The Mission of the Local Church:
- Preaching and teaching
- Making disciples
- Missions and evangelism
- Maturity of the believer
- Ministry in the home
- Ministry to material needs
Missions and Evangelism:
And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:7-8 NKJV
The Great Commission was all about world evangelisation. Jesus intended for the Gospel to be carried beyond Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria – outwards, to the very ends, or uttermost parts, of the earth. Jesus told the disciples to “Go into ALL the world and preach the gospel to EVERY creature” (Mark 16:15). It was a command, not a suggestion. However, it took persecution to scatter the Church and send evangelists as far as Antioch.
Acts chapter 8, verse 1 says, “Now Saul was consenting to his death. At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.” And verse 4 says, “Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.” Acts 11:19-21 says,
Meanwhile, the believers who had been scattered during the persecution after Stephen’s death traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch of Syria. They preached the word of God, but only to Jews. However, some of the believers who went to Antioch from Cyprus and Cyrene began preaching to the Gentiles about the Lord Jesus. The power of the Lord was with them, and a large number of these Gentiles believed and turned to the Lord. Acts of the Apostles 11:19-21 NLT
The Lord has made bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God. Isaiah 52:10 NKJV
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. Matthew 24:14 NKJV
The Lord loves people of every nation. He has promised that the ends of the earth would see His salvation! Every person has a right to hear how much He loves them. This is the Church’s job – no one else is going to do it. The problem is that we have to be constantly reminded that it is our responsibility. Not only that, but also how urgent it is that all nations have not yet heard, been converted, and discipled, and the uttermost part of the earth has not yet been reached.
Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” Romans 10:12-15 NLT
Whoever calls on the Name of the Lord WILL be saved!
But how will they call on Him if they don’t believe in Him? And how will they believe in Him if they have not heard about Him? And how will they hear about Him without a preacher? And how will they preach unless they go? The Church has never had the luxury of sitting in one place and having the world flock to them for salvation. It has always been the case that the Church had to leave the building, leave the security and comfort of their own little world and go to the big world out there who need to hear and experience the power of the Gospel!
Missions and evangelism is the calling and the work of the Body of Christ, however, most Christians do absolutely nothing of what Jesus asked of them. Some might even send a little money to others to do it, and yet still do nothing themselves. There are a million excuses as to why Christians do not fulfill the Great Commission, but not one of them will hold water on the Day we give account to Jesus for our life here on earth. You need to ask yourself this question regularly: “What am I doing for Heaven’s sake?”
Yet I dare not boast about anything except what Christ has done through me, bringing the Gentiles to God by my message and by the way I worked among them. They were convinced by the power of miraculous signs and wonders and by the power of God’s Spirit. In this way, I have fully presented the Good News of Christ from Jerusalem all the way to Illyricum. My ambition has always been to preach the Good News where the name of Christ has never been heard, rather than where a church has already been started by someone else. I have been following the plan spoken of in the Scriptures, where it says, “Those who have never been told about him will see, and those who have never heard of him will understand.” Romans 15:18-21 NLT
At the end of his life Paul could confidently say, “I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.” Who of us can say the same? It’s time for the Church to be the Church – for each member of the Body of Christ to fulfill his/her calling and fulfill his/her personal part of the Great Commission. The Father made the world a promise. It is our job to keep this promise on His behalf!