Thursday, April 25

14 Biblical Reasons for personally engaging in missions

The Traveling Team lists 14 Biblical reasons for missions. Yet, most of us will give their list a quick skim while thinking, "God hasn't called me to that..." Really?


1) The Promise (Gen 12:1-3) – Because God has promised to bless all nations (or people groups) on the earth. What better motivation and encouragement can we have than the understanding that missions (blessing the nations with the Gospel) is in the sure purposes of God.

2) The Purchase (Rev 5:9) – Because Jesus has already purchased people from every tribe and nation with His blood. Like the Moravians motivated by this purchase we should repeat what two Moravians missionaries said as they set sail for India, “May the Lamb receive the reward of His suffering!” In other words, He has already purchased them, our job is only to gather in what is His.

3) Because the Harvest is plentiful (Matt 9:37) – Now this is for all the numbers gurus out there who are motivated by sheer statistics. Today, out of the 6.5 billion people on the planet, over 4 billion are without a saving relationship with Christ. More tragic is that 2.4 billion of these who are lost have no means to hear the message of salvation through Christ – they are cut off from the gospel through lack of missionaries, lack of resources, etc. If you lined them up in a single file line they would wrap around the earth 25 times...The harvest is plentiful!

4) Because the Laborers are few (Matt 9:37) – This is probably what runs through my head the majority of the times I get up to speak. Only one in every 20,000 believers will ever take the gospel to those who are out of reach of the church. What’s worse than that? Out of all the cross-cultural missionaries in the world, you would hope that the majority would be working where the majority need is. However only 2.5% of all the 430,000 missionaries are working in the 10/40 Window. More laborers are needed.

5) Because the Destiny of the Lost (Rom 1; John 3:18; John 14:6) – Now this is harder to take in, but I believer the Bible gives us no means by which a person can be saved other than through Christ’s work, and by exercising faith in His name. This means not by other religions, not without hearing specifically about Christ (through evangelism and missions) and not because they died without hearing. The Scripture leaves no loopholes for those living in ignorance. All are born in sin, the Cross has real meaning for salvation, and the Great Commission is necessary for people to hear and be saved. If this shocks you, you may have been influenced by the universalism that is gossiped among church goers. In Romans 1 (creation) does exactly what God designed it to do – it condemns people, leaving them without an excuse and knowledge of a creator – but not salvific knowledge of God through Jesus Christ. This makes missions not only important, but urgent.

6) Logically Necessary for Hearing the Gospel Message (Rom 10:14-15, Acts 8 (Philip) and 10 (Cornelius) – This goes along with the last one. Every time someone comes to Christ in Scripture there is a human messenger involved. It would be great to think that God would draw people to Himself in the world apart from someone going. He is able, but this is not the means He has chosen to use. The Church is the means. The Ethiopian eunuch was reading Isaiah (the OT Bible!) and still God miraculously transported Philip, a human messenger to explain Christ to him. An angel appears to Cornelius, a god-fearer. But still Peter must be summoned and travel all the way to Cornelius’ house to explain the gospel to him before he could be saved. Why didn’t the angel just tell Cornelius? It would have saved a lot of time and gas money for Peter – but God used a human messenger. Missions and evangelism are necessary.

7) The Example of the Church (Acts 1:8, 10, 15, Rom 15:20) – The early church has given us a model to follow. They went out, sent out their own missionaries like Paul and Barnabus, and evangelized the Gentiles beyond the reach of the gospel in their world.

8) The Descriptive Future is Prescriptive for Today (Rev 7:9, Rev 21:24-26) – Now, it’s tricky but follow this logic. If there are people described in heaven in the future – it is logical that they must be reached with the gospel at some point in history. So because we see a great multitude gathered around the throne from every tribe, people, and nation – we must labor to begin with this end in mind, bringing it into reality as God uses us to fulfill it.

9) Because We Will be Held Accountable (Ezek 33) – Here is a passage that will cause you to re-evaluate life. The people of God, meant to be a blessing to the world, were held accountable for not warning others of the danger coming. Will believers be held accountable for their obedience to the Great Commission? It may mean great reward-loss by many Christians for failing to use what God has blessed them with to bless the nations.

10) Because To Whom Much is Given Much is Required (Luke 12:47-48) – Here is Jesus’ measuring standard. It’s like a blessing and obedience math formula. Our accountability may be based on our resources, our understanding, or our ability – more given equals more expected.

11) Because the Church is the Means (Rom 1:5, Gal 3:14-15, 2 Cor 5:17-20) – You are God’s ordained means for the blessing of Christ reaching to all the nations, just like He promised (Gen 12). Jesus has purchased them (Rev 5:9) and commissioned us with the task of gathering them in for God’s glory.

12) Because History Awaits the Fulfillment of the Promise (Matt 24:14) – Not sure how it’s all going to play out, but if God has promised that all nations are reached and Jesus says here that the gospel will be preached to all nations…then the end will come – it just seems logical. The story of history seems to be arranged on the thread of this mission, even the history we are a part of today. That is exciting!

