Why Not Try This? …Understand Why We Must Send Missionaries

(The first part of this two-part article is found at- “Why Not Try This? …Recognize How God Saves Those Without Scriptures.“)

Since God provides so many ways for the world to know about Him and be saved without Bible Scriptures, why is it necessary to send missionaries? Why is it necessary for any believers to share their faith anywhere? Can’t God simply use these influences we have just studied to take the gospel to all the world in His own way and time?

Let’s look at another drowning analogy. Imagine that you are on an outing to the beach with a group from your local Seventh-day Adventist Church. You are enjoying the sun and the fun when you are interrupted by screams coming from the surf. Someone you recognize from your place of work has gone out too far and is in serious trouble. As you size up the dynamics of the situation you can choose what line of thought you want to follow. You can say to yourself, “I know that person and I believe if they died today they would be saved in heaven when Jesus returns. God knows they have had an adequate opportunity to accept Him. Besides, it’s dangerous out there in the ocean undercurrents. If someone else really wants to go help, let them go. I’m not dressed to go out into the water anyway. And there are much better swimmers here than I am. Besides, I’ve never taken a lifesaving class and really don’t know what to do.”

But that is obviously not what you would be thinking. You would more likely be thinking thoughts like “We’ve got to go help them right now. Is there a lifeboat? A lifeguard? A flotation device? What resources do we have? If we work together we can bring them back to safety. Let’s go for it right now or we might lose them.”

For some reason we are often more inclined to notice physical danger and potential physical death than spiritual danger and potential spiritual death. It’s easy to forget that without repentance, all humanity is destined for eternal destruction.[1] And without Jesus and the Scriptures, all humanity is walking in darkness, living in slavery to the fear of death.[2] It’s true that the Lord in His mercy gives all humanity plenty of opportunities to repent and to be saved here and for eternity,[3] so all will be without excuse in the judgment.[4]

But the lives and Bible teachings of missionaries make clear God’s wonderful plan of redemption in ways that none of these other influences can.[5] Through the faithful work of missionaries, unbelievers are given the freedom to accept or reject any aspect of God’s salvation- salvation from past guilt,[6] present struggles,[7] and future death penalty.[8] The final judgment will show how each person responded to God’s voice through every influence He has given them.[9] Some have been given more opportunities than others,[10] but all will be given an adequate chance to embrace some of God’s salvation.[11]

Ten Biblical Reasons for Sending Missionaries

 

The Bible writers don’t beg believers to go as missionaries. They simply record Jesus’ command to go and expect that all believers will be actively involved in taking the gospel to everyone around them and, working together, to the ends of the earth. The Bible gives at least ten reasons why missionaries need to be sent.[12]

  1. 1.     God commanded us to go. He created us and knows what is best for us. He knows we need to share good news when we hear it[13] and to give warnings when we know of danger.[14] As we become part of His body on earth through baptism, He has designed that we become His hands, feet and voice in the world.[15]

It has always been the Lord’s intention that His people be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth[16] with God’s glory.[17] When this has not been followed He has allowed a variety of means to squeeze believers (and sometimes unbelievers) out of their comfort zones to give them an opportunity to share God and His truth with others.[18] Examples of this include the disruption and dispersion from the Tower of Babel,[19] the call of Abram and his household out of Ur,[20] the uprooting of Jacob and his household from the Shechem area,[21] the exile of the northern kingdom to Assyria[22] and later the southern kingdom to Babylon,[23] the persecution of believers in the early Jerusalem church,[24] and the persecution of Paul and his missionary group almost everywhere they preached![25]

Just before Jesus left this earth to return to heaven He outlined His mission for us as His followers until He returns. He told us to go, make disciples, baptize them and teach them to observe everything He commanded.[26] His message was to go to every creature; some would believe and be baptized and others would reject the message.[27] To carry out this command we must remember that Jesus has all the power we need, and He has promised to be with us always[28] through the Holy Spirit’s presence.[29] When the Holy Spirit comes into our lives we receive power to witness locally, regionally, cross-culturally and around the world.[30]

The early church understood this. By reading the Book of Acts we can follow the path of the gospel- first to Jerusalem and all Judea,[31] then Samaria[32] and finally to the ends of the earth.[33] Not only did it spread geographically; it also spread ethnically- to the Jews from various regions,[34] the Samaritans,[35] an Ethiopian,[36] a Roman Gentile,[37] the people of the Eastern Mediterranean and Asia Minor[38] and the people of Greece[39] and Rome.[40] Great preachers and leaders like Peter[41] and Paul[42] were involved in spreading the gospel, but so were all the other believers as well.[43] Within a few decades of the resurrection of Jesus, Paul could write to the church at Colosse that the gospel had gone to “every creature under heaven.”[44]

The command of Jesus to go to all the world still stands today.[45] The need is greater than ever. As servants of Jesus, we must follow the orders of our Master.[46] When we accept Jesus and receive the Holy Spirit we will spread the sweet aroma of a knowledge of Him wherever we go.[47] Jesus’ promise to be with us always is given to those who are participating in the gospel commission.[48] When we go we express our confidence in Jesus that He really is a crucified, risen and soon-coming Savior.[49]

 

Benefits for Believers

  1. 2.     It blesses believers to give. Human nature is very self-centered.[50] Once we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior it is a constant challenge every day to continue to accept Him as our Lord.[51] One God-given way to break a self-centered mindset and surrender to the Lordship of Jesus is to give generously to send and support missionaries.[52] This causes us to reorganize our priorities.

Jesus said that our heart follows our treasure,[53] so as we give to missions we tend to pray more for and pay more attention to God’s work worldwide. We begin to see the movements of God throughout the world and to recognize that we can be a part of them through giving time, talents and treasures.[54] When we sponsor a missionary,[55] give to an ADRA project,[56] raise money for a One Day Church[57] or put any resources toward missions, our own hearts are softened and we become more like the giving God we serve.[58] Those who have been blessed by receiving spiritual blessings are in turn to share financial blessings.[59]

One the other hand, the parable of the Rich Fool implies that it is possible to lose our own salvation when we are stingy and greedy with out entrusted resources and overlook the needs of others.[60]

When we put our greatest energies and finances toward God’s work it can have a positive effect on our own family.[61] They recognize that we live by eternal rather than temporal values.[62] The patriarch Noah put everything he had into letting people know of the end of the world by flood, and built an ark at God’s direction to save all those who were willing.[63] As a result, his wife and all three of his sons and their wives chose to be saved in the ark.[64]

Entire church congregations can be blessed as they give to support missionary workers.[65] The congregation looks beyond their own (sometimes petty) needs and discover that all nations can be blessed through them.[66] In the process of sending missionaries, other nations have been discovered so they could be blessed![67]

 

  1. 3.     It blesses believers to send. Sending missionaries is a natural outgrowth of fasting and prayer.[68] As the church at Antioch worshiped the Lord with fasting the Holy Spirit directed them to set apart Paul and Barnabas to be sent as missionaries.[69]

The sending church is blessed as it sees the sacrifice and commitment of those being sent. The members left behind are inspired to let their light shine more brightly at home. As they hear stories from those they sent to the frontlines it helps them avoid the temptation to become spiritually lax and Laodicean.[70]

When a church is faithful in sending out its best and brightest, God raises up new workers at home. Sending missionaries is an important part of the spiritual leadership development process. For example, not long after Jesus sent out the twelve disciples two by two[71] He was able to send out seventy-two others, possibly using the twelve as mentors to the seventy-two others.[72]

  1. 4.     It blesses believers to go. Those being sent are also blessed. It might not be easy to leave behind family and friends, but God promises those being sent that they will have a hundred times as many spiritual family members as a result.[73] They will grow in faith as they experience persecution for the sake of Jesus.[74] As they see God at work they can remember Jesus’ words that their names are written in the Book of Life in heaven and that Satan’s territory is shrinking as a result of their ministry.[75] Here are some of the reasons we are blessed so greatly when we go.

