION: I grew up on the mission field. I have lived on three different mission fields. Samoa, Hawaii and South Africa. God has allowed me to go to Brazil, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, India, Israel, Ghana West Africa, Myanmar, Mongolia, England, the Philippines, and on and on. Trust me when I tell you – missions works!
It is a reality. I have heard far too many people testify of God’s saving grace because people got involved in missions.
I do you to wit – I bear record – world missions works! I have personally experienced the reality of it!
It all starts with the willingness of the people to put God to the test.
Multiple times Paul referred to their WILLINGNESS.
It started with them FIRST giving their own selves to the Lord.
- 5 And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.
QUOTE: Many people want to put missions money in the plate but they’ve never put themselves in the missions plate.
- Vs. 3 – they were willing of themselves.
- Vs. 11 – there was a readiness to will
- Vs. 12 – for if there be first a willing mind…
- Vs. 19 – declaration of your ready mind
II. The Exponential Reach
- vs. 3 For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power…
World missions is one of the most exciting endeavors a person can be involved in.
The knowledge that we can see God move on the other side of the world is incredible.
SEE 2 Corinthians 10:16 To preach the gospel in the regions beyond you…
III. The Expected Reward
Paul describes the effect of mission’s involvement on the churches in Macedonia.
He described them as being “in a great trial of affliction.”
He said they were in “deep poverty.”
But the same verse says that their “deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.”
I think it is important to note in verse 2 – the abundance of their joy.
Notice Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross…
Paul couldn’t stop emphasizing the reward of mission’s involvement.
- 2 Corinthians 9:6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
- 2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: