Missionaries represent their supporters
Phil 4:15 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. 16 For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity. 17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account. 18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God. 19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
The Bible presents a situation where missionaries are representatives of the people in local churches that cannot themselves go to the uttermost parts of the earth. So everything that the missionary accomplishes is attributed to those who are supporting him. This can be prayer support, but here it is most clearly financial support.
When you or your church supports a missionary, the things that that missionary accomplishes for the Lord IS AS IF you were actually doing them. You and that missionary are linked and grouped together in eternity with credit for the work that that missionary has done.
This is one of the reasons why you should support missionaries that are getting people saved and discipling those people to make a chain of more obedient Christians which will reflect rewards back on you.
We have been blessed for a reason
God does things according to his “master plan.” His master plan is the key, not necessarily us. We are important to Him because we are part of his master plan. But we need understand that God has saved us to announce the praise (virtues) of God.
1Pet 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
So God saved us in order for us to be a part of His reaching of the world with the gospel. Moreover God has blessed us economically so that we can help others, but much more importantly, so that we can support the work of God.
1Pet 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 1Pet 3:16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.
As Christians, as believers in Jesus Christ as our Savior, we should be always giving a witness or testimony as to the hope that lieth within us. We should have a reasoned answer. This speaks of being a personal witness to Christ, giving the plan of salvation to others.
Luke 12:48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
Christians who do not make this a vital part of their life are missing out on great blessings that God will withhold, but worse, you will have problems with God because of it.
2Cor 5:14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: 15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. 16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. 17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
There is a great motivating fact of Christ’s death, and that is that Christ loves us so much that he gave his own life for us that we might have eternal life with him. This fact should motivate every believer to live a new life, be a totally changed creature.
This paradigm shift event should turn our life upside down. We should no longer live a selfish life of only doing what personally benefits us, but we should now take on that mission in Christ’s heart, that work of salvation, and we should promote that as our most important part of our life.
2Cor 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
God has given us a ministry of reconciling the world to him. He has givenus a message (a word) of reconciliation. We are ambassadors for Christ, which means we are representatives of Christ doing the actual work of Christ in his stead. We are to be experts are “reconciling” the world to God.
Investing in God’s work prevents Greed and hording in us
The principal is very simple. We exalt our finances and personal luxury, pleasure, and will. The way to fight all that from becoming a god in our life is to sacrifice. God has made this the way to prevent the god of greed and pleasure from taking over our lives.
Matt 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matt 6:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
God’s eternal blessings come when we sacrifice earthly goodies for eternal riches. That act of de-emphasizing the earthly while exalting the heavenly, the eternal, is what keeps us right with God.
God rewards those who sacrifice for Him
Heb 6:10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
You will never lose eternally what you give to God’s children nor especially to God’s workers. God will repay you abundantly. This is where faith enters in. We believe in God’s person, so his promises are real to us.
We are not investing in some human endeavor when we give to missions. We are investing in God’s work. He will repay us with riches in heaven according to our obedience and sacrifice and dedication and committment to His work.
There is only one way, and without knowledge of that way, nobody will be saved.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
The truth of the matter is that all religions do not lead to God. None do except one, the truth. We have the truth, and if others do not embrace it, they will go to hell. There is no difference between a horrible drunk that never darkened any churches doors, and the most moral, good and upstanding person in the world that has embraced a false religion. They both go to hell.
We have the truth, and if we do not promote it, who will? Satan makes thousands of “other ways” into heaven supposedly. But we have the truth. The force and impact of knowing that we are the only ones that have the truth should propel us into missions, the promoting of this truth we hold throughout the world.
2Pet 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
It is God’s will that none should perish. But God limits what actually is, by what man’s will will allow. In other words, God will not overrule. God wants man, of his own free will to accept Jesus as his Savior (knowing full well that God is drawing every man, and God’s drawing is key in the salvation of every man). But equally here, God’s work in missions, the extension of his kingdom world-wide, is limited by what God’s children will do in obedience to God. God is willing, but are you? If you answer yes, he may ask you to go personally, or to give sacrificially, or to pray and get involved in other ways.
What we must not forget here is that man naturally is deceived and darkened. Without other Christian people who are working with them to be used of the Holy Spirit to enlighten their minds, they will not find Christ nor salvation.
Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
2Cor 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
Satan has redefined “the mission”
If you have at all been involved in missions and what missionaries and theologians write about missions, you will know that modern missions has had their anchors cut, and they are adrift, trying “to find out what their mission is”. No longer is it acceptable to go tell people of other religions that they are lost and going to hell, and to repent and turn to Jesus Christ as their Savior.
In the 1960-70s these people blew the “s” off of missions. They call it “mission” and “missial”. Words that beg definition and come up wanting. These servants of Satan have gone the gamut from exclusivism (nobody but us in our group are saved, a.k.a. cults and Calvinism) to universalism (everybody will get saved, so why witness). There is no more an open door with a needy people out there, and we have what they need.
These modern missions experts say we have forget what the Bible says and “search” for meaning to give to people, and they land on everything except the gospel. The gospel is under full force attack for many years, and it is so bad that most pastors, preachers, and theologians in most denominations are not themselves saved, and they cannot clearly explain the gospel to other people.
If a person was to study the gospels, they would see that Jesus was concerned about explaining the gospel to the people he encountered, and thereby asking them to exercise faith. That simple thing is now impossible for the modern missions experts to grasp.
This is the war that we fight. Not just the hardness of man’s heart to receive the gospel, but false teachers mudding the waters to the point of confusing everybody about what the Bible and Christ’s death is about.
If you do not get involved energetically in missions, then all is lost. God’s work will survive because God will raise up other people who are obedient and will do his biding. But if you do not respond enthusiastically, you will be left out of the blessings of God’s work.
We “repay” those who invested in reaching us for Christ by funding the reaching of others
We “owe” those who did all to reach us with the gospel and teach and train us so that we are mature, blessed Christians. But the payment to these spiritual, godly Christians is not to give something back to them (except thanks), but to continue the chain from generation to generation of reaching our world for Christ.
A church (or individual Christian) becomes “lost” when they become so introspective that they do not do everything possible to reach the lost for Christ. This is very sad, but it is true. I am not talking about losing their salvation, but the very heartbeat of the church has to be the gospel message burning a hole in our chests wanting to get out to the world.
We must seek others for Christ. Why? Because somebody did that for you!
Matt 22:36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
God’s principles are what reign supreme in our world. In this God says that a good relationship with God means you treat others as you would want them to treat you.
In other words, if you really have a great thing in being saved from your sins, then you should show you relationship with God by seeking the salvation of others.
In doing this we glorify God.
We are the instruments of establishing God’s kingdom on earth.
Matt 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
If God is building his kingdom on earth through the salvation of souls and the education of God’s people, then Christians are the instruments that God uses. Not everybody is called to be a minister but everybody is called upon to push the work of God. Those who don’t actually preach and teach should financially and prayerfully support those who do do it.
1Cor 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
The Bible presents that God sees an equality between those who are actually doing the witnessing and discipling as with those who are supportive of that work. Even though you may be doing a “smaller” job in that work, God will sort that out and give rewards to all who are involved.
God’s work is very “individual.” By that I mean that there is no passing of salvation on to your kids just because they are your kids. Your beliefs are only extended to the next generation if you exert the effort to convince others of your convictions. Most Christians don’t do any outreach for Christ. This is sad. They simply presume that people will get saved, and they are not part of that, and they are good with that.
These two articles are based on the principles set out in http://www.sharefaith.com/blog/2014/05/top-10-reasons-church-support-missions/ and several other web pages on the same topic of missions.