We tend to see the greatest miracles in our lives when we step farthest out of our comfort zone. What happened when the disciples were obedient to Jesus’ command to go everywhere? Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.”[76] When Paul and Barnabas preached boldly in Iconium the Lord confirmed the message by enabling them to do miraculous signs and wonders.[77] As long as we stay in our cocoons of comfort we rarely see God work in amazing and unmistakable ways. But when we go in Jesus’ name we begin to see God at work all around us.[78]

Whenever we say “yes” to Jesus and His mission, we become more like Jesus. Jesus was willing to leave all the comforts of heaven where He was praised and adored, to come down to this dark earth to share the plan of salvation with us in His life and words.[79] When we leave our meager comforts to go to those without a clear knowledge of the plan of salvation, we become more like Jesus.[80] We understand in new ways the passion Jesus has for the lost.[81] As we go seek the lost we are not so troubled by the delay in the return of Jesus the second time because we, too, are not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.[82] We become more motivated to help hasten the return of Jesus[83] by taking the gospel to all the world.[84] David Livingstone, the great missionary to Africa, wrote, “God had an only Son and He was a Missionary. I am a poor imitation, but in this service I hope to live and in it I wish to die.” [85]

When we go we gain new insights into how God works and is already at work in the world. When Philip went, he discovered a searching Ethiopian official.[86] When Peter went, he found a searching Roman centurion.[87] When Paul and Barnabas went they found searching people in every city.[88] When we go we will see that God has already prepared hearts for further light long before we arrived. By being faithful to the call to go, Peter and the entire church began to realize that God wanted them to take the gospel to Gentiles as well as Jews.[89] By being faithful in going, Paul, along with his missionary team, raised up churches throughout Asia and Europe, and later wrote letters to these churches that are part of the New Testament today. Without his faithfulness in going as a missionary we would not have books such as Galatians,[90] Ephesians[91] and Philippians[92] to encourage and enlighten us today.

When we go as missionaries we return home energized to focus on God’s work back home using the new soul winning insights we have gained. When Peter and John returned from a mission trip to Samaria to assist evangelist/deacon Philip,[93] they preached in Samaritan villages all the way home![94] When Philip finished his mission leading the Ethiopian to Christ and baptism, the Holy Spirit transported him to Azotus, where he preached the gospel and continued to preach in towns all the way to Caesarea![95] After their first missionary journey Paul and Barnabas returned home to Antioch, reported what God had done,[96] and evidently continued the good work that was already going on there.[97] When we go and serve as missionaries we become energized to make a greater difference in our homeland upon returning. We have seen the Holy Spirit at work in us and through us, and we desire to see more changed lives around us.

How we respond to the Gospel Commission and God’s goodness shows us what is in our own hearts. Our human hearts are very deceitful.[98] We can easily think that our current lifestyle is pleasing to God because we are very happy with it.[99] It is even possible to think we are working for Jesus when we are living in disobedience to His commands.[100] Matthew records Jesus’ parable of a landowner and the servants he hired throughout the day to work in his vineyard.[101] Some were hired just as the work day started,[102] probably about six am, and others were hired at nine am,[103] twelve noon, three pm[104] and finally at five pm, an hour before quitting time.[105] The workers in the first group were promised the expected day’s wage,[106] and each of those in the other groups were promised that they would be paid “whatever is right”.[107] All of them gladly accepted the invitation to come work in the vineyard. At the end of the day the landowner paid the servants in reverse order from when they were hired.[108] Those who worked only the final hour were paid an entire day’s wage.[109] The others, who were watching, now expected to receive more, but they received a day’s wage, too.[110] Until this moment everyone seemed to be happy with the invitation and opportunity to work with the landowner in his vineyard. Each had believed that the landowner would do what was right. But when the all-day workers saw that they wouldn’t get a bonus for their work they began to grumble against the landowner.[111] The landowner had given them everything he had promised but this wasn’t enough. The complaining workers saw the landowner as a source for their own personal gain and had no appreciation for the generous qualities of his character.[112] What did Jesus have in mind when He told this parable? He was answering Peter’s statement a few verses earlier, We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?”[113] Jesus made it clear that our attitude about working with Him in His vineyard (i.e. leaving everything to follow Jesus) helps us know what we really think about Him and His character.[114]

When we go, there will sometimes be persecution that God uses to strengthen us in our faith in Jesus. Jesus said that as His followers went out with the gospel they would be like sheep among wolves.[115] When brought before governors and kings as a witness to them, God would give them the words to speak.[116] Jesus would help them overcome any fears about their own personal safety.[117] They could expect persecution,[118] but they had the promise that it would never separate them from the love of Christ.[119] In fact persecution would give them a deeper fellowship with Jesus in His own sufferings for all of us, even if it meant dying like He did and being raised again[120] when He returns with His rewards.[121]

When we go we can encourage and empower local believers to be more effective in reaching unbelievers around them. We are called to go not only to unentered areas but to those that already have groups of believers. Some of the missionary efforts of the early church included visits to places that had been previously worked. Paul and Barnabas returned to Lystra and Iconium, strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith in spite of hardships.[122] Later Paul suggested to Barnabas they again return to the places where they had preached before.[123] A strong disagreement arose over whether or not John Mark should be invited along, which resulted in two separate mission teams being formed. Barnabas and John Mark headed for Cyprus[124] and Paul and Silas strengthened the churches throughout Syria, Cilicia, Derbe and Lystra, where they recruited Timothy as a missionary.[125] As a result of these missionary efforts the churches grew in both faith and numbers.[126] Paul later wrote to the Roman believers saying he wanted to go to Rome not only to win Gentiles to faithful obedience [127] but also to encourage the believers and be encouraged by them as well.[128]

  1. 5.     It blesses believers to speak. When we realize Jesus really is alive and He’s coming again we cannot keep silent. All four gospel writers record the dramatic transformation that came over the followers of Jesus when they realized He had been raised from the dead. At first very fearful and reluctant to believe, when the reality of His presence, power and commission sank in, it turned a group of cowering followers of Jesus into a fearless, death-defying band of missionaries. Examples include the change in Mary Magdalene,[129] “the other Mary,”[130] Mary the mother of James,[131] Salome,[132] two others walking in the country on the road to Emmaus,[133] the Eleven disciples,[134] and specifically Peter,[135] John[136] and Thomas.[137] When we really realize that Jesus is alive and coming again we, too, will be transformed from timid followers into bold missionaries for Jesus.[138] If others threaten us and tell us to be quiet we will simply pray for more courage and boldness to speak of Jesus.[139]

Sharing our testimony helps us overcome temptation and evil and our fear of death.[140] We recognize our own unworthiness and ask God to create in us a clean heart and renew a right spirit within us.[141] With the assurance of His acceptance, we can’t help but teach sinners the ways of God and expect that there will be conversion experiences[142] because we are not just speaking our own words but a message accompanied with the power of the Holy Spirit.[143]

When we go as missionaries to those who speak a foreign language it is important for us to speak so they can understand in their own language,[144] as happened on the day of Pentecost,[145] or to make provision for translation so the message comes through clearly.[146]

 

Benefits for Unbelievers

 

  1. 6.     It blesses unbelievers to read. One of the major roles of missionaries is to get the Scriptures to unbelievers in their own language so they can read them and have them explained to them.[147] When unbelievers read the Scriptures they receive a much clearer picture of God than they could through any other means.[148] The Scriptures help them identify which of the other influences they have received- such as dreams, prophets, priests and spirits- are true and from God and which are false and from Satan.[149] The Scriptures show them what is true (doctrine), where their lives are in error (reproof), how to correct their lives (correction) and how to live a life of righteousness by faith in Christ (instruction in righteousness) that results in good works (thoroughly furnished unto all good works).[150] When missionaries provide Scriptures to unbelievers they greatly enhance their opportunity to find salvation in Jesus from guilt, fears, addictions, sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, greed, idolatry, anger, rage, malice, slander, filthy language, lying and ultimate destruction.[151] We can be thankful for the wonderful work of Bible translators such as Wycliffe Bible Translators[152] and Bible Societies[153] that provide the Scriptures in a variety of languages and forms so that missionaries can place them in the hands of unbelievers.

