Why we do Christian missions abroad – When there is much need right here in the USA.

Jul 7, 2014 by

Why we do Christian missions abroad – When there is much need right here in the USA.

The first thing you have to do when discussing this topic is to distinguish Christian missions from the kind of humanitarian work done by organizations like the Red Cross, FEMA, other secular organizations, and world governments. Christian missions are not first and foremost humanitarian efforts. Christian missions very often have a significant humanitarian component, but the first goal of any Christian Mission is to establish a means to tell people about Jesus and share His Gospel. From a Christian perspective, it makes no sense to feed and clothe people for the moment in this world, when their eternal security is at risk because they haven’t accepted Christ as their savior.

Secondly, it is important to understand that Christians who dedicate their lives to missions do not do so because it was their choice. Of all the people I know who have left the creature comforts we are afforded here in the USA, who have left lucrative careers, and left behind loved ones, etc., they would all tell you they felt called to where they are serving. They would all tell you that they are where they are because God specifically called them to that place. No one leaves behind a comfortable life to endure significant hardship, often at the risk of personal injury or death, without a calling from God to serve the Gospel in that place.

When someone is a believer in Christ, that is their first identity. They are a new creation in Christ before they are a; father, mother, husband, wife, son, daughter, USA citizen, Republican, Democrat, etc. As such, they would not see boundaries like others do. The Gospel message and Great Commission would prevail over all. While the USA has some issues with food insecurity and poverty, the Gospel is freely available here, and there are thousands of points of light to provide resources. We were commanded to preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth. For a Christian, while we may love our country, and hate to see it under God’s judgement, there is no USA first mentality. People in the USA will have no excuse when Christ returns. The Gospel is freely available here on every street corner. Yet in the USA they create their own gods and serve the created rather than the creator. It’s a dark world, but just that, a world, and not a city or state or nation, but a world in need of a Savior. And that’s just where He commanded us to go when He gave the Great Commission. Matthew 28:18-20 (NKJV) “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

The Great Commission (spreading of the Gospel) started right after the cross at Calvary. From there the church was established via missions just like we do today. The book of Acts in the New Testament details the missionary journeys of first century Christians like Paul, Barnabas, Peter, Luke, etc. The Gospel fanned out throughout the known world at the time. People then did missions just like they do today. They met the needs of local people and established churches and schools. If at any time during that process, if anyone had taken a selfish proprietary attitude toward the Gospel, and said, “We have to stay here and help our own first,” that process stops and the spread of the Gospel ceases. After America was established the Gospel was brought here. The 17th and 18th centuries in America saw countless missionaries from Western Europe coming to America to do the same thing we do today elsewhere in the world. Someone brought the Gospel of Jesus Christ to my small Texas town so I could be saved. Once again, if people in Western Europe had said, “We have enough problems of our own to deal with and we shouldn’t be going over to America to help them,” then my only destiny is hell. No doubt Western Europe had plenty of problems, like hunger, poverty, etc. at the time, but Christians still sailed the Atlantic to do missions in America. As Christians we value the sacrifice others have made throughout church history, many dying for it, so that we could hear the Gospel and be saved. We value our own salvation so greatly that we want to in turn make similar sacrifices so that other people can hear the good news of Jesus Christ. Most of all we value what Jesus did on the cross and by virtue of His resurrection, and His commandment of the Great Commission, to reach all over the world with His message. To say we can’t go somewhere because we have problems of our own is just dishonoring what Jesus did and did personally for us. What it really says is the Gospel is not worth much to us, in that we care more about our own surroundings first, and just don’t care if others get a chance to be saved as we were.

Could you imagine standing at the bema of Christ, along with other believers who served as missionaries for Jesus’ sake, and say, “It wasn’t my policy to go anywhere for the Gospel, I felt we needed to take care of our own first.” Jesus would look at you and say, “Well it was my policy to leave the comfort of my Father’s house and go to a cross and die and walk out of the grave three days later so you could have life.” Imagine if I had just stayed home?

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