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Thursday, November 20, 2008
What is Missions
What is Missions?
The mission, the task, the job, the purpose for which Christ came into the world is a good place to start in our understanding of missions. It means that because Christ came on a mission into the world to save sinners, we go into the world to see sinners saved. Luke 19:10 "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost." John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." He came to heal and to bind up wounds. He came to set at liberty them that are bruised. He performed miracles and instructed his disciples to heal the sick and cast out devils as they preached the gospel. John 3:17 "For God sent not His son into the world to condemn the world but that the world, through Him, might be saved." Like Jesus, we are not to bring condemnation into the world (Lord knows we have enough of that already) but we are to "... Preach the gospel to the poor; ... heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised." Luke 4:18
I submit to you that Men and women can and do go into foreign countries and do good works and call themselves missionaries -- yet miss the real purpose of being a missionary. Missions is not taking a trip to a foreign land, seeing the exotic sights and observing the strange attire and behavior of the "natives". I do not mean to sound negative here about all the good things that people do in the name of missions, but missions is not the thrills that we feel when we are doing good works. Missions is not the noble acts of feeding the hungry, caring for orphans, giving to the poor. Missions is the mandate given to us by the Lord Jesus Christ: John 20:21 "Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you."
Please understand: I believe that ministry can be and is performed by teams of builders who go to foreign lands to help those who either do not have the funds or the skills to build a building. Yet, if they are not witnesses to the power of Jesus to save the lost then they are really only doing social work. Doctors and Nurses may be moved by the great need for medical attention that is so direly needed in foreign lands and out of humanitarian concerns may move to a foreign country to live and work in their profession. However, if they have no involvement in telling the story of Jesus and leading men and women to Christ, they are not missionaries. They are merely doing social/humanitarian work. What I am saying should in no way negate the importance of their great hearts as they give their energies to helping the less fortunate. They are moved with compassion and a desire to help with the physical needs they see. That is good – but that alone is not being a missionary.
The main thing is to win the confidence of a lost world so that one becomes a credible witness to the saving power of Jesus!
- Fred Alton
- Cleveland, TN, United States
- I am Fred Alton Brannen, the son of Louis A. Brannen (deceased) and Bonnie Jones Brannen, Louis was an Ordained Bishop with the Church of God. Bonnie is an Ordained Licensed Minister and at 89 years of age is still actively engaged in speaking and singing engagements. I am married to the former Frances Hildreth. We celebrated 53 years of marriage this past June and we are the parents of 3, grand-parents of 10, and great-grandparents of 10. I pastored in Tennessee for 24 years and served the Church in some capacity in missions for over 23 years. I retired from full-time ministry in August of 2008 but remain active, speaking and singing and teaching whenever opportunity affords itself. In January of 2010 I received a letter of commendation for having been credentialed as a minister in the Church of God for 50 years! My family is very important to me. Our get togethers are always noisy affairs and most times will include family sing-alongs. The children love their Mom's cooking so we have the privilege of seeing them regularly! WE LOVE having them over.