 

  1. 7.     It blesses unbelievers to hear. As unbelievers listen to missionaries their faith in a Creator God who loved them enough to die for them can grow.[154] But if missionaries are not sent[155] or do not go, the unbelievers will have fewer opportunities to understand who God is and why they need to accept His amazing plan of redemption.[156]

Who needs to hear the message of salvation from the Scriptures? Every creature on earth.[157] But sometimes God guides missionaries in knowing who is most ripe for the message and who should hear first. Sometimes, as with Philip with the Ethiopian official,[158] an angel gives specific directions to missionaries about where to go[159] and who needs to hear the message when they arrive.[160] At other times, as with Peter and Cornelius,[161] angels have prompted unbelievers to send for believers to come so they can hear the message.[162] The Spirit can direct missionaries away from some places so they can be free to go to other places, as happened with the efforts of Paul’s missionary team to intended to go to Bithynia[163] but were redirected toward Macedonia.[164] The Lord can also direct missionaries to stay in a place they might be inclined to leave because there are many more unbelievers there that need to hear, as happened with Paul in Corinth.[165] If missionaries are listening for God’s voice they can be directed to unbelievers who are wanting to hear God’s voice!

The lives of unbelievers, and even entire nations,[166] improve dramatically when they have missionaries to teach them the gospel and the Scriptures.[167] Millions are in bondage and do not know it, but the truth[168] of Jesus will set them free.[169] As unbelievers hear the Scriptures the works of darkness are exposed and Satan’s deceptions are unmasked.[170] They now have tools they never had before with which to test all things and hold fast to what is good.[171] As unbelievers surrender their lives to the God they are hearing about from missionaries they become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.[172]

For years the Holy Spirit may have been speaking to the hearts of unbelievers but they were unclear about how to fully surrender to their Creator and Savior Jesus Christ. But when missionaries arrive preaching the gospel, the seeking unbelievers become fully surrendered believers, and there is often dramatic evidence of transformed hearts not seen before. As John the Baptism preached, he called for radical changes in the lives of new believers.[173] We see examples of this major life change through missionaries preaching the gospel in the lives of Zacchaeus the tax collector,[174] the woman at the well,[175] those listening to Peter’s message on the day of Pentecost,[176] the immediate request of the Ethiopian to Philip,[177] the response of the jailer at Philippi[178] and the former sorcerers in Ephesus.[179]

Even believers who have access to Bible Scriptures can be blessed and strengthened in their understanding of Scriptures and their ability to witness through the ministry of missionaries. Apollos, who was already mighty in the Scriptures, became even more effective after Aquila and Priscilla invited him home and explained the way of God more adequately.[180] Some of John’s disciples in Ephesus had never heard of the Holy Spirit until Paul came to town as a missionary.[181] As a result of their acceptance of this new life-changing truth they were re-baptized.[182]

With modern technology it is now possible for unbelievers to hear God’s Scriptures from missionaries they have never seen. The internet,[183] satellite and local television,[184] short wave and regular radio,[185] and Mega Voice units[186] are taking the voices of missionaries and the words of Scriptures to people who cannot or would not accept a live missionary.

  1. 8.     It blesses unbelievers to see. Many times missionaries are foreigners to those to whom they minister. Because their lives and lifestyles are seen as unusual, they often attract the attention of the people. Even when there are local believers already there sharing the gospel, foreign missionaries can often reach larger or different audiences because of their unique appearance and habits and the distance they traveled to be there.[187]

Much of the message of a missionary is modeled, not just spoken; it is not just verbal but incarnational.[188] In a sense missionaries live among the people they serve just as Christ came to live among the people He wants to redeem.[189] Their lives provide additional influences to turn hearts toward Christ and His plan of salvation.[190] And how would it ever be possible to “make disciples”[191] if they didn’t live among those who needed to learn how to become disciples?

As ambassadors for Christ[192] to the unbelievers they live among, missionaries need to encourage communication with Christ, dispel myths about Him, represent well His government on earth and facilitate immigration and travel to His eternal kingdom.

Unbelievers will often learn more by what they see, in the deeds of the missionary, than what they hear, through the words of the missionary.[193] Paul could write that his patient reaction to his imprisonment in Rome was a powerful witness to the entire palace guard besides encouraging the local believers to be more courageous in sharing their faith.[194]

 

  1. 9.     It blesses unbelievers to experience. Jesus commanded His followers to teach people how to observe[195] all that He commanded,[196] modeling truth for them and showing them how to live it. God doesn’t want unbelievers (and believers) to simply hear or read about the truth; He wants them to experience it![197] He wants unbelievers to get a taste of how truth is lived so they are attracted to the One who is the Ultimate Truth.[198] Unbelievers can experience tremendous personal benefits by putting into practice biblical truths such as the Sabbath,[199] healthy living,[200] resolving differences with others,[201] ethical business practices,[202] association with believers[203] and even tithing[204] before they put their trust fully in Jesus and His plan of redemption. If missionaries didn’t go and show unbelievers how to experience these God-given, Scripture-based blessings, unbelievers would be far less inclined to embrace all Jesus has to offer.[205]
  1. 10.  It is an essential part of God’s Final Movements on earth.

God helps individuals He is saving unite with His Covenant People. It is never God’s intention to save people individually then leave them to struggle on their own. In the Scriptures we find Him calling His individual sheep into a flock,[206] bringing spiritual orphans into a spiritual family[207] and making individual members an integral but not independent part of His church body.[208] God is always drawing unbelievers with many influences to His wonderful plan of salvation.[209] He uses missionaries to encourage these searchers to accept the gospel and unite with God’s Covenant people on earth.[210] When unbelievers believe and are gathered into a united church there is a much clearer revelation of God to the community and the world.[211] Their united efforts result in a more powerful witness than individual efforts can accomplish.[212] It is God’s plan that interconnected groups of saints be gathered throughout the world who can encourage each other[213] and expand their influence and message until it blankets the entire world.[214] Ultimately God will bring together all His faithful on earth and in heaven under one head, Jesus Christ.[215]

The Children of Israel. This was God’s plan for Israel in the Old Testament. The blessings that God poured out on His Covenant people[216] were not for them alone. They were to be shared with others, who were to be converted[217] and invited to unite with God’s people.[218] Some, like the Queen of Sheba[219] and the Babylonian emissaries,[220] would hear how God was blessing and come and see for themselves. Others would learn through the Children of Israel who went out as missionaries.[221] In this way God’s salvation, truth and glory were to be increasingly spread to the entire world.[222]

In spite of continued unfaithfulness, the Children of Israel for centuries were still recognized by God as His Covenant people,[223] to whom He wanted to bring all those He was saving. Though most were taken into captivity, God still preserved a “remnant.”[224]  Jesus came to His covenant people[225] but didn’t treat them as the only ones who should receive the blessings of God.[226] He sent His first missionaries only to His covenant people [227] but indicated that later their ministry would be to both Jews and Gentiles.[228] After rejecting Jesus when He was here on earth, the Holy Spirit continued to plead with the hearts of the Jewish leaders for 3 ½ more years.[229] Finally in 34 AD, at the end of the 490 day/year prophecy of Daniel,[230] they rejected their last God-given appeal through Stephen[231] and probation ran out.

