Theology of Missions
Throughout Scripture, God is depicted as a merciful and loving God (Jonah 4:1-2; 1 John 4:7-8). His entire program is filled with soteriological implications that extend to the lost world; from the moment of the fall to the eschatological prophecies, regardless of the time or economy. God has shown mercy and has done the work to reconcile sinful men to Himself (Gen 3:15; Rev 22:17). There should be no doubt that God has a heart for missions (John 3:16).
The missionary heart of God was clearly seen in the Old Testament through God seeking man. The Law made Israel a peculiar people which drew curiosity from the world. Missions cannot be thought to be strictly a New Testament idea placed neatly inside a new covenant. Rather, it was part of the plan from the opening of Genesis to the last passage of Revelation.
The importance of missions is seen in the greatness of Christ's sacrifice. No event has or will ever surpass the undeniable greatness of the work that Christ did on the cross (Phil 2: 5-12). Never in the annals of history or in the chronicles of eternity has one so great humbled Himself to such a low esteem. While God owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Ps 50:10), He only has one Son (Heb 1: 5; John 3:16).
Christ became the propitiation for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2). Christ commissioned His followers to teach all nations everything that he taught them. This is called the great commission (Matt 28:18 – 20, Acts 1:8). Paul taught that the church should send out men to preach the gospel so that the lost could hear and be saved (Rom 10:14-17). It is clearly seen in scripture as a mandate to not only Israel and the disciples, but it is also given to their converts (Rom 15:5-24). That very same missions mandate is timeless and continues on till the day when Christ will come again. It is the responsibility of the church to win souls to the Lord in the local area around it, and outward to the world.