Church (the big C, body of Christ Church),
why do we exist?
To worship God.
To go to church to learn more about God.
To be sanctified and become a better “us.”
None of those are wrong by any means. But if those are the primary purposes why are we still here? On earth? Would it not be much easier to do all of those things in Heaven away from all the temptations of this fallen world? Becoming more Christ-like would certainly be easier if we could walk with Him in paradise without distractions.
So again…Church, why do we exist?
While those answers are not incorrect, they do seem to be incomplete. What did Jesus have to say?
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:18-20
And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” -Mark 16:15
Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. –Luke 24:45-47
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” -John 20:21
In all four gospels the writers include what has been come to be called the Great Commission. And while all four gospels are eye witness accounts of Jesus and His ministry that do not contradict one another, there are very few things about Jesus life that make it into all four of the gospels. For instance Jesus walking on water occurs in Matthew, Mark, and John but not in the gospel of Luke. And the miracle of turning water into wine only appears in the gospel of John.
However, the commissioning of His disciples was significant enough that all four of the gospel accounts included it.
So what does that mean for us as the Church today? Clearly Jesus left us here for a purpose. He said, “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”
Why did the Father send Jesus?
To pay for our sins.
To restore our relationship with the Father.
To show how much He loved us.
Again, all 100% true and biblical. As before they are not incorrect, but perhaps incomplete.
Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else–to the nearby villages–so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” -Mark 1:38
Jesus was sent in order to preach the Kingdom of God. And now He has passed that mission on to the Church. Jesus created His church for the purpose of mission.
“It’s not that God has a mission for his Church in the world, but that God has a Church for his mission in the world.” – Chris Wright Tweet
How are we doing at the mission that we were sent out for?