The Christian Church became God’s Covenant people with faithful Jews who accepted Jesus as Messiah comprising the nucleus.[232] In time it became clear that God does not show favoritism only to Jews who are faithful, but He accepts people from every nation who fear Him and do what is right.[233] This became increasingly clear as Christian missionaries took the gospel to the Gentiles, and churches were planted throughout the Roman world.[234]

The Christian church now inherited the mission the Children of Israel had failed to accomplish- to bring salvation to the ends of the earth.[235] There were some differences of course. God’s original plan included having the sanctuary in Jerusalem as the headquarters of worship throughout the world.[236] But now that Jesus had come as the Lamb of God to take away the sins of the world,[237] and the curtain separating the holy from the most holy place had been torn in two,[238] the headquarters for worship throughout the world is the Heavenly sanctuary[239] in the New Jerusalem.[240] Missionaries could go throughout the world telling people about the Messiah/Christ[241] who had already come[242] and inviting them to direct their attention to His ministry in the sanctuary above.[243]

As missionaries went out they called people out of the darkness of sin into God’s marvelous light.[244] As they preached and taught and shared and modeled the plan of salvation, the Holy Spirit worked to gather the “called out” ones into the church.[245] In the Greek language of the time the word for church was “ekklesia” (εκκλησια) which mean “the called out ones.”[246] If the believers had not fulfilled the gospel commission by going everywhere with the message, the church would never have been called out and wouldn’t exist today!

The early church missionaries who went out in obedience to the command of Jesus discovered that God was already at work. They found faithful believers who were often ready to be gathered into the church, such as the Samaritans, [247] Cornelius and his household,[248] Lydia and her household,[249] Crispus and his household[250] and a men’s group in Ephesus.[251] Jesus had indicated earlier that He has many faithful followers, His sheep,[252] who are not at this time part of His Covenant people, His fold.[253] His goal is to bring all the sheep into His fold so there will be one fold and One Shepherd.[254] Those who are goats He would like to transform into sheep while there is still time,[255] and those who are sheep He would like to bring into the one fold.[256] Paul warned that there would be wolves who would find their way into the fold.[257] The wolves were to be acknowledged and dealt with.[258] But this was not to short-circuit Jesus’ master plan for turning goats into sheep, bringing all His sheep together into one fold, and removing wolves from the flock.

The Remnant Church. Bible prophecy reveals that for a period of 1,260 prophetic days, or literal years, God’s true church, His Covenant people, would not be the organized church. He pictures them as a pure woman fleeing into the wilderness during this time so they can be faithful to Him.[259] But at the end of this period God would raise up a remnant church who would keep all His commandments and have the testimony of Jesus,[260] which means they would arise as a result of prophecy, they preach and teach prophecy and they would have a prophet among them.[261] Just as Jesus promised, a final worldwide movement was raised up after the end of the 1,260 years in 1798,[262] with the mission of working together to take the gospel to all the world and to encourage each other in holy living.[263] This mission is to be the life mission of every member of the remnant church; anything else is just a job or a hobby. [264]

With each group of Covenant people- the Children of Israel, the Christian Church, the Church in the Wilderness and the Remnant Church- there have been faithful sheep outside the fold, or covenant group, and wolves among the sheep in the fold.[265] But this must not allow the Covenant people to be distracted from their mission,[266] especially the closer we get to the return of Jesus.[267]

Sending missionaries is what God intended for His final movement on earth. The final message will go to every country, ethnic group, language and class of people.[268] The message will be given clearly and powerfully,[269] and will include the everlasting gospel,[270] a healthy respect for God[271] and all His Bible Scriptures,[272] an appeal to let our relationship with God impact every part of our lives,[273] an understanding that God’s long-delayed judgment is taking place in heaven during earth’s final history,[274] a call to worship the Creator and Source of Life,[275] the recognition that any religion with human ingredients in place of divine ingredients is destined to fail,[276] and that the choices that each person makes will have eternal consequences.[277]

Through the miracle of missions God is creating an interconnected body of Christ throughout the world,[278] with missionaries being sent from everywhere to everywhere.

This gospel of Christ and His kingdom will be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations and then the end will come.[279] As this message is given it will result in softening the hearts of some and hardening the hearts of others. Finally, when everyone alive on earth has made their final decision to accept or reject this message the words will ring out throughout the heavenly courtroom “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.”[280]

By giving the gospel to the world it is in our power to hasten our Lord’s return.[281] By our willingness to go, whether across the street or around the world, we are working out our own salvation, and seeing the salvation of others.[282] By being faithful to the commission of Jesus, we keep discovering that God got to people before we did, and we have the privilege of inviting His sheep into His fold.

And soon Jesus will break through the sky with billions of unfallen angels.[283] As we fly to meet Him in the air we will be able to look around us and see those with whom we shared Jesus and His Bible truths. Together we will fly to heaven with Jesus to be with Him throughout eternity.[284] When we arrive, an amazing scene will take place.

“With unutterable love, Jesus welcomes His faithful ones to the joy of their Lord. The Saviour’s joy is in seeing, in the kingdom of glory, the souls that have been saved by His agony and humiliation. And the redeemed will be sharers in His joy, as they behold, among the blessed, those who have been won to Christ through their prayers, their labors, and their loving sacrifice. As they gather about the great white throne, gladness unspeakable will fill their hearts,[285] when they behold those whom they have won for Christ, and see that one has gained others, and these still others,[286] all brought into the haven of rest, there to lay their crowns at Jesus’ feet and praise Him through the endless cycles of eternity.”[287]

Around the throne of God in heaven, the chorus of praise begins and grows louder and louder, ringing clearly throughout the universe, sung by a multitude that no one can number,[288] because we went when Jesus said “Go.”[289]

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[1] NIV Ezekiel 33:11 Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, O house of Israel?’

[2] NIV Hebrews 2:14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death– that is, the devil– 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.

[3] Ellen White hints in the book Early Writings that some have been so enslaved and deprived of every opportunity to ever know God or understand the Bible by their violent masters that they are not accountable for their sins, but neither are they prepared for heaven. Their masters take the consequences for the sins of their abused slaves as well as their own. Here is the statement. “I saw that the slave master will have to answer for the soul of his slave whom he has kept in ignorance; and the sins of the slave will be visited upon the master. God cannot take to heaven the slave who has been kept in ignorance and degradation, knowing nothing of God or the Bible, fearing nothing but his master’s lash, and holding a lower position than the brutes. But He does the best thing for him that a compassionate God can do. He permits him to be as if he had not been, while the master must endure the seven last plagues and then come up in the second resurrection and suffer the second, most awful death. Then the justice of God will be satisfied.” {Early Writings, p. 276.1} The mention of the seven last plagues indicates that this kind of slavery will be happening in the last days. This is in harmony with verses such as Revelation 13:16; 18:13 and 19:18. For additional comments see Ellen White and Her Critics, chapter 22 “The Ignorant Slave- Slavery Until Second Advent, by Francis D. Nichols, found online at http://www.whiteestate.org/books/egwhc/EGWHCc22.html. One example of this terrible bondage today is the child sex trafficking industry, the third largest illegal trade in the world. For a Christian perspective on the problem and how to make a difference see “The World’s Third Largest Illegal Trade, and How we can stop it” by Diana Scimone, in Adventist Review, October 9, 2008, found online at http://adventistreview.org/issue.php?issue=2008-1528&page=26. Accessed 10/17/2008.

[4] NIV Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities– his eternal power and divine nature– have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. NIV Romans 3:19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.

[5] NIV Romans 10:15 And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” NIV Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.

