Missions is not about you – Part 2
This is the continuation of a previous post. If you have not read part 1, I would suggest you do so here.
So, if missions is not about you, and it is not about them, then what is the purpose of missions? Why do we go?
Simply put, missions is about a name.
This mission goes to the very core of creation. From “In the beginning” until the trumpet sounds, there has been a grand overarching purpose for all of history. God created space and time for a reason. He created the earth and all that is in it for a reason. He created man in his image for a reason, and all the events of history that followed were for a reason. He created a nation through Abraham for a reason. He delivered them out of the bondage of slavery in Egypt for a reason, and then he sent that same nation into exile for a reason.
Later, He sent his son, the Word made flesh, for a reason. That son lived a sinless life, suffered execution, and stepped out of the grave three days later, for a reason. Before he ascended, he established the church for a reason, and that church began to spread for a reason. Even as we speak, as you sit there reading this post, that church is still spreading across the world in little villages and high rise apartment complexes for a reason. And one day, a trumpet shall sound and the dead in Christ will rise, and the peoples of the world will be judged, all for one reason.
It all happened (and is still happening), “so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:10-11, ESV).
As I mentioned earlier, God has acted in history in order that his name will be known throughout the whole earth. That is why things happen. If you have ever wondered why certain events in history occur, that is the reason. That God’s name will be known, and that people will know the he is Lord, to his glory.
When the Israelites were in slavery in Egypt, God quite literally slapped around the greatest nation in the world and miraculously delivered his people. And the reason he gave Moses… “so that you will know I am The Lord.” It was for his name.
Then, when the Israelites fell into disobedience over the next several hundred years of their history, God punishes them for that disobedience, and again, his reason, is so that they will know he is the Lord.
And I want us to pick up the story there. The nation is in exile, in Babylon, the people had been scattered and plucked from their home. And God tells Ezekiel of a coming deliverance. God tells Ezekiel that he will, once again, deliver his people from exile. But listen carefully, to what God says to Ezekiel.
Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came. And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them. And the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Lord GOD, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes. I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God… It is not for your sake that I will act, declares the Lord GOD; let that be known to you… they will know that I am the LORD (Ezek. 36:22-38).
God has a singular purpose in history. That purpose has never changed. It is always the same. From “In the beginning” until the trumpet sounds. The name of God is a big deal. It’s worth fighting for. It’s worth dying for. And, it’s also worth living for.
Honestly, it’s the only thing worth living for, that the name of Christ will be known where it once was not.
That is why we go.