Sunday, July 01, 2012

Theology of Missions: Part 1 - Introduction

**This series began as an assignment for a class at Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary**
The notion of sending missionaries out to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ is as old as Christianity itself. In fact, Christ personally sent seventy-two people two by two ahead of him to prepare the way for His arrival (Luke 10:1 ESV).[1] And so it is in our modern times, missionaries are sent to neighboring communities and to the farthest reaches of our world to share the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ. Churches and mission organizations alike seek to live out the Great Commission to baptize all nations in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:16-20).
Missions is the work of the church and other agencies to reach people with the gospel by crossing the cultural boundaries that separate us while mission refers to everything the church does to point towards the Kingdom of God.[2] Many see the Bible as being filled with the idea of mission throughout all sixty-six books, the author included. Regrettably, an assignment of this nature does not lend itself to fully exploring mission in such detail.
Out of necessity, this limited monograph will briefly explore the Scriptures from the Old Testament and the New Testament that relate to and support the idea of missions and missio Dei, mission of God. Next, the nature of God as related to mission is discussed. From there, mission theology is discussed and related to Christology and Eschatology will be briefly treated followed by a closer review of the two key motifs of mission, Jesus Christ and His promised return. Finally, the conclusion will offer the author’s view of mission and remind the reader how Christ is evident throughout both the Old Testament and New Testament Scriptures and especially in mission theology.

[1] Crossway Bibles. The ESV Study Bible. (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2008), 1975. Some manuscripts are translated as Jesus having sent seventy. Whether the translation is rendered seventy or seventy-two, there is no doctrinal issue at stake.
[2] Moreau, A. Scott, R. Corwin Gary, and Gary B. McGee. Introducing World Missions: A Biblical, Historical, and Practical Survey. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2004), 17.

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