[6] NIV Jeremiah 31:34 No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

[7] NIV 1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

[8] NIV Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

[9] NIV Ecclesiastes 12:14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil. NIV Proverbs 16:2 All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the LORD. NIV 1 Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.

[10] NIV Luke 11:31 The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now one greater than Solomon is here. 32 The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here.” Compare Matthew 12:41-42.

[11] NIV Ecclesiastes 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. NIV 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

[12] In this article we define a missionary as anyone who leaves his comfort zone (cross culturally or not) with the mission of sharing Jesus, Bible truths and an invitation to unite with God’s movement (Covenant People) on earth.

[13] NIV 2 Kings 7:9 Then they said to each other, “We’re not doing right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until daylight, punishment will overtake us. Let’s go at once and report this to the royal palace.” See the full story in 2 Kings 6:24-7:20.

[14] NIV Ezekiel 33:2 “Son of man, speak to your countrymen and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman, 3 and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people, 4 then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not take warning and the sword comes and takes his life, his blood will be on his own head. 5 Since he heard the sound of the trumpet but did not take warning, his blood will be on his own head. If he had taken warning, he would have saved himself. 6 But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes the life of one of them, that man will be taken away because of his sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for his blood.’

[15] NIV 1 Corinthians 12:13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body– whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free– and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Now the body is not made up of one part but of many.” See 1 Corinthians 12:1-31.

[16] NIV Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Compare also Genesis 9:1, 7; 35:11; Jeremiah 23:3; Ezekiel 36:11.

[17] NIV Isaiah 60:1 “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. 2 See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you. 3 Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

[18] NIV Luke 10:2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” The words “send out” come from the Greek word ekballo, meaning throw out or cast out. Compare the pruning work that bears more fruit in NIV John 15:2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”

[19] See the story in Genesis 11:1-9, particularly NIV Genesis 11:8 So the LORD scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city.”

[20] NIV Genesis 12:1 The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. 2 “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

[21] NIV Genesis 33:18 After Jacob came from Paddan Aram, he arrived safely at the city of Shechem in Canaan and camped within sight of the city. NIV Genesis 35:1 Then God said to Jacob, “Go up to Bethel and settle there, and build an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you were fleeing from your brother Esau.” 2 So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Get rid of the foreign gods you have with you, and purify yourselves and change your clothes.

[22] See for example NIV Isaiah 8:3 Then I went to the prophetess, and she conceived and gave birth to a son. And the LORD said to me, “Name him Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz. 4 Before the boy knows how to say ‘My father’ or ‘My mother,’ the wealth of Damascus and the plunder of Samaria will be carried off by the king of Assyria.”

[23] See for example NIV Jeremiah 25:9 I will summon all the peoples of the north and my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon,” declares the LORD, “and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants and against all the surrounding nations. I will completely destroy them and make them an object of horror and scorn, and an everlasting ruin. 10 I will banish from them the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, the sound of millstones and the light of the lamp. 11 This whole country will become a desolate wasteland, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years. 12 “But when the seventy years are fulfilled, I will punish the king of Babylon and his nation, the land of the Babylonians, for their guilt,” declares the LORD, “and will make it desolate forever.

[24] NIV Acts 8:1 And Saul was there, giving approval to his death. On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. NIV Acts 11:19 Now those who had been scattered by the persecution in connection with Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, telling the message only to Jews.

[25] See numerous examples in Acts 13-14, 16-28.

[26] NIV Matthew 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

[27] NKJ Mark 16:15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

[28] NIV Matthew 28:18, 20 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me…And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

[29] NIV John 16:7 But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.

[30] NIV Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, [locally] and in all Judea [regionally] and Samaria, [cross-culturally] and to the ends of the earth.” These are the final recorded words of Jesus while on earth before His return to heaven.

[31] See Acts 1-7.

[32] See Acts 8.

[33] See Acts 9-28.

[34] NIV Acts 2:5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs– we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!”

[35] NIV Acts 8:5 Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Christ there. 6 When the crowds heard Philip and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said. 7 With shrieks, evil spirits came out of many, and many paralytics and cripples were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city.” See also verses 8-25.

[36] See Acts 8:26-40.

[37] See Acts 10-11.

[38] See Acts 13:1-16:8; 19:1-21:15.

[39] See Acts 16:9-18:28.

[40] See Acts 27-28.

[41] See Acts 1-12.

[42] See Acts 9, 13-28.

[43] NIV Acts 8:1 And Saul was there, giving approval to his death. On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. NIV Acts 8:4 Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. NIV Acts 11:19 Now those who had been scattered by the persecution in connection with Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, telling the message only to Jews.

[44] NIV Colossians 1:23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.

[45] NIV Matthew 28:19 Therefore go…to the very end of the age.”

[46] NIV John 12:26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.

[47] NIV 2 Corinthians 2:14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.

[48] NIV Matthew 28:19 Therefore go…And surely I am with you always.” The promise to always be with us seems to be contingent on our obedience to His command to go, make disciples, baptize and teach them to observe all things. See Matthew 28:18-20. Could selfish disregard of the gospel commission- the command of Jesus to make disciples worldwide in cooperation with other believers- be one of the reasons the Lord might take someone’s name out of the Book of Life? Compare NIV Revelation 3:5 He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels.

[49] See for example NIV 2 Timothy 1:12 That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day. NIV 2 Timothy 4:6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day– and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

[50] NIV Romans 3:10 As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; 11 there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. 12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”

[51] NIV 1 Corinthians 9:24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27 No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

[52] NIV 1 Timothy 6:17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

[53] NIV Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

[54] See for example how the missionary-minded church in Antioch, that would later send out Paul and Barnabas as missionaries (Acts 13:1-3), responded with generosity to help their fellow believers suffering from a famine. NIV Acts 11:27 During this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 One of them, named Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius.) 29 The disciples, each according to his ability, decided to provide help for the brothers living in Judea. 30 This they did, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.

[55] For information on how to sponsor a missionary see http://hishands.adventist.org/. Accessed 10/7/2008.

[56] For specific ADRA projects see their 2008 Gift Catalogue at https://secure2.convio.net/ccadra/site/SPageNavigator/giftcatalog. For general needs or specific immediate needs see www.adra.org. Accessed 10/7/2008.

[57] See www.onedaychurch.org. Accessed 10/7/2008.

[58] NIV John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. NIV 2 Corinthians 8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.

[59] NIV Romans 15:27 They were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews’ spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings.

[60] NIV Luke 12:15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” 16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ 18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”‘ 20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ 21 “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.”

[61] NIV Psalm 37:25 I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. 26 They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be blessed.

[62] Notice the link between eternal values and generous giving in NIV 2 Corinthians 9:13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you.

[63] See Genesis 6.

[64] NIV Genesis 7:7 And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives entered the ark to escape the waters of the flood. NIV Genesis 8:18 So Noah came out, together with his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives.

[65] See for example how Paul commends specific churches for their generosity to God’s work in 2 Corinthians 8:1-24 and 9:1-15.

[66] The promise God gave Abraham that all nations would be blessed through him is now available to all the Gentiles because of Jesus working through us. Note these two verses. NIV Galatians 3:8 The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” NIV Galatians 3:14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

[67] Consider the change in the understanding of the continent of Africa when Scottish missionary David Livingstone took the gospel to that continent in the mid-1800s. See more at http://www.wholesomewords.org/biography/biorplivingstone.html. Accessed 10/7/2008.

[68] Fasting and prayer proceeded Ezra’s mission to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem (Ezra 7:27-28; 8:21-23) and Nehemiah’s mission to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem (Nehemiah 1:4; 2:1-8).

[69] NIV Acts 13:1 In the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. 2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.

