The mission of God is simple: to glorify Himself by giving eternal life to everyone who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ. The question is, are God’s people committed to His mission of redeeming a people for Himself? Is the church of Jesus today committed to seeing, “all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb” (Rev. 7:9)? Well, our lesson for this week shows us why we can, and should, be committed to God’s mission.
First, we are committed to God’s mission because of God’s promise of salvation. When one reads verses 9-10, there is no question as to how one is saved. When, by faith, a lost person confesses “Jesus is Lord” and believes in their “heart that God raised Him from the dead,” they are “saved.” In the Roman world, the requirement was to proclaim, “Caesar is Lord.” But for the genuine follower of Christ the one who “believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness” and by faith “confesses with the mouth,” is saved by the great grace of God. And while some want to debate the issue of “Lordship salvation,” there is no debating the fact, that a requirement for salvation is to “believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead.” In other words, if one denies the literal death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ they are not born again. Besides, 1 Corinthians 15:14-17, makes it clear that without the literal, bodily resurrection of Jesus we are not saved, and are still lost in our sins.
Second, we are committed to God’s mission because of the reach, or scope of salvation. In other words, verses 11-13 tell us that God saves everyone who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ. You see this in words like “Whoever” (v. 11), and “all.” Second Peter 3:9 says that God is “long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all come to repentance.” This is why we “go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).
Third, we are committed to God’s mission in reaching the lost, because He calls out His messengers. In the last section of verses, Paul reminds the reader that the only way the lost hear is through faithful messengers willing to go and preach the Good News. In other words, God calls His people to” go and make disciples of all peoples” (Matt. 28:19). There are great multitudes of people in our world today, who have not yet heard. Every year, I have the privilege of traveling to South Asia, where I consistently encounter people who have never heard a clear Gospel presentation. People who have no Bible, no Christian friends, and no exposure to Christianity as we do in Tennessee. However, that reality has come home. I recently stood before a group of High School students after giving each of them a Bible, only to learn that for some of them, it was the first Bible they had ever received, and the first time they had heard the Gospel.
We have been called by God to carry the Good News to a lost and dying world. Let’s recommit ourselves to God’s mission of saving sinners for His glory.
--Eric Taylor is the pastor of Cedar Hill Baptist Church in Cedar Hill, Tenn. This article first appeared in Baptist & Reflector, Nov. 28, 2020.