This is a short sermon that God gave me many years ago. Through this message, many have responded to the call of missions. When we talk about missions we must first of all realize that missions is the most important mandate to the church, and is not supposed to only be one of the programs of the church. It is the very reason why the church exists.
Secondly, the call to missions is not only to meet some need in the world, but an invitation from God to be part of His wonderful program to reach this world for Christ. Missions were never to be a boring obligation, but an exciting adventure that God invites us to participate in. It is the very reason why we were born!
I want to look at a very important phrase that is found in a few places in the Bible. The phrase is “I will go!” Connected to this phrase are some of the most important principles of missions.
The first place where we find this phrase is when Abraham sent his servant Eliezar to find a wife for His son Isaac. Abraham is a type God the Father. Isaac is a type of Jesus, who was also offered as a sacrifice. The servant, Eliezar, is the type of the Holy Spirit. Just as Abraham sent Eliezar to a far country, to find a bride for Isaac, so the Holy Spirit has been sent to earth to find and prepare a bride for Jesus. Rebecca is a type of the church, which is the bride of Christ.
We read in Genesis 24:58. “And they called Rebecca, and said unto her,’ Will you go with this man?’ And she said, ‘I will go.'” She made this decision with mixed emotions. First of all, there was the cost. She was part of a wealthy family; she had a nice home and many friends. She realized that she would have to leave everything that was precious to her, never see her family again, go to a far country and marry a man that she had never met. On the other hand, there was an excitement in her because she had finally discovered her destiny and calling and the very reason she why was born. To enter into her calling, she had to respond, “I will go.” The same is true for us today. Our whole destiny and purpose for life depends on how we respond to the question, “will you go!”
We read about her calling, in verse 60 we read, “And they blessed Rebecca, and said unto her, you are our sister, be the mother of thousands of millions, and let your seed possess the gate of those which hate them.” From her would come the nation of Israel, the seed of Jesus and eventually salvation to all the nations of the world. When she said, “I will go”, that decision would influence the whole world. In the same way, we have a great calling; our calling is to win this world for Jesus and to eventually destroy the works of the devil. God has called all of us to influence cities and nations for Jesus. It all depends on whether our response will be, “I will go.”
The second place where this phrase occurs is in the story of Queen Esther. Through her, the whole nation of Israel was saved from destruction and from the evil plans of Haman. In Esther 4:16 we read how Esther responds to the call to save her nation, “I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!”
When she said, “I will go” she knew that this decision could cost her everything, and even could cost her, her life. But because she said, “I will go,” a whole nation was saved. Therefore, even if the little phrase, “I will go” would be costly, it could save nations and influence many people for Christ. In verse 14 Mordecai says to Esther, “Who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this as this.” In the same way, who knows the incredible things that God has in mind for each of us! It could all hinge on the little phrase, “I will go!”
The third place where this phrase is implied is in Isaiah 6:8-9. “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.” And He said, “Go, and tell this people…” He was saying to God, “I will go…” We notice that he did not have a direct call to missions, but heard a conversation in heaven. He probably cried out to God and said “If you are looking for someone to go, here I am please use me, send me, I will go!”
That is how many of us are called to missions. Often, we do not have a direct calling, but we hear a conversation “in heaven.” It may come to us at a missions conference or from a book that we read. It could come as we read the Bible and a desire grows in our hearts for God to use us and show us His calling. We have the illustration of Peter walking on the water. As he saw Jesus walking on the water, a desire came into his heart to do the same thing. In the same way, we may see something and a desire comes into our hearts. In the case of Isaiah, God responded to his desire to go.
We can imagine the following:
Jesus and the Father look over the balcony of heaven and see their creation with great sadness in their hearts. Everyone is lost in darkness and sin. A great compassion comes into their hearts and the say to one another, “how We love them so much but they are so lost. They are like sheep that have gone with no hope and all going to hell. We must do something to save them!”
There is a moment of holy silence, and the Father looks at the Son and says, “There is only one thing we can do. You will have to go and live among them, be born like any baby boy, and grow up like a any other Child… You must become a human and experience everything that they experience. You will be hungry, cold and tired just like them. You must tell them about Me and My love for them. Some of them will listen to your message and believe in You. But many will reject you and mock you and even want to kill you.”
Then with tears in His eyes the Father says, “Do you see that city over there, it is called Jerusalem. There they will arrest you. You will be falsely accused and condemned to death. You will experience the most unimaginable pain as they scourge you, beat you and abuse you. You will then suffer the most painful death known to man, called crucifixion. A great darkness will come upon you as you carry the sins of the world in your soul. You will even experience separation from Me. You will die and shed your blood to redeem them!
The Father then continues to say, “On the third day, I will raise you up from the dead and in doing so, we will destroy the powers of darkness that have kept them in bondage for so long. A door of hope will be opened and millions and millions of them will receive the gift of eternal life and be adopted into our family. This is the only way.”
There was a moment of silence, the Father turned to Jesus with tears in His eyes and said, “Will you go?” Jesus thought for a moment, just as Rebecca, with mixed emotions of sorrow and joy. Realizing the huge price that He would have to pay, He then thought about the joy of seeing millions and millions redeemed and going to heaven. He turned to His Father, and with deep emotion gave His answer, Yes Father, “I will go.”
How about you? “Will you go?”