I love being a missionary. Sometimes it is exciting and perhaps a little dangerous. A few years ago I was in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Africa. My two American colleagues and I were leading a church planter training event with over 500 Congolese in attendance.
This is a home I visited in Côte d’Ivoire (West Africa)
Because the country was so devastated by war, we could not pay our “hotel” room charges with any kind of bankcard, check or other method besides cash. So we had to have a large amount of money wired from the USA to a bank.
I was appointed to go to the bank to pickup the cash. I was accompanied by two bodyguards. On the way back to the church, with my pocket stuffed with the cash, we were stopped by the police. They were demanding a fine from the driver for a supposed traffic violation.
Soon the policemen got in the car and were directing the driver where to drive. They were speaking with the bodyguards in French.
The only word I could understand was “missionaire.” I figured that was me.
Later I found out that most foreigners like me were carrying guns and the bodyguards were trying to reassure the police I was an unarmed missionary.
In such an awkward situation, I was getting a little nervous. The economy was so desperate that police and military were paid only sporadically. I had no idea where I was or where we were going. I couldn’t understand what was being said and my pocket was stuffed with the equivalent of perhaps a year’s income for an average Congolese.
We drove for a while until the car stopped. Was this the end of the road?
I looked out and recognized the building—it was the church where we were training church planters. They let me out of the car with the bodyguards and drove off. I breathed a huge sigh of relief. I presume the police extracted their bribe elsewhere.
My story is lighthearted compared to others’ stories. Not many years ago missionaries were executed in the Congo during a time of violence. Recently the world has been made aware of the missionary doctor who contracted Ebola and nearly died for his love of Christ and the people in Liberia.
Certainly I am not excited about seeing my life or others lives in jeopardy. But I am excited about sharing the Good News.
Everyone on earth should be given an opportunity to hear the Gospel and to respond. Yet, many die without ever even hearing the name of Jesus.
As Christians, we are responsible to fulfill the Great Commission and spread the Good News that Jesus Christ was crucified and rose again for our sins.
Here are 5 important reasons to support missions work:
Salvation is for Everyone
Scripture says, “‘Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.’ For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’” (Romans 10:11-13 NIV)
Note the words “anyone” and “everyone” in the verse above.
Salvation is for every person in the world and not limited to:
Certain Church denominations
There’s some Bad News about the Good News
The good news is that through Jesus Christ we can be saved and have security for the forgiveness of sins and eternal life in heaven.
The Gospel is only good news if people hear it and are saved.
If you think people don’t necessarily need to hear the Gospel to be saved, that’s not what this passage says. If you want more proof please read my article, “Six Reasons all Roads DON’T Lead to Heaven.”
Hearing is the Vital First Step
“How, then can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’” (Romans 10:14-15 NIV)
In these verses we see that to call on the Lord and be saved people must:
Hear – Someone (a missionary) must tell them the Gospel message.
Believe – They must believe that Jesus died for sins and rose again from the dead to conquer sin and death.
Call – It is not enough just to hear and believe. People must call on the Lord Jesus Christ for forgiveness and salvation.
How can people hear, believe and call? The verses say that someone must be “sent.” Missionaries must be sent to tell people about Jesus in places where the Good News has never been proclaimed.
And in order to be sent there must be senders—people who support missions work around the world.
Every Christian is Called; Either to Go or to Send Others
There cannot be missionaries if there are no Christians sending them.
Believers must spread the Gospel message even to the most remote locations of the world so that all can hear.
Missionaries are Christians who have been called by God to the occupation of proclaiming the Good News. They make many sacrifices, usually travel abroad and sometimes move to foreign lands to teach God’s Word.
If you are not called to be a missionary you can help to send missionaries:
Resources for more information on missions and church planting:
Here’s a video of a message I gave on church planting: Global Church Planting Sunday Message Video
Here are some of my related articles: