This article was originally written for SMPC in Las Vegas, Nevada.
When we think upon scripture there are few themes more touched upon than the marital union we share with our God through Christ Jesus. Not only is this theme common, it’s actually the final metaphor God’s word uses to discuss the covenant relationship between Him and His people (Rev 19:6-8). Yet, while we acknowledge our union to God through Christ, we often can become comfortable with divorcing the causes and mission of Christ from the marital union we enjoy. Few things tend to fall by the wayside easier than our commitment to missions.
Let’s face it; we like to think of missions as something for other people – those really intense believers. Yet scripture does not give us license for such a laissez-faire outlook. I find Acts 1:8 a wonderful place to begin understanding the stated reality of missions. In the final recorded words we have of Jesus, before He ascended into heaven, our savior states, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Notice those final words of Christ’s first coming were not a command to go, but a promise that the Holy Spirit would PROVIDE the power for us to be a witness for Him. Christ declared what the Holy Spirit would give; yet we can often become comfortable with seeing missions as exclusively personal and at our own discretion. Even in the writing of the New Testament, we have books scribed not in some sterile environment of academia. No each and every book of the New Testament to a certain degree was written either while the writer was active in missions or enduring persecution for participating in advancing the kingdom of Christ through missions.
So what might a commitment to missions look like for us? This is where a common misconception needs to be thrown out the window. Participating in missions doesn’t mean you have to sell your house and go move to some remote region of the globe, though I don’t want to diminish the high honor of such a commitment. Make no mistake, Jesus assures believers in Mark 10:29b-30 “No one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life”. What an amazing promise that is for us to meditate upon.
So yes, there are those who will go, but there are also those who send – people who generously support individuals in missions are like those who aid the home front during wartime. The front-line receives its provision through the sender’s actions at home in prayer, in giving, and in encouraging others to join in. In addition there are those who welcome the nations from their homes. We have the luxury of living in a time and a place where the mission of Christ is never far from our front porch.
For example just at UNLV alone there are students who are coming from nations where it is nearly impossible to be a Christian missionary, and yet there they will be for the next 4 years. The impressions and ideas they form will be taken back with them to the nations they return to. What a glorious opportunity to share the hope of the gospel with them – that the Holy Spirit might use it in order to penetrate nations hostile to evangelism.
Adoption is also another form of missions. We have a God who has adopted us, and by extension adopting or helping support those trying to adopt – we know that children, who may have found themselves in situations and in places where the gospel would have never been heard, now will be brought up in the fear and admonition of the Lord.
Even local options such as the Las Vegas Rescue Mission provide us missional opportunities. For example they have a mentorship program, which encourages believers to sit down with individuals week in and week out, sharing the hope of the gospel – so that they might walk in the light of Christ. These are just some quick examples of where one might find opportunities to share the good news we have.
If you are interested in learning how to get more involved with missions feel free to reach out to me (Kevin) at the church office, or consult the Missions page on the church website under the care section. There are several local (Hope Christian Health Center, Las Vegas Rescue Mission, NextStep Ministries, Walter Hoving Home, Women’s Resource Medical Centers of Southern Nevada), national (Covenant College, Mission to North America, PCA Women’s Annual Love Gift, Reformed University Ministries), and international (Christian Worldview Discipleship in the Philippines, Mission to the World, Samaritan’s Purse, Sharon India Foundation, and Women’s Enterprises International) ministries that both congregants and the church itself helps support. In addition, if you have a ministry you’d like to make others aware of, it’d be wonderful to hear from you.
Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous works among all the peoples!