Wednesday, August 20, 2008

08 20 08 Is There a Modern-Day Missionary?

Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the believers. You are faithful even though they are strangers to you. They have told the church about your love. Please help them by sending them on their way in a manner that honors God. They started on their journey to serve Jesus Christ. They didn't receive any help from those who aren't believers. So we should welcome people like them. We should work together with them for the truth.” (1 John 1:3-8 NIrV)/strong>
J. Herbert Kane (Understanding Christian Missions, 1974) gives what I consider a wonderful definition of the MODERN-DAY MISSIONARY:

"In the traditional sense the term missionary has been reserved for those who have been called by God to a full-time ministry of the Word and prayer (Acts 6:4) and who have crossed geographical and/or cultural boundaries (Acts 22:21) to preach the Gospel in those areas of the world where Jesus Christ is largely, if not entirely, unknown (Romans 15:20).”

“That is what I say to stand up for myself when people judge me. Don't we have the right to eat and drink? Don't we have the right to take a believing wife with us when we travel? The other apostles do. The Lord's brothers do. Peter does. Or are Barnabas and I the only ones who have to work for a living? Who serves as a soldier but doesn't get paid? Who plants a vineyard but doesn't eat any of its grapes? Who takes care of a flock but doesn't drink any of the milk? Do I say that from only a human point of view?
The Law says the same thing. Here is what is written in the Law of Moses. ‘Do not stop an ox from eating while it helps separate the grain from the straw.’ (Deuteronomy 25:4) Is it oxen that God is concerned about? Doesn't he say that for us? Yes, it was written for us. When a farmer plows and separates the grain, he does it because he hopes to share in the crop. We have planted spiritual seed among you. Is it too much to ask that we receive from you some of the things we need? Others have the right to receive help from you. Don't we have even more right to do so? But we didn't use that right. No, we have put up with everything. We didn't want to keep the good news of Christ from spreading.
Don't you know that those who work in the temple get their food from the temple? Don't you know that those who serve at the altar eat from what is offered on the altar? 14 In the same way, those who preach the good news should receive their living from their work. That is what the Lord has commanded.” (1 Corinthians 9:3-14 NIrV)

C. Gordon Olson (What in the World is God Doing, 2003) writes that “missions have no human conception or undertaking, no modern scheme or invention, nor mere philanthropy even of the finest kind. It did not originate in the brain or the heart of any man…Its source was the heart of God Himself…God does separate some Christians for vocational Christian ministry and expects Christians to support such people financially, whether they are pastors, evangelists, teachers, or missionaries”

“First, God has appointed apostles in the church. Second, he has appointed prophets. Third, he has appointed teachers. Then he has appointed people who do miracles and those who have gifts of healing. He also appointed those able to help others, those able to direct things, and those who can speak in different kinds of languages they had not known before.” (1Corinthians 12:28 NIrV)

“He is the One who gave some the gift to be apostles. He gave some the gift to be prophets. He gave some the gift of preaching the good news. And he gave some the gift to be pastors and teachers. He did it so that they might prepare God's people to serve. If they do, the body of Christ will be built up.” (Ephesians 4:11-12 NIrV)

Most of us have a hard time defining the MODERN-DAY MISSIONARY. I hope this helps to make things a little more clear, from other’s perspectives and from God’s Word.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Pretty informative. Thanks Jerry!

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