There are approximately 6,785,000,000 people living together on this planet. The most liberal estimates claim that one-third of these people are Christian, including all those who identify themselves as Christians religiously, socially, or politically. That leaves 4.5-billion people who, if the Gospel is true, at this very moment are separated from God in their sins and, assuming nothing changes, will spend an eternity in hell.
4.5-billion people. And most of them live outside the United States.
That’s why we’re told to go. And that’s why we obey that command. Go tell the Good News of salvation from God in Christ. Go share the Gospel. Go teach people what God has done in Jesus. Go show people what it looks like to receive the gift of a righteous relationship with the holy Creator of heaven and earth. Go.
And we do. We’re very, very good at going.
The Legacy Church just finished hosting the Global Missions Conference. Dozens and dozens of missionaries from all over the planet shared their stories, showed their slides, and gave glory to God for the great work he has started and is bringing to completion in their ministries. Church leaders from all over this country gathered to be encouraged and challenged to keep going and keep sending until our Christ returns.
I was so encouraged to open up my Christian Chronicle this morning and see this huge picture of the Legacy worship center during the Global Missions Conference. They could have picked a more attractive person than Mark Hooper to feature in their picture — any other person, actually! But I was so pleased. So grateful.
When we were in discussions about hosting the GMC at Legacy we prayed and planned, strategized and hoped, that the conference would benefit Legacy in giving us a big picture view of what God is doing in his world. We prayed that it would broaden our understanding of God’s eternal Kingdom, that it would cause us to see Christ’s Church as so much bigger than just what’s happening in Tarrant County or the United States. It would mature us. It would stretch us. And it would motivate us to just go.
Just go take a Let’s Start Talking trip to China. Just go help a church plant in Kharkov, Ukraine for a couple of weeks. Just go lead a Bible discussion in Australia. Just go knock doors in Africa.
Just go invite your neighbor to church. Just go volunteer at a shelter for abused women or neglected children. Just go ask your co-worker if they have a relationship with God in Christ. Just go spreading the Good News wherever you can. Just go.
Legacy has a heart for missions. And I love that. My heart for missions was strengthened at Legacy. Foreign missions is one of the very best things God does through Legacy. And our experiences together there taught me a lot about God’s purposes in the world. All indications are that the Global Missions Conference last week was a tremendous success. Of course. We knew it would be. Congratulations to the Legacy shepherds and ministers and staff and tireless volunteers who pulled it off. I keep hearing how much our Lord did to bless each of you last week. I praise God. And I’m so glad.
Central, too, has a great heart for missions. As the founding church of Continent of Great Cities, there’s a heritage here of placing great value and importance on what God is doing everywhere else. And supporting those efforts with prayer and money and trips and hard work. And I love that.
May we be reminded that we are all missionaries. When our God decided to bring his salvation to you and me, he did not send gold or silver. He didn’t write a check or click in the numbers to a debit card. He sent himself. He came to this earth and took on our skin, our sufferings, our sin. He made himself vulnerable to death. And he endured it for us, for our eternal glory.
You, too, must go and do likewise. You don’t have to cross the ocean. God may be calling you to cross the street. He may need you to cross the break room at work or the sidelines at your kid’s soccer game this weekend.
Yes, please write your check to that foreign missionary. They need it. But then, go. Just go. Go somewhere and tell somebody that they can be saved by a loving God who created them and who wants nothing more than to spend eternity with them in his holy presence.