Missions Motives

May 20th, 2013

II Corinthians 12:15 “And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.”

Bro. Jenkins And Bro. Ken McCoy
Matagalpa, Nicaragua
I am setting in the airport waiting for my connecting flight, to Nicaragua. I am on my way with two other dear men from our church to the mission field. We are going to SPEND a week in Nicaragua helping to spread the gospel and further the cause of Jesus Christ. Our church has been heavily involved in missions for a quarter of a century, SPENDING over $1,800,000 supporting hundreds of missionaries and missions projects. Nearly one in six dollars given at Grace Baptist Church ends up being SPENT on world missions. I have personally been involved in Faith Promise Missions Giving for over a quarter of a century myself. I have preached in numerous Missions Conferences over the past 20 plus years. I have been on over 20 Missions trips traveling to Mexico, Japan, Canada, the Philippines, the Bahamas, and Nicaragua with trips to India, Australia, Burma and Thailand planned.

Mission’s is a very idyllic subject to talk about in General and Generic terms. Every sincere American Christian wants the impoverished, malnourished, overlooked and unloved masses across the planet to get saved and experience the liberating joy of redemption that we in the most prosperous nation on earth have had the freedom to Experience and Enjoy for over 200 years. But desiring the lost to come to Christ and doing something about it is not the same thing. PRAYING for folks to get saved is great but PAYING for folks to get saved is even greater. In an attempt to be brief let me cut to the heart of the matter by asking this simple question - are you involved in missions with both your PRAYERS and your POCKETBOOK?

Our Motive is really the issue. Wither or not you are involved or not involved in world mission’s is connected to your motives.  Let’s consider the two most common issues behind why or why not we are involved in missions:

1.       The Saviour Or Sinners

Some contemporary estimates are as high as - half of the world’s population has never heard the gospel. The buzz word among many young Christians especially those in their 20’s & 30’s is – It is all about the gospel. They often say, “I am not caught up into labels or doctrinal details, I just am a gospel guy.” There is no argument, the world needs the gospel and God has left it in our hands to spread it to the regions beyond, but philosophically there is a very dangerous trend afoot across the land in this simple idea.

Ponder this question - Have we been commanded to REACH the world with the gospel? The almost universal answer among today’s evangelicals would be a resounding YES. Sadly that is not the correct answer. We have been command to PREACH the gospel to the world.” That may seem like a fine point, but Jesus did command in Mark 16:15 “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” If our mandate is to REACH with the gospel - Then any method or motive that increases the results can be justified. This is the  justification behind Christian Rock Music, Ecumenical Evangelism and a host of other slippery slopes that have been embraced by the evangelical and emerging church in the last 20 or 30 years.

If however, our mandate is to PREACH the gospel then we can stay SCRIPTURAL in our Methods and Motives and FAITHFUL in our Lives and Labors regardless of the response of the lost to the gospel message. A missionary many years ago went to Africa to reach the lost with the gospel. He was bewildered and discouraged when his years of labor revealed that many in the impoverished land that he sought to reach did not want to hear the gospel. They actually liked their sin and were not standing in line to be delivered from darkness by this well intentioned Christian servant. As he grew more Defeated and Despondent, one day his life was transformed by the words of our Saviour in Acts 1:8 “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” That little phrase Witness Unto Me changed his MOTIVE IN MISSIONS. He would later declare one of the great statements in the history of world missions - “The atoning sacrificial, selfless, substitutionary, death of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary demands a response. We cannot go with the gospel just to win men, we must ultimately go because His gift of eternal salvation paid for with His own precious blood regardless if the response is YES or NO must be presented to every man, woman or child that ever lives.”

When this is our motive for going with the gospel, no amount of opposition, persecution or complication will stop our labors. We will remain Uncompromising In Or Message and Unflinching In Our Resolve when our motive is the Saviour not the Sinner.

2.       To Bless Or Be Blessed

We all want to be blessed. I know that I sure do. Is it wrong to support missions so God will bless you financially? It is certainly true that God blesses givers to missions. The promise of Philippians 4:19 is given to missions givers according to Philippians 4:14-18. Yet there is a great danger if the reason a church of a Christian gives to missions is so you can claim the promise “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” What is the danger you might ask? Far too many Christians stop giving to missions when the blessings stop. All over our land in the tight economic times we have faced in the past five or six years missions giving has evaporated while vacation plans and personal pleasures have been largely unaffected.

I ask you, my dear friend what is the real reason that you are or are not involved in missions?