STUDY ON MISSIONS THEOLOGY BEGINS by Miriam Berg
Very often, though we might not realize or admit it, we live like the Bible is all about us. We think it is merely a rule book telling us what we should and shouldn’t do, our family doctor showing us how to feel better, our treasure map showing us how to get God’s blessings, etc. But that is not what the Bible is mostly about. The Bible is more about God and His glory than it is about us. Even from the creation of the world, God was showing that His glory and His name are of utmost importance.
Genesis 1:28 God Commissions Adam and Eve
Why do you think God gave the command for people to be fruitful and multiply? What do you think He was envisioning? Could it be that He wanted the earth to be filled with people so that those people could glorify and worship Him?
Genesis 6:5-9 God Commissions Noah
Why did God destroy everyone else, but save Noah and His family? Verse 9 says it was because he was “a righteous man … and he walked with God.” God destroyed the people who did not bring Him glory, but saved Noah and his family because Noah loved and honored God.
Genesis 11:1-9 The Tower of Babel
Why did God confuse the people’s language and scatter them? Because they wanted to “make a name” for themselves (v.4) instead of wanting to make God’s name great. God will not share His glory with another.
So what does God’s desire to be glorified have to do with missions? Well, currently, between 30-40% of the world’s population is part of an unreached people group. What that means is about a third of the people in the world couldn’t hear the gospel even if they wanted to (at least not without learning a new language, crossing a border, dealing with an enemy tribe, etc.). These people will not come to know God through Jesus unless someone from their group comes into contact with a cross-cultural missionary of some sort. Without cross-cultural missions, many people groups will never hear the Gospel, and will therefore not be able to glorify God through worship.
Romans 10:14 reminds us: “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” If we believe that God is passionate about His glory in all the nations, then we must be passionate about missions until His name is glorified among ALL the nations.
When the Bible talks about all nations, it is not talking about countries or geo-political boundaries. The Greek word commonly translated nations is ethne. You can see the connection to ethnicity or ethnic group. We often use the phrase people group to mean the same thing. Remember: When you read, nations in the Bible, don’t think country. Think people group.
We started in Genesis and will be working our way through the Bible. Above is the first lesson of twelve. These studies will be available on this website every other week starting July 15th, 2014. You can access them by going to Articles in SDBMissions.org. Or if you would like to receive these by email twice a month, please contact Subscribe by Email and say that you would like to be put on the missions study emails list or use our contact page: Contact Us