[70] Many great workers for God have lost their way when they lost sight of their mission. See for example Noah after the flood (Genesis 9:20-21), Lot after his escape from Sodom (Genesis 19:30-36), the Children of Israel after their miraculous escape from Egypt and deliverance at the Red Sea (Exodus 16:1f.; Numbers 11:1; 14:27, etc.), the Church at Corinth after Paul’s first visit (1 Corinthians 1:10-13; 3:3-4; 4:18; 5:1-2; etc.) and the church symbolized by Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-22).

[71] See Luke 9:1-10.

[72] See Luke 10:1-20. The Twelve were sent out two by two, making six teams, to various regions throughout Palestine. Not long afterward Jesus sent out seventy-two others, two by two. Is it possible that each of the six teams of disciples oversaw and mentored the work of twelve of the seventy-two others? Six times twelve is seventy-two.

[73] NIV Mark 10:28 Peter said to him, “We have left everything to follow you!” 29 “I tell you the truth,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields– and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life.” See also Matthew 19:27-29; Luke 18:28-30.

[74] NIV 2 Timothy 3:10 You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, 11 persecutions, sufferings– what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. 12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

[75] NIV Luke 10:17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” 18 He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

[76] Mark 16:20.

[77] NIV Acts 14:3 So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to do miraculous signs and wonders.

[78] The importance of pastors stepping out of their comfort zone is pictured well in these words of Ellen White recorded in Evangelism p. 59. “There are those who think it is their duty to preach the truth, but they dare not venture from the shore, and they catch no fish. They will choose to go among the churches, over and over the same ground. They report a good time, a pleasant visit, but we look in vain for the souls that are converted to the truth through their instrumentality. These ministers hug the shore too closely. Let them launch out into the deep, and cast their net where the fish are. There is no lack of work to be done. There could be hundreds employed in the vineyard of the Lord where there is now one.”

[79] NIV Philippians 2:5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross!

[80] NIV Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” NIV John 13:16 I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.

[81] NIV Luke 15:4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

[82] NIV 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

[83] NIV 2 Peter 3:12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.

[84] Note this wonderful insight shared by Ellen White in The Desire of Ages p. 633 “By giving the gospel to the world it is in our power to hasten our Lord’s return. We are not only to look for but to hasten the coming of the day of God. 2 Peter 3:12, margin. Had the church of Christ done her appointed work as the Lord ordained, the whole world would before this have been warned, and the Lord Jesus would have come to our earth in power and great glory.”

[86] See Acts 8:26-40.

[87] See Acts 10:19-48.

[88] For example Sergius Paulus (Acts 13:7, 12), Gentiles and others in Pisidian Antioch region (Acts 13:48-49), many Jews and Gentiles in Iconium (Acts 14:1), a large number of new converts in Derbe (Acts 14:20-21), Lydia in Philippi (Acts 16:14-15), etc.

[89] See the story in Acts 10-11. Note especially NIV Acts 11:18 When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life.”

[90] NIV Acts 16:6 Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. NIV Galatians 1:8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!

[91] NIV Acts 19:1 While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples. NIV 2 Timothy 1:16 May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. 17 On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he searched hard for me until he found me. 18 May the Lord grant that he will find mercy from the Lord on that day! You know very well in how many ways he helped me in Ephesus.

[92] See Acts 16:12-40. NIV Acts 16:12 From there we traveled to Philippi, a Roman colony and the leading city of that district of Macedonia. And we stayed there several days.

[93] The story is found in Acts 8:5-24.

[94] NIV Acts 8:25 When they had testified and proclaimed the word of the Lord, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many Samaritan villages.

[95] NIV Acts 8:39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. 40 Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.

[96] NIV Acts 14:26 From Attalia they sailed back to Antioch, where they had been committed to the grace of God for the work they had now completed. 27 On arriving there, they gathered the church together and reported all that God had done through them and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles. 28 And they stayed there a long time with the disciples.

[97] NIV Acts 11:25 Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26 and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch. 27 During this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch.

[98] NIV Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

[99] NIV Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.

[100] NIV Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

[101] The parable is found in Matthew 20:1-16.

[102] NIV Matthew 20:1 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard. 2 He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard.

[103] NIV Matthew 20:3 “About the third hour he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4 He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’” The Roman day began at 6 am.

[104] NIV Matthew 20:5 So they went. “He went out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour and did the same thing.

[105] NIV Matthew 20:6 About the eleventh hour he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’ 7 “‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.” He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’

[106] See verse 1.

[107] See verses 4, 5.

[108] NIV Matthew 20:8 “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’

[109] NIV Matthew 20:9 “The workers who were hired about the eleventh hour came and each received a denarius.

[110] NIV Matthew 20:10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius.

[111] NIV Matthew 20:11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12 ‘These men who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’

[112] NIV Matthew 20:13 “But he answered one of them, ‘Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’

[113] Matthew 19:27.

[114] Jesus’ dialogue with Peter and the disciples (Matthew 19:27-30) and His parable about the landowner and his workers (Matthew 20:1-16) are linked by Matthew through the concluding verse of each. NIV Matthew 19:30 But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first. NIV Matthew 20:16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

[115] NIV Matthew 10:16 I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.

[116] NIV Matthew 10:18 On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

[117] NIV Matthew 10:26 “So do not be afraid of them. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. 28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

[118] NIV 2 Timothy 3:12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

[119] NIV Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

[120] NIV Philippians 3:10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.

[121] NIV 2 Timothy 4:6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day– and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

[122] NIV Acts 14:21 They preached the good news in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, 22 strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said.

[123] NIV Acts 15:36 Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the brothers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.”

[124] NIV Acts 15:37 Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, 38 but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. 39 They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, 40 but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord.

[125] NIV Acts 15:41 – 16:3 He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches. 16:1 He came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was a Jewess and a believer, but whose father was a Greek.  2 The brothers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him.  3 Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.

[126] NIV Acts 16:5 So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers.

[127] NIV Romans 1:5 Through him and for his name’s sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. NIV Romans 1:13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.

[128] NIV Romans 1:12 that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.

[129] See Matthew 28:1, 5-10; Mark 16:1-8, 9-11; Luke 24:1-11; John 20:1-2, 11-18.

[130] See Matthew 28:1, 5-10; Mark 16:1-8.

[131] See Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-1. Possibly the same as “the other Mary”.

[132] See Mark 16:1-8.

[133] See Mark 16:12-13; Luke 24:13-35.

[134] See Mark 16:11-20; Luke 24:1-12, 36-53; John 20:19-26; Compare Acts 1-2.

[135] See Luke 24:12; John 20:3-10; Compare Acts 1-3.

[136] See John 20:3-10; Compare Acts 1-3.

[137] See John 20:24-29; Compare Acts 1-2.

[138] NIV Acts 4:13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.

[139] NIV Acts 4:29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.

[140] NIV Revelation 12:11 They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.

[141] NIV Psalm 51:10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

[142] NIV Psalm 51:13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you.

[143] NIV 1 Thessalonians 1:4 For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. 6 You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. 7 And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia– your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it,

[144] NIV 1 Corinthians 14:6 Now, brothers, if I come to you and speak in tongues, what good will I be to you, unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or word of instruction? 7 Even in the case of lifeless things that make sounds, such as the flute or harp, how will anyone know what tune is being played unless there is a distinction in the notes? 8 Again, if the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle? 9 So it is with you. Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying? You will just be speaking into the air. 10 Undoubtedly there are all sorts of languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning. 11 If then I do not grasp the meaning of what someone is saying, I am a foreigner to the speaker, and he is a foreigner to me.

[145] NIV Acts 2:4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. 5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language?

[146] NIV 1 Corinthians 14:27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, two– or at the most three– should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. 28 If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God.

