Missions must be the heartbeat of our church because it is the heartbeat of God. Doing missions must be done with a passion to shout his fame to all the earth. Yes, people are lost without Christ. That’s one of the reasons we do missions. But there is one reason much greater than that, namely, God’s name is not honored among many peoples in the world. Therefore, the primary reason we do missions is to make the name of God known to the peoples of the earth. God declares through Isaiah:
…the time is coming to gather all nations and tongues. And they shall come and shall see my glory…And from them I will send survivors to the nations…to the coastlands afar off, that have not heard my fame or seen my glory. And they shall declare my glory among the nations (66:18-19).
More than a third of the world’s population have never heard the name of Jesus. Most of them are the Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists in Asia. God wants his name be known among them. But who will bring God’s name to them? We went to Hong Kong a few weeks ago and marvelled at the great structures dedicated to Buddha. Our response should not have been delight but sadness that the famous name among them is Buddha and not Christ. God does not want rivals. “I am the LORD; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols” (42:8).
We must be like Paul in his passion for missions. He was an apostle to the Gentiles “for the sake of his name among all the nations” (Rom 1:5). It was his ambition to preach Christ where he is not yet named (Rom 15:20). Let us go where Christ is not yet named. Most of us cannot go physically, but we can be go to make the name of Christ known to them through our prayers and financial support for those who are going.
Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers, even though they are strangers to you. 6They have told the church about your love. You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God. 7It was for the sake of the Name that they went out, receiving no help from the pagans. 8 We ought therefore to show hospitality to such men so that we may work together for the truth (3 John 5-8 NIV).
We have long been neglected the one mission of the church, to make God’s name famous to those who have never heard. It may be our neighbor, or the town next to us, or Mindanao, or the unreached peoples in Vietnam. Let us go back to what we are supposed to be doing from the very beginning. That is why the leaders of this church will meet for three days straight this coming April 9 to 11. We will seek to listen to what God is telling us to do and to plan our strategies for accomplishing our God-given mission. Pray for us. Pray for all of us here in this church that our hearts may beat the same heartbeat as God, with an all-consuming passion to shout his fame to all the earth.
[An excerpt from the sermon entitled God’s Passion to Shout His Fame to All the Earth]