Missions is not just a topic that is referenced in specific places in the Bible, but instead is a theme can be found from Genesis all the way to Revelation. “Since creation, God has been interested in redeeming all peoples to himself.” From God’s first command of Adam and Eve to “Be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28), God has intended for the earth to be filled with worshippers.
But we know that sin comes into the world, nations are created, and God begins his work to bring back worshippers from these nations.
God uses Abraham to establish a nation that was blessed to be a blessing to the other nations of the world. The way that God enacts this plan is by moving people, both spiritually and geographically, to take His name where it wasn’t known. Throughout the rest of the Old Testament, in almost every story we read, God shows His global purpose.
Rahab explained to the Israelites spies that the people of Canaan understood God’s power and authority through the parting of the Red Sea and the Israelites victories over the kings of the Amorites. (Joshua 2:8-11)
While they were in exile, God worked through Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to show Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar that there is “no other God who is able to rescue in this way.” (Daniel 3:29)
Time and time again, we see that the Old Testament is not just a random collection of stories about God and the nation of Israel, it is one continuous story of God and his heart to bring the nations into his eternal Kingdom.
This story continues into the New Testament. God in the flesh comes into the world and as he provides himself as the ultimate sacrifice to pay for the sins of man. He continues to demonstrate his love for all nations. Through Acts, and the Epistles, the Church is challenged to push the boundaries of darkness and take the name of Jesus to places that it isn’t known.
Finally, in the book of Revelation we see how this beautiful story ends and a new story begins. John records in Revelation 7:9-10, ‘After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb…and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”’
How amazing to see the fulfillment of God’s mission from the beginning of this Story. We will see the culmination of God’s pursuit of man with representation from every tribe, tongue, and language worshipping Him. Now, we are invited to join him as he finishes the final chapters. As our friends at The Traveling Team say, “It will happen, the only question is will you be a part?”
We encourage you to check out The Traveling Team's whole article, The Bible as a Missions Story.