[147] NIV Romans 10:14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

[148] Peter indicates that Scripture is even more certain than what he saw and heard when Jesus walked on earth. Consider NIV 2 Peter 1:18 We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain. 19 And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

[149] See extensive notes above on twenty ways God reveals Himself in addition to Scriptures and how Satan tries to counterfeit each. See also NIV Isaiah 8:19 When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living? 20 To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn.

[150] KJV 2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

[151] Note the example of the Book of Colossians. Paul instructed that it be read to the believers in Colosse then sent on to Laodicea to be read (Colossians 4:16). In the book he reminds the believers that they used to be involved in all kinds of evil practices (Colossians 3:5-9) and appeals through Scripture for them to continue to find freedom from these things through Jesus and setting their minds on things above (Colossians 3:1-3, 10) and preparing for His return (Colossians 3:4). These former unbelievers continued to benefit from the knowledge of Scriptures preached and read to them.

[152] For more information see http://www.wycliffe.org/.  Accessed 10/7/2008.

[153] For more information see International Bible Society website at http://www.ibs.org/ , the American Bible Society website at http://www.americanbible.org/ and the British Bible Society website at http://www.biblesociety.org.uk/.  Accessed 10/7/2008.

[154] NIV Romans 10:17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.

[155] NIV Romans 10:15 And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

[156] NIV Romans 10:14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?

[157] KJV Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

[158] The story is found in Acts 8.

[159] NIV Acts 8:26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road– the desert road– that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.”

[160] NIV Acts 8:29 The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”

[161] The story is found in Acts 10.

[162] NIV Acts 10:3 One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, “Cornelius!” 4 Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked. The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. 5 Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter. 6 He is staying with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea.”

[163] NIV Acts 16:6 Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. 7 When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to.

[164] NIV Acts 16:8 So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. 9 During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

[165] NIV Acts 18:6 But when the Jews opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am clear of my responsibility. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” 7 Then Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. 8 Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized. 9 One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. 10 For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” 11 So Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.

[166] For example Babylon after Nebuchadnezzar’s conversion (Daniel 4), Egypt after Pharaoh put Joseph in charge (Genesis 41), and Persia after Haman was no longer powerful (Esther 7-9).

[167] For a recent amazing example of how an entire village was impacted by the work of missionaries see “What a Difference the Adventist Message Makes!” found at http://npucmissions.wordpress.com/2008/04/10/what-a-difference-the-adventist-message-makes/.  Accessed 10/7/2008.

[168] NIV John 8:32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

[169] NIV John 8:36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

[170] NIV 1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

[171] NIV 1 Thessalonians 5:21 Test everything. Hold on to the good.

[172] NIV Romans 15:15 I have written you quite boldly on some points, as if to remind you of them again, because of the grace God gave me 16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles with the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

[173] NIV Luke 3:8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 9 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” 10 “What should we do then?” the crowd asked. 11 John answered, “The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same.” 12 Tax collectors also came to be baptized. “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do?” 13 “Don’t collect any more than you are required to,” he told them. 14 Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?” He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely– be content with your pay.”

[174] NIV Luke 19:8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

[175] NIV John 4:28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?”

[176] NIV Acts 2:37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” NIV Acts 2:41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

[177] NIV Acts 8:36 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptized?”

[178] NIV Acts 16:33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized.

[179] NIV Acts 19:18 Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds. 19 A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas. 20 In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.

[180] NIV Acts 18:24 Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately.

[181] NIV Acts 19:1 While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples 2 and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?” “John’s baptism,” they replied. 4 Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.”

[182] NIV Acts 19:5 On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.

[183] See for example http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/audio/ where you can listen to the Bible in English or Arabic, and www.lifetalk.net, www.bibleinfo.com, www.itiswritten.com and www.vop.com where podcasts are available for free download.  Accessed 10/7/2008.

[184] See for example Hope TV found at www.hopetv.org.  Accessed 10/7/2008.

[185] See for example Adventist World Radio found at http://www.awr2.org/.  Accessed 10/7/2008.

[187] We see examples of the powerful witness of foreign believers among unbelievers in the travels of Abraham around Canaan (Genesis 12-24), the Children of Israel in the wilderness (Exodus 14f; Numbers) and Paul’s missionary teams in Asia Minor, the Mediterranean and Europe (Acts 9f.).

[188] NIV Exodus 34:10 Then the LORD said: “I am making a covenant with you. Before all your people I will do wonders never before done in any nation in all the world. The people you live among will see how awesome is the work that I, the LORD, will do for you. NIV Philippians 3:17 Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. NIV 1 Peter 5:3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.

[189] NIV John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

[190] NIV 2 Corinthians 2:14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. 15 For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task?

[191] NIV Matthew 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

[192] NIV 2 Corinthians 5:20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.

[193] NIV 2 Corinthians 3:3 You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

[194] NIV Philippians 1:12 Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14 Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly.

[195] The Greek word tereo (τερεω) indicates paying careful attention to, with the intention of putting into practice. See for example Matthew 19:17; 23:3; James 1:27; 2:20; 1 John 2:4-5 3:22; Revelation 1:3, etc.

[196] KJV Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

[197] Experiencing truth together can be mutually beneficial to both unbelievers who receive it and believers who share it. Note an example of this in 1 Kings 17:8-24 where Elijah, a believer with Scriptures, and the widow of Zarephath, an unbeliever without Scriptures, blessed each other, resulting in the unbeliever being saved and becoming a believer and the believer being saved from starvation.

[198] NIV John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

[199] NIV Exodus 20:10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

[200] See for example Leviticus 11, Deuteronomy 14.

[201] NIV Matthew 18:15 “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. 16 But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

[202] See many principles scattered through the Bible, particularly in Proverbs.

[203] NIV 1 Thessalonians 4:11 Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

[204] NIV Malachi 3:10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,” says the LORD Almighty. 12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the LORD Almighty.

[205] NIV Psalm 34:8 Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.

[206] NIV John 10:16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.

[207] NIV John 14:18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” In this verse the word “you” is plural both times, indicating this is a group conversation.

[208] NIV 1 Corinthians 12:20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable,

[209] See the twenty ways documented above in this article.

[210] See many examples in the Book of Acts.

[211] NIV Acts 13:47 For this is what the Lord has commanded us: “‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.'”

[212] See for example the multiplied witness of the twelve (Luke 9:1f.) and the seventy two (or seventy) (Luke 10:1f.) when they went two by two, and the missionary results of Paul and his missionary teams (Acts 13f.).

[213] Notice how Paul refers to the interconnection of the groups of believers in verses such as these. NIV 2 Corinthians 13:13 All the saints send their greetings. NIV Ephesians 1:15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints. NIV Ephesians 6:18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. NIV Philippians 4:21 Greet all the saints in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me send greetings. 22 All the saints send you greetings, especially those who belong to Caesar’s household. NIV Colossians 1:4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints.

[214] NIV Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

[215] NIV Ephesians 1:10 to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment– to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.

[216] See Deuteronomy 28:1-14 for the blessings God promised for faithfulness, and Deuteronomy 28:15-68 for the curse that would result from unfaithfulness.

[217] Conversion was signified by an internal change of heart and an the external sign of circumcision. Without this no foreigner was to become part of God’s people. NIV Ezekiel 44:9 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: No foreigner uncircumcised in heart and flesh is to enter my sanctuary, not even the foreigners who live among the Israelites.

[218] NIV 1 Kings 8:41 “As for the foreigner who does not belong to your people Israel but has come from a distant land because of your name– 42 for men will hear of your great name and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm– when he comes and prays toward this temple, 43 then hear from heaven, your dwelling place, and do whatever the foreigner asks of you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your own people Israel, and may know that this house I have built bears your Name. NIV Isaiah 56:6 And foreigners who bind themselves to the LORD to serve him, to love the name of the LORD, and to worship him, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant– 7 these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.”

