November 13, 2015
You're on a Mission—from God!
By Skip Heitzig
There was a popular TV show in the '60s and '70s that later turned into three films: Mission: Impossible. It was about a group of secret agents who went up against crime around the world. The episode started the same just about every week: the agents would gather together and listen to their instructions: "Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is...." And they had the choice of whether or not to accept the mission. Well, you and I are on a mission—the Great Commission, given to us by Jesus Christ in Mark 16:15: "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature."
You've probably seen the bumper sticker that says, "I'd rather be fishing." Jesus would rather have you be fishing too—but fishing for souls (see Matthew 4:19).In Acts 1:8, He said, "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."From this section of Scripture, there are two things we should take away about our mission: it is global, and it is possible.
Our mission is global for four reasons. Number one: because of the character of God Himself. You can't read the Bible without discovering that God is a missionary God; He sends people. Jesus Christ Himself was a missionary: He left heaven and came to this earth "to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10). Number two: because of the condition of the harvest, the world. "When [Jesus] saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, 'The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest'" (Matthew 9:36-38).
The third reason our mission is global is simply because Jesus said so: "Go into all the world and preach the gospel." And finally, number four: because of the coming judgment. Evangelism will one day no longer be possible because God will ultimately and finally judge the world. Acts 1:11 says, "This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven." When Jesus comes again, He'll come as a judge (see Revelation 19:11-16). No wonder He was so emotionally compassionate over the multitudes: He not only saw their present condition, but their ultimate condition—the consequence of not trusting in Him. That's why our mission is global.
But our mission is also possible. How? There are two requirements, the first of which is the filling of the Holy Spirit: "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me." This is a spiritual undertaking, and it requires spiritual equipping. You wouldn't expect a soldier to go out into battle unless you gave him the right equipment. In the same way, you don't ask a Christian to go into all the world unless that Christian is filled with the Holy Spirit. The second requirement is that followers become fishermen. Before the apostles were disciples, they were fish, in the spiritual sense. Jesus came, threw His net out, caught them, and said, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men" (Matthew 4:19). When the saved become the sent and are filled with the Holy Spirit, then our mission is possible.
And, once again, that mission, should you choose to accept it, is the Great Commission: "Go into all the world and preach the gospel." We all have a part to play, and we can all do something. Will you accept?
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