Five Bible Verses about Missions and Why They Matter

Five Bible Verses about Missions and Why They Matter

If you’ve spent any amount of time in the Gospels, you’re likely familiar with the final command that Jesus gave his disciples to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19).

As followers of Christ, our chief purpose is to please him and bring glory to his name. For that reason, it’s important that we look at his message in Matthew 28, known as the Great Commission. After all, it makes complete sense to begin with that command when thinking about missions.

Similarly, if you are a follower of Jesus, then you are his disciple. This command is as much for you as it was for those present when he issued it. I didn’t grasp that truth in my early walk with God. I thought missions meant moving to an off-the-grid location and enduring a bare bones way of life.

Sometimes that is the call, but I came to understand that missionary service does not always mean moving to a far-off land never to be seen or heard from again. In fact, most often, the command is to simply cross the street, or neighborhood, or even your city while representing the love and hope of Jesus.

God may call you to a new country, people group, language, or culture for his sake. Whether across town or around the world, the command to make disciples is for every follower and involves great risk, tremendous sacrifice, and unimaginable reward.

Employ these verses as you pursue his direction on how you are called to obediently follow his command to make disciples, whether near or far.

Psalm 96:1-3

Oh sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth! Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!

We are called to worship God every day and to declare that Jesus is Lord “among the nations.” As followers of Christ, we show our devotion to this call by sending, giving, praying, and going as we carry the hope of Christ next door and around the world.

John 20:21

Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”

A precursor of sorts to the Great Commission, Jesus gave the blessing of his peace coupled with the instruction to be sent just before he breathed the Holy Spirit on them. By Acts 2:42-47, the promise came to fruition. The Great Commission cannot move forward without regeneration of the saints and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 1:8

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Jesus gives the Spirit so that the gospel would move forward throughout the world near, far, and in between. Jesus doesn’t call us to witness, but to be a witness––every day, everywhere we go.

Romans 10:13

For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”

While often applied to pastors or even churches, this applies to everyone who would follow Jesus. When you meet a neighbor for coffee, while you’re at work or school, you get to represent and share Christ’s love everywhere you go and with everyone you meet. There is no greater love or truth than that Jesus died to pay the penalty for every sin, and no more beautiful act that you can perform than to make that Good News known.

Acts 13:47

For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, “I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.”

From the Apostle Paul’s first missionary journey comes the resounding truth that the Good News ofJesus is for all who would hear and believe. Some translations replace “nations” for Gentiles, but the truth is certain: Jews and non-Jews alike rejoice when they receive the gospel of the Messiah. We all must spread it to the “ends of the earth!”

About the author: Gene and his wife Inga joined Greater Europe Mission in 2007, serving in Eastern Europe, the U.K., and Northern Sweden. Gene and Inga now serve with GEM from North America. You can learn more or connect with them here or find Gene’s writing at Simple Theology, Messy Life.