[219] The story is in 1 Kings 10:1-13. Note NIV 1 Kings 10:1 When the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon and his relation to the name of the LORD, she came to test him with hard questions.

[220] The story is found in Isaiah 39.

[221] NIV Isaiah 49:6 he says: “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.”

[222] NIV Isaiah 52:10 The LORD will lay bare his holy arm in the sight of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God.  NIV Isaiah 45:22 “Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other.

[223] See for example NIV Zechariah 8:7 This is what the LORD Almighty says: “I will save my people from the countries of the east and the west. 8 I will bring them back to live in Jerusalem; they will be my people, and I will be faithful and righteous to them as their God.”

[224] NIV Ezra 9:13 “What has happened to us is a result of our evil deeds and our great guilt, and yet, our God, you have punished us less than our sins have deserved and have given us a remnant like this.

[225] NIV John 1:11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.

[226] See for example NIV Matthew 15:23 Jesus did not answer a word [to the Gentile woman]. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” 24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” 25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. 26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.” 27 “Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” 28 Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.” Haggai had prophesied that the Messiah was coming for all nations, not the Jewish nation alone. NIV Haggai 2:7 I will shake all nations, and the desired of all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the LORD Almighty.” Jesus said that not just Jews but many others would be in His kingdom, with some Jews missing out. NIV Matthew 8:11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.

[227] NIV Matthew 10:5 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6 Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel.

[228] NIV Matthew 10:18 On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles.

[229] NIV Matthew 12:32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

[230] NIV Daniel 9:24 “Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy.

[231] The story is in Acts 7.

[232] NIV Romans 9:23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory– 24 even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? 25 As he says in Hosea: “I will call them ‘my people’ who are not my people; and I will call her ‘my loved one’ who is not my loved one,” 26 and, “It will happen that in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ they will be called ‘sons of the living God.'”

[233] NIV Acts 10:34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.

[234] See for example NIV Acts 18:6 But when the Jews opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am clear of my responsibility. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”

[235] NIV Acts 13:45 When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and talked abusively against what Paul was saying. 46 Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: “We had to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles. 47 For this is what the Lord has commanded us: “‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.'” 48 When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed. 49 The word of the Lord spread through the whole region.

[236] NIV Isaiah 2:2 In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it.

[237] NIV Genesis 22:8 Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together. NIV John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! NIV John 1:36 When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”

[238] NIV Matthew 27:50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. 51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split.

[239] NIV Hebrews 9:22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. 23 It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence.

[240] NIV Revelation 3:12 Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name.” See also Revelation 7:15; 11:19; 14:15-16:1.

[241] “Messiah” in Hebrew is the same as “Christ” in Greek.

[242] See for example Peter on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:36) and to the gathered crowd after the healing of the lame man (Acts 3:18-20); Philip to the crowds in Samaria (Acts 8:5, 12) and to the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:30-37); Saul/Paul to the worshipers in the synagogue in Damascus (Acts 9:19-22), Thessalonica (Acts 17:1-3) and Corinth (Acts 18:1-5.

[243] NIV Hebrews 4:14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are– yet was without sin. 16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

[244] NIV 1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

[245] See for example NIV Acts 2:41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. NIV Acts 2:47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. NIV Acts 5:14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number.

[246] From the root words “ek” = out + “kalew” = to call. Strong’s Concordance.

[247] See for example NIV Acts 8:12 But when they [the Samaritans] believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women

[248] NIV Acts 10:47 “Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” 48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.

[249] . NIV Acts 16:14 One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. 15 When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us.

[250] NIV Acts 18:8 Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized.

[251] NIV Acts 19:5 On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. 7 There were about twelve men in all.

[252] NIV John 10:14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.  NIV John 10:27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

[253] NIV John 10:16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.

[254] KJV John 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

[255] The time will come when there will be no more transformations or conversions. See Jesus’ Parable of the Sheep and the Goats in Matthew 25:32-46.

[256] See John 10:16.

[257] NIV Acts 20:29 I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. 31 So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.

[258] NIV 1 Corinthians 5:13 …”Expel the wicked man from among you.” NIV 2 Corinthians 2:6 The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient for him. 7 Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. 8 I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him.” For more on the importance and process of healthy church discipline see “Is Church Discipline Still Necessary” in Adventist Review, April 17, 2008, found at http://www.adventistreview.org/article.php?id=1789.  Accessed 10/7/2008.

[259] NIV Revelation 12:6 The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days. NIV Revelation 12:14 The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach.

[260] NIV Revelation 12:17 Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring– those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.

[261] NIV Revelation 19:10 At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Compare NIV Revelation 22:8 I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. 9 But he said to me, “Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers the prophets and of all who keep the words of this book. Worship God!”

[262] For more information see The Great Controversy Chapter 15 “The Bible and the French Revolution” found online at http://www.whiteestate.org/books/gc/gc15.html. Accessed 10/7/2008.

[264] This is the way it was in the Early Christian Church as well. The mission of each member was to work together to take the gospel to all the world and to encourage each other in holy living. This was the mission of Paul, Aquila and Priscilla (Acts 18:2-3), even though they were tentmakers. This was the mission of Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John (Mark 1:16-20), even though they had been fishermen. This was the mission of Matthew (Matthew 9:9) and Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-9), even though they had been tax collectors.

[265] See the entire section “Twenty Ways God Revealed Himself To Those Who Didn’t Have The Bible” above in this paper.

[266] NIV 2 Peter 3:11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.

[267] NIV Hebrews 10:25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another– and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

[268] NIV Revelation 14:6 Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth– to every nation, tribe, language and people.

[269] NIV Revelation 14:7 He said in a loud voice

[270] NIV Revelation 14:6 Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel…

[271] NIV Revelation 14:7 …”Fear God…

[272] NIV 2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

[273] NIV Revelation 14:7 …give him glory… NIV 1 Corinthians 10:31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

[274] NIV Revelation 14:7 …because the hour of his judgment has come… NIV Daniel 7:21 As I watched, this horn was waging war against the saints and defeating them, 22 until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom.

[275] NIV Revelation 14:7 …Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.”

[276] NIV Revelation 14:8 A second angel followed and said, “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great, which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.”

[277] NIV Revelation 14:9 A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, 10 he, too, will drink of the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name.” 12 This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus.

[278] NIV John 17:23 I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. NIV Ephesians 4:11 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

[279] NIV Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” Compare NIV Matthew 26:13 I tell you the truth, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

[280] Revelation 22:11-12.

[281] NIV 2 Peter 3:12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.” Compare this insight from Ellen White in The Desire of Ages page 633 “By giving the gospel to the world it is in our power to hasten our Lord’s return.”

[282] NIV Philippians 2:11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed– not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence– continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. 14 Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.

[283] NIV Matthew 25:31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory.

[284] NIV 1 Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.

[285] NIV Revelation 7:9 After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”

[286] NIV Mark 4:20 Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop– thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown.”

[287] Ellen White, The Great Controversy, p. 647.

[288] NIV Revelation 19:1 After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting: “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, 2 for true and just are his judgments. He has condemned the great prostitute who corrupted the earth by her adulteries. He has avenged on her the blood of his servants.” 3 And again they shouted: “Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up for ever and ever.” 4 The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God, who was seated on the throne. And they cried: “Amen, Hallelujah!” 5 Then a voice came from the throne, saying: “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, both small and great!” 6 Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. 7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. 8 Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) 9 Then the angel said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!'” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”

[289] NIV Matthew 28:19-20 Therefore go… And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

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About danserns

Happily married and father of three great kids. Seventh-day Adventist pastor who invites everyone to accept Jesus as their Savior and Lord, embrace all the teachings of