THEOLOGY OF MISSIONS PAPER
At the beginning of time, the pinnacle of God’s creation was man. From man God created woman, and they were sinless and called “very good.” Adam and Eve’s purpose was to have dominion over the earth and to multiply. They were given the ability to choose to follow God’s plan or their own lusts, which is a test they failed. Sin entered the world because of their failure to obey God, Adam and Eve were no longer considered pure, resulting in their separation from God. The sin curse exists today in every human because people are the seed of Adam.
Separation from His creation is not what God wants. His utmost desire is for humanity to spend eternity ...view middle of the document...
This nation is to be a light to the rest of the nations of the world so that everyone will come to know the living God.
God’s plan to restore humanity back into a relationship with Him is first revealed in Genesis 12:1-3. God would provide forgiveness and life by using Abram and his offspring. However, these blessings were not just for Abram and his family but also for those through out the generations, both descendants of Israel and outsiders as well. God changed Abram’s name to Abraham, which means the father of a multitude. Abraham fathered Isaac and Isaac fathered Jacob. God changed Jacob’s name to Israel, which means prince of God. The Scriptures make clear that the blessings promised to these patriarchs of faith were not just for their heirs alone but also for every person present and future. God was working through these men with a plan to restore what was once lost in the garden with Adam. Century’s later, Scripture records the apostles quoting and making clear this plan.
The descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would become known as the Israeli nation. God’s plan started with an elect group but was never intended for just them. Leviticus 19:33-34 makes clear to the Israelites that God is also available for the Gentiles. In this passage the Gentiles are referred to as foreigners among them. These foreigners are to be shown love by the nation, not discriminating as if from the same nation, even to the point of allowing the outsiders to worship with them in their temples. God wanted them to have access to Him. The nation of Israel was not the answer to the problem, but a catalyst for others to come and know God.
Many years later king David would understand the same concept when he penned Psalms 67. This psalm is an amazing Old Testament passage that captures the idea of missions. David’s requests is not that God would bless the Israeli nation so that they will prosper, but to bless Israel so the entire world will see God’s hand on them and come to know and recognize Him. A parallel exist between the passage in Psalms 67 and Genesis 12:2-3. The theme is that God will bless Israel, other nations will see what He is doing, resulting in all nations coming to know God. Again, God blesses Israel so that others could be blessed through them.
NEW TESTEMENT TEXT AS RELATED TO MISSIONS
A numerous amount of verses in The New Testament are mission focused. However, the most notable is found in Matthew 28:16-20 and is known as the Great Commission. The key word in these verses is the reference to “all.” “All” authority, “all” nations, obey “all” commandments, and “all” their days. Jesus makes clear that He is in control and has power over everything in heaven and on earth. Jesus also noticeably states that it is His desire for “All” men to come to know Him in John 12:32. Nevertheless, Jesus clearly instructs His followers to be active in His mission by reaching and making disciples of every nation.
The command in Matthew 28...