Before we jump into the biblical basis for Christian missions, we need to make sure we’re working with the same definitions.
First, let’s define the term “Christian missions” as the task of spreading the Good News of Jesus to all people everywhere.
Second, we’ll define “biblical basis” as evidence in the Bible that God wants us to do or believe something. It’s not enough for an act to simply be found in the Bible. We need to see that the act has God’s endorsement.
With these definitions, God’s call to global evangelism can be found from Genesis to Revelation.
The passage most often cited as the biblical basis for Christian missions is Matthew 28:18–20, known as The Great Commission.
Here, Jesus tells His disciples that all authority has been given to Him, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
Then, in the first chapter of Acts, we read the words Jesus spoke immediately before He ascended into Heaven: “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
These words from Jesus make a strong biblical case for Christian missions all on their own. But we can also learn from how Jesus’ early followers interpreted His words.
What do the early disciples’ actions tell us about Christian missions?
Throughout the Book of Acts, we see Christ’s disciples working to spread the Gospel near and far. In Acts 13, when Paul and Barnabas are harshly criticized for their missionary work, they respond by saying the Lord commanded them to bring salvation to the ends of the earth.
Here, they reference Isaiah 49:6, which says, “I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”
In other words, God’s plan, from the beginning, has been to bring salvation not only to Israel, but also to the Gentiles — everyone, everywhere.
When we read the entirety of Scripture, the biblical case for missions isn’t hard to find. God makes it clear in His call to Abraham that He wants to bless all nations (Gen. 22:18). And in the end, He reveals that people from every nation, tribe, people and language will stand before His throne in white robes (Rev. 7:9).
In between, we have been given the glorious privilege of sharing the Gospel around the world, so God’s will may be fulfilled. And that’s why Christian missionaries, pastors, preachers and people in all sorts of ministries do what they do.
Now that we’ve got the biblical basis for Christian mission down, dive deeper with these other blog posts! And make sure to subscribe to our blog so you can get Christian missions insight in your inbox every week!
- Why Does God Use Missionaries?
- 6 Reasons Why You Should Not Go Overseas
- When It Comes to Missions, God Can Use Your Baby Steps