13) Because the Glory of God is Yet to be Known (Hab 2:14; Ps 72:19, 86; Isa 11:9) – There are actually about a dozen times that Bible talks of God’s glory “filling the earth as the waters cover the sea.” God has created people to worship Him and that worship is being given to other lesser things right now. Missions is spreading the worship and enjoyment of God to those who are not currently worshippers, because God’s glory is increased by the increase of His church in the world. As John Piper says it, “Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Where passion for God is weak, zeal for missions will be weak.”

14) The Commands of Jesus (Matt 28:18-20; Acts 1:8, 13:47; John 20:21) – And last of all – because Jesus commanded it. Just as Jesus says in John 14:21, "He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me,” or 1 John 3:24, “The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him.” I hope we can all stand before him in the end and hear him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Monday, April 15

¿Qué podemos aprender en cuanto al bautismo de la iglesia del primer siglo?

A continuación una lista completa de todos los pasajes en el libro de Los Hechos que hablan del bautismo.

Al estudiar los pasajes haga las siguientes preguntas...

¿Cuándo fueron bautizados?

¿Cuál era el requisito para ser bautizado?

¿Quién bautizó?

¿Cuanto tiempo pasó en cada caso entre el haber creido y el haber sido bautizado?

En estos pasajes, qué es más importante, ¿la persona quién bautiza, o el nombre en quién se bautiza?

Según los pasajes arriba, ¿cuándo sería un caso cuando un pecador se arrepiente y NO se le debería bautizar?

¿Qué podemos aprender en cuanto al bautismo de la iglesia del primer siglo?

¿Tenemos el derecho de imponer otras prácticas o impedimentos al bautismo a las que se observan aquí en estos pasajes del libro de los Hechos, la Palabra de Dios?


Hechos 2:36-41 Sepa, pues, con certeza toda la casa de Israel, que a este Jesús a quien vosotros crucificasteis, Dios le ha hecho Señor y Cristo. Al oír esto, compungidos de corazón, dijeron a Pedro y a los demás apóstoles: Hermanos, ¿qué haremos? Y Pedro les dijo: Arrepentíos y sed bautizados cada uno de vosotros en el nombre de Jesucristo para perdón de vuestros pecados, y recibiréis el don del Espíritu Santo. Porque la promesa es para vosotros y para vuestros hijos y para todos los que están lejos, para tantos como el Señor nuestro Dios llame. Y con muchas otras palabras testificaba solemnemente y les exhortaba diciendo: Sed salvos de esta perversa generación. Entonces los que habían recibido su palabra fueron bautizados; y se añadieron aquel día como tres mil almas.

8:9-13 Y cierto hombre llamado Simón, hacía tiempo que estaba ejerciendo la magia en la ciudad y asombrando a la gente de Samaria, pretendiendo ser un gran personaje ; y todos, desde el menor hasta el mayor, le prestaban atención, diciendo: Este es el que se llama el Gran Poder de Dios. Le prestaban atención porque por mucho tiempo los había asombrado con sus artes mágicas. Pero cuando creyeron a Felipe, que anunciaba las buenas nuevas del reino de Dios y el nombre de Cristo Jesús, se bautizaban, tanto hombres como mujeres. Y aun Simón mismo creyó; y después de bautizarse, continuó con Felipe, y estaba atónito al ver las señales y los grandes milagros que se hacían.

8:34-39 El eunuco respondió a Felipe y dijo: Te ruego que me digas, ¿de quién dice esto el profeta? ¿De sí mismo, o de algún otro? Entonces Felipe abrió su boca, y comenzando desde esta Escritura, le anunció el evangelio de Jesús. Yendo por el camino, llegaron a un lugar donde había agua; y el eunuco dijo*: Mira, agua. ¿Qué impide que yo sea bautizado? Y Felipe dijo: Si crees con todo tu corazón, puedes. Respondió él y dijo: Creo que Jesucristo es el Hijo de Dios.Y mandó parar el carruaje; ambos descendieron al agua, Felipe y el eunuco, y lo bautizó. Al salir ellos del agua, el Espíritu del Señor arrebató a Felipe; y no lo vio más el eunuco, que continuó su camino gozoso.

9:17-18 Ananías fue y entró en la casa, y después de poner las manos sobre él, dijo: Hermano Saulo, el Señor Jesús, que se te apareció en el camino por donde venías, me ha enviado para que recobres la vista y seas lleno del Espíritu Santo. Al instante cayeron de sus ojos como unas escamas, y recobró la vista; y se levantó y fue bautizado.

10:44-48 Mientras Pedro aún hablaba estas palabras, el Espíritu Santo cayó sobre todos los que escuchaban el mensaje. Y todos los creyentes que eran de la circuncisión, que habían venido con Pedro, se quedaron asombrados, porque el don del Espíritu Santo había sido derramado también sobre los gentiles, pues les oían hablar en lenguas y exaltar a Dios. Entonces Pedro dijo: ¿Puede acaso alguien negar el agua para que sean bautizados éstos que han recibido el Espíritu Santo lo mismo que nosotros? Y mandó que fueran bautizados en el nombre de Jesucristo. Entonces le pidieron que se quedara con ellos unos días.

16:13-15 Y en el día de reposo salimos fuera de la puerta, a la orilla de un río, donde pensábamos que habría un lugar de oración; nos sentamos y comenzamos a hablar a las mujeres que se habían reunido. Y estaba escuchando cierta mujer llamada Lidia, de la ciudad de Tiatira, vendedora de telas de púrpura, que adoraba a Dios; y el Señor abrió su corazón para que recibiera lo que Pablo decía. Cuando ella y su familia se bautizaron, nos rogó, diciendo: Si juzgáis que soy fiel al Señor, venid a mi casa y quedaos en ella. Y nos persuadió a ir.

16:29-34 Entonces él pidió luz y se precipitó adentro, y temblando, se postró ante Pablo y Silas, y después de sacarlos, dijo: Señores, ¿qué debo hacer para ser salvo? Ellos respondieron: Cree en el Señor Jesús, y serás salvo, tú y toda tu casa. Y le hablaron la palabra del Señor a él y a todos los que estaban en su casa. Y él los tomó en aquella misma hora de la noche, y les lavó las heridas; enseguida fue bautizado, él y todos los suyos. Llevándolos a su hogar, les dio de comer, y se regocijó grandemente por haber creído en Dios con todos los suyos.

18:7-8 Y partiendo de allí, se fue a la casa de un hombre llamado Ticio Justo, que adoraba a Dios, cuya casa estaba junto a la sinagoga. Y Crispo, el oficial de la sinagoga, creyó en el Señor con toda su casa, y muchos de los corintios, al oír, creían y eran bautizados.

19:1-7 Y aconteció que mientras Apolos estaba en Corinto, Pablo, habiendo recorrido las regiones superiores, llegó a Efeso y encontró a algunos discípulos, y les dijo: ¿Recibisteis el Espíritu Santo cuando creísteis? Y ellos le respondieron: No, ni siquiera hemos oído si hay un Espíritu Santo. Entonces él dijo: ¿En qué bautismo, pues, fuisteis bautizados? Ellos contestaron: En el bautismo de Juan. Y Pablo dijo: Juan bautizó con el bautismo de arrepentimiento, diciendo al pueblo que creyeran en aquel que vendría después de él, es decir, en Jesús. Cuando oyeron esto, fueron bautizados en el nombre del Señor Jesús. Y cuando Pablo les impuso las manos, vino sobre ellos el Espíritu Santo, y hablaban en lenguas y profetizaban. Eran en total unos doce hombres.

Tuesday, April 9

G.D. Watson's "Others may, but you cannot"

If God has called you to be truly like Jesus in all your spirit, He will draw you into a life of crucifixion and humility. He will put on you such demands of obedience that you will not be allowed to follow other people or measure yourself by other Christians. At times, He will let other people do things which He will not let you do.

Other Christians who seem to be very religious and useful may push themselves, pull wires, and work schemes to carry out their plans, but you cannot. If you attempt it, you will meet with such failure and rebuke from the Lord as to make you sorely penitent.

Others may boast of themselves, their work, their successes, their writings, but the Holy Spirit will not allow you to do any such thing. If you begin to do so, He will lead you into a deep mortification that will make you despise yourself and all your good works.

Others may be allowed to succeed in making great sums of money, or may have a legacy left to them, or may have luxuries, but God may supply you only on a day-to-day basis, because He wants you to have something far better than gold, namely, a helpless dependence on Him and His unseen treasury.

The Lord may let others be honored and put forward, and keep you hidden in obscurity because He wants to produce some choice, fragrant fruit for His coming glory which can only be produced in the shade.

God may let others be great, but keep you small. He will let others do a work for Him and get the credit, but He may make you work and toil without knowing how much you are doing. Then, to make your work still more precious, He will let others get the credit for the work which you have done; this to teach you the message of the Cross, humility, and something of the value of being cloaked with His nature.

The Holy Spirit will put a strict watch on you, and with a jealous love rebuke you for careless words and feelings, or for wasting your time, which other Christians never seem distressed over.

So make up your mind that God is an infinite Sovereign and has a right to do as He pleases with His own, and that He may not explain to you a thousand things which may puzzle your reason in His dealings with you. But if you absolutely give yourself to be His child, He will wrap you up in a jealous love and let other people say and do many things that you cannot.

Settle it forever; you are to deal directly with the Holy Spirit. He is to have the privilege of tying your tongue or chaining your hand or closing your eyes in ways that He does not seem to use with others. However, know this great secret of the Kingdom: When you are so completely possessed with the Living God that you are, in your secret heart, pleased and delighted over this peculiar, personal, private, jealous guardianship and management of the Holy Spirit over your life, you will have found the vestibule of heaven, the high calling of God.

--Rev. G. D. Watson (1845-1924)