By Derek Elles
Missions Monday – May 3, 2021
If you felt last week’s quote by Charles Spurgeon was thought-provoking, listen to this profound excerpt from John Piper’s book Let the Nations Be Glad.
Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more.
What is Piper communicating here? Let’s look at each part of this excerpt to understand what it is.
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“Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is.” This does not mean that churches should not do missions; that goes against the mandate of Christ. Rather, missions is a goal of the church, but only in support of its ultimate goal of worship.
“Missions exists because worship doesn’t.” He is not saying that Christians are not worshiping in church and somehow missions will change that, but the church uses missions to achieve worship. In other words, there are people not worshiping Yahweh because they have not heard of Him, or they are worshiping a different god and therefore missions exist to bring them into worship.
“Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man.” Missions tend to concentrate on what they are trying to do on a particular project, which is especially evident in short-term missions. When this happens, focus tends to shift to the missionary and away from Christ. The ultimate focus should always be what the Lord is doing and not what we, or man, is doing. This can be difficult, especially when the missionaries continually receive thanks for all they are doing. It takes a continual and conscious effort to correct this when it happens.
“When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more.” The point being made here is that the church will always exist, even in heaven. In heaven however, everyone will be in continual worship and so missions are not needed to bring anyone into worship.
Until next week. Blessings in Yahweh’s grace, mercy, and peace.
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