The Bible does not just reveal God to us but also his plan for the whole world. From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible reveals this global plan and we are invited to be a part of this plan of redemption. God’s faithfulness in history assures us this will definitely happen. God is love (1 John 4:8) and his desire is for all man to receive his love. That love did not change from the very beginning of Adam’s fall. In fact, God continued to show his love for his creation. He called Abraham in order so that the world may be blessed through Abraham (Gen. 12:1-2). He would be the father of a people that will receive God’s self-revelation and salvation and bring that message of love to the nations. However, God’s mission agency, the Israelites became self-seeking and disobedient as 1 & 2 Kings tell us. They were exiled to show that he was a holy God and he expected his people to walk in his ways, instead of just talking and thinking how ‘special’ they were as God’s people. However, despite his discipline, his love for mankind has not changed or diminished. He continues to so love the world that He sacrificed His own Son to bring us back into a love relationship with him. That love is perhaps the reason that Jesus has not yet come again. Peter tells us “the Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
However, while the Lord tarries, he expects us to be witnesses of his Gospel. There is no doubt that he has given us a Great Commission to obey. Throughout the Gospels, we see this commandment– “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…” (Matt 28:18-19), “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation” (Mark 16:15), “Jesus told them, ‘this is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things” (Luke 24:46-48), “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you” (John 20:21).
The Great Commission has not been rescinded. Missions Sunday reminds us of the Lord’s imperative. What are we doing about it? There is a truth to the saying that a ship is only true to its purpose if it is out of the harbor. Are we being true to our purpose? If we agree that God is the captain of our ship, than an important thing to note is that God can only guide a moving ship. A stationary ship safe in harbor needs no one to control the rudder. The first response must come from us – the willingness to move in obedience to his will. As we move, he will correct our course and move us away from troubled waters, if need be. It’s in the doing of God’s work that His will becomes known.