John Piper says that “Missions exists because worship doesn’t”. The reason that we go to the ends of the earth is so that God will get all of the glory that He deserves when all of the peoples that He made delight in and worship Him!
Genesis 12:1-3: “Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (ESV)
Matthew 28:19-20: “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.” (ESV)
One command in the Old Testament from the Lord to Abram, telling him to leave his own people and go elsewhere. Why? So that “all peoples on earth will be blessed”.
One command in the New Testament from the Lord to all Christians, telling us to go to all nations and teach them everything Christ has taught us. And we know that there is no blessing greater than knowing Christ.
Global Frontier Missions believes that the Bible has one unified message from Genesis to Revelation; that those of us who are blessed with the knowledge of the love of God and the salvation that the death and resurrection of Christ gave us should spread that blessing to all peoples of the earth. To do any different is to disobey the direct commands of God Himself. Many are called to go, and many are called to send and support those who go through prayer and finances, but there is no one exempt from involvement in this command to make disciples of all nations (people groups).
Want more? Here is a video from our online Missionary Training School with the same teaching we provide to all MTS students, short term mission teams, and summer internship participants.
Romans 10:14-15: “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!” (ESV)
Many people often times ask for the notes after we teach the “Biblical Basis of Missions” or “God’s Heart for the Nations” at the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement course or on one of our short-term mission trips. So, we want to make the notes available for further study and also with the hopes that you will share this Bible study with others!
Biblical Basis of Missions / God’s Heart for the Nations
Nations = Greek is ethnos (sounds like ethnic) or panta ta ethne = all peoples; Hebrew is gowy.
The Bible is one cohesive book with an introduction, story, and conclusion.
Gen 1:28 – God’s first words to humankind: “be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth, rule over it”.
Gen 3 – Sin enters the world bringing death and separation from God passed down through all generations until God repents that he had made man, decides to wipe out the whole earth by a flood and start over with one man’s family.
Gen 9:1,7 – God’s first words to Noah after he got off the ark: “be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth, rule over it”.
Gen 11:1-4 – There was one language on the earth; the people’s main sin at Babel was that they wanted to make a NAME for themselves and NOT be scattered.
Gen 11:7-9 – God scrambles the languages and the people spread throughout the earth setting the stage for our story.
Gen 12:1-3 – God chooses a man named Abraham and his descendants (Israel) as his special people to be blessed by him (top line of the covenant) so that they would be a blessing to all peoples (bottom line of the covenant).
Gen 18:17-19 – Covenant repeated to Abraham in the presence of other men.
Gen 22:15-18 – Abraham hears the covenant again after his willingness and obedience to sacrifice his son… God says “I swear by myself” that this will happen so we know that it is going to pass.
Gen 26:2-4 – Isaac gets the same promise passed on to him.
Gen 28:12-14 – Jacob gets the same promise passed on to him. Our story breaks with Joseph in Egypt and the Israelites growing in number as the slaves.
Is 42:1 – God will put His Spirit in His servant and chosen one (Jesus) and bring justice to the nations.
Gal 3:7-9 – Paul called “the gospel” Abraham’s call to bless the nations; we need to know we are sons of Abraham by faith.
Ex 6:1-5 – God reminds Moses of the covenant and says that he is going to free Israel from slavery because of it.
Ex 12:37-38 – “Other people” went with the Israelites when they left Egypt.
Dt 2:25 – God would make all the nations under heaven hear about and fear Israel. Why? So that all worship Yahweh.
Dt 4:5-8 – God gives Israel the ten commandments and other righteous laws so that the nations would see their wisdom, understanding, and know that Israel’s God is near them (personal) and hears their prayers .
Joshua – Rahab helps Israel because she has heard about their God. (Pages 62 and 63 of the book Unveiled at Last gives a lot of examples of Jews blessing Gentiles in the OT.)
1 Sam 17:45,46 – David defeats the Philistines so that the whole world would know that there is a God in Israel.
1 Chr 14:17 – The Lord makes all nations fear David. Why? He was a man after God’s own heart.
1 Chr 16:8, 24, 28, 31 -David begins announcing that all the nations should worship God.
2 Chr 9:22-23 – King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all kings on earth; people from all nations listened.
Neh 6:15-16 – All the nations were in awe when the wall was rebuilt in 52 days.
Ps 67 – David understood God’s heart for the nations – (v. 7) God blesses us so that the ends of the earth may fear him.
Ps 46:10 – Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations in all the earth.
Is 26:17-18 – Israel understood that its task was to be God’s messenger of salvation to the nations and had not done its job.
Eze 5:5-7 – This is Jerusalem which I have set in the center of all the nations, but she has rebelled against my laws; look at Israel’s central geographic location in the world and see how God was being strategic in using it as a blessing to all nations.
Dan 6:25-26 – A Gentile king, Darius, tells all peoples, nations, and languages to fear and revere the God of Daniel; sometimes God let his chosen instruments be taken into slavery or into exile in order to be a blessing to all nations.
Dan 7:13-14 – Son of Man given dominion, power, and the kingdom where all nations and peoples serve him.
Amos 9:7 – God loves all peoples equally.
Mal 1:11 – God’s name will be great among all the nations.
Word nations is used over 500 times in the OT.
Mk 11:17 – Jesus understood God’s desire for all nations; “my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations”.
Mt 24:14 – This gospel will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations and then the end will come.
Mt 28:19-20 – Go and make disciples of all nations baptizing and teaching them to obey Christ.
Lk 24:45-49 – Jesus opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures (Old Testament); Christ will suffer and rise on the third day (bless us) and then repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached to all nations (to bless others).
Mk 16:15, Jn 20:21
Acts 1:8 – The Holy Spirit will give you power; be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Samaria, Judea, and the ends of the earth.
Acts 2:6 – The disciples were from Galilee not Jerusalem (7), Jesus said to stay in Jerusalem because it was a strategic center not because that is where they were from and familiar.
Acts 2:4, 6, 8-11 – Jesus talked about the coming of the Holy Spirit as the highlight of the New Testament; the disciples were to wait for Him to come before ministering; it’s the day the first century church started; 3000 people got saved; the Holy Spirit begins his ministry and sets the tone of the rest of the N.T. by having people from every nation under earth hearing the gospel in their own language.
2 Pe 3:9; 1 Tim 2:1-4; Rom 10:13-15 (Is 52:6-10); Rom 15:18-21
Rev 5:9 – people were redeemed from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation
Rev 7:9-10 – people from all nations, tongues and people groups worshiping the Lamb!