Why should we plant churches in other nations? In a few hours I will be on a plane headed south to work with our mission team from Pray’s Mill Baptist Church in order to plant a church in the mountain regions of central Ecuador. The purpose of the trip is exploration, networking, relationship building, evangelism, and preparation work for the church plant that we will establish by God’s grace in the mountains of Ecuador among the Quichua Indians. We have been praying and preparing for this project for months now, and it’s hard to believe that it’s almost here. I looked at my family as I left this morning with a real sense that I will be leaving in a few hours – and I will sure miss them.Why are we going to the expense of planting a church in the mountains of Ecuador? The time and financial investment seems rather high – so why should we go to Ecuador to plant a church? As we look at Scripture, we see that God is a missionary God. David Livingston once said, “God had only one Son, and He was a missionary.” He has a love for people and a mission to accomplish among the nations of earth. He chose one nation, Israel, out of all the nations in order to make His name known among the other peoples on planet earth. It has always been God’s plan to save His people from their sins – and He accomplishes that task through His Son and the work of the Holy Spirit who draws people to God through the preaching of the gospel. He has sent us out to preach that message of Christ among the nations in order that they will be saved by His sovereign grace and for His eternal glory.
There is none like you among the gods, O Lord,nor are there any works like yours.All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord,and shall glorify your name.
As we look at these words from the Psalmist – the plan of God is apparent. He is going to bring the nations to His feet to worship Him forever. God’s plan of salvation is achieved through His Son Jesus Christ. Later in the New Testament, we see Jesus making strong statements regarding missions.
Matthew 10:16 – Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.
John 20:21 – Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”
Matthew 28:18-20 – And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Jesus said some very difficult things to His disciples. However, the repetitive theme of Jesus’ mission is centered upon the sending out of His disciples into the world. Jesus came to fulfill the Father’s will and to save His people from their sins. Jesus came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10). However, the Great Commission text at the end of Matthew’s gospel looks far beyond the borders of Israel. God is not interested in one country alone – He is interested in the nations of the world. That’s why Jonah, a disobedient prophet, was sent to Nineveh. That’s why Paul, a Jewish man, was sent out to reach the Gentiles. God sends out His people to preach the gospel, the Spirit convicts hearts and draws them, they respond in obedience and faith, and God saves them on the basis of Jesus’ blood (1 Peter 1:2; Romans 10:17; John 6:44, 65; John 3:16).
Charles Spurgeon once said, “If there be any one point in which the Christian church ought to keep its fervor at a white heat, it is concerning missions. If there be anything about which we cannot tolerate lukewarmness, it is in the matter of sending the gospel to a dying world.“
Statistics tell us that approximately 41% of planet earth is unreached with the gospel. As Islam rises and America gives way to false religions – the number of unreached people will rise. The people at The Joshua Project (http://joshuaproject.net/great-commission-statistics.php) are reporting the number of unreached people on planet earth to be 2.8 billion. These numbers demonstrate the enormity of our task. It should create a flood of urgency in our soul to reach out to the billions of people who are going to a hell all around the world! There is no time to waste! We must go and tell the good news of Christ!
Charles Spurgeon once remarked, “The great question is not, ‘Will not the heathen be saved if we do not send them the gospel?’ but are we saved ourselves if we do not send them the gospel?“
We are not going to Ecuador to glorify our name. We are not going to Ecuador in order to be trendy in our missions ministry. We are not going to Ecuador in order to elevate our leadership in the eyes of other church leaders. We are going to Ecuador because God has sent us out to reach the nations with the gospel. It is our desire for this new church plant in Ecuador to become a strong and vibrant church in the years to come. It’s also our desire that it too will be a reproducing church that reaches out to the nations for the glory of God! John Piper said, “There are only three kinds of Christians when it comes to world missions: zealous goers, zealous senders, and disobedient.”
Revelation 5:8-14 -And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.
For the praise of His worthy name!Pastor Josh Buice