This morning is Missions Sunday, a Sunday in which we emphasize the mission of the church. The church is comprised of all those saved by the grace of the Lord, called out of darkness and unbelief and brought to faith in Christ. Having received God's mercy, we have been commissioned to take the hope of the gospel to the nations. God chooses to make his offer of mercy and grace through us.
This morning is our annual Missions Sunday. It is a time in which we focus our attention on the mission of the church, to glorify God through making disciples of all nations. This mission comes directly from Jesus. In his earthly ministry, Jesus performed many miracles, healing every disease and illness. Gracious and merciful as that was, that was not his primary ministry. His primary ministry was the proclamation of the gospel of the Kingdom of God and urging sinners to repent and turn to him in faith. Likewise, his disciples are commissioned with the same mission, to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost and needy world. And to do that, we must be filled with a sincere Christ-like compassion for the lost. Then we must pray; pray for God to do what only He can do in sending laborers into his harvest to proclaim the gospel and draw sinners to himself by the power of the Holy Spirit.
As part of Missions Sunday, this morning we step out of our series in Malachi and examine who we are as Christians and why we exist. As the Apostle Peter so beautifully writes, we-the church- are a holy nation made to proclaim the excellencies of Christ. We participate in God's good plan to reach the nations through faithfully proclaiming the life giving news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
There are two very simple biblical truths about world missions: the nations must hear the gospel and Christ has charged us to take it to them. And while this task is fraught with temporal danger, God has promised to be with us, assuring us that his love and power go with us. We should not fear man, but rather fear the Lord only. For if we deny Him before men, He will deny us before the Father.