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The World: The Arena of Mission

THURSDAY October 12

The World: The Arena of Mission

Read Revelation 7:9, 10. What does this text suggest about the farreaching geographical scope of God’s mission?

This week’s lesson has intentionally discussed two crucial mission texts that emphasize the centrality of disciple-making in the Great Commission and the message of the eternal gospel. Interestingly, both texts have at least a common connecting point: the “where” of mission. They read: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations” (Matt. 28:19, NKJV), “those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people” (Rev. 14:6, NKJV; emphasis added).

In other words, the gospel of Christ is to reach all classes, all nations, all tongues, and all peoples. The influence of the gospel is to unite the saved in one great brotherhood. We have only one model to imitate, and that is Christ. If we accept the truth as it is in Jesus, national prejudices and jealousies will be broken down, and the spirit of truth will blend our hearts into one.

When Jesus said, “ ‘You will be my witnesses’ ” (Acts 1:8, NRSV), He had three different geographical areas in mind:

Area 1: “ ‘You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem.’ ” At that time, His disciples were very close to Jerusalem. So, Jesus was basically saying, “Begin to share your experience with God with people who are close to you.” Mission begins at home, with family, with neighbors, with friends. This is the ultimate place of mission.

Area 2: He then continues: “ ‘in all Judea and Samaria.’ ” Our mission also involves those who are in some ways close but at the same time distant from us. In this group are people who may speak the same language that we speak—people who have a similar culture but do not live or share the same reality that we do. This is our further place of mission.

Area 3: Beyond this, Christ says: “ ‘and to the end of the earth’ ” (NKJV). God’s mission calls us to reach individuals from all places, nations, people groups, languages, and ethnicities. This is our ultimate place of mission.

Challenge: Pray every day this week for the community where you live. God has placed you there for a reason. Challenge Up: Research the demographics of your area (what kind of people live around you)—ethnic and religious background, old, young, poor, wealthy, languages spoken, and so on. Ask God to show you how you may be a channel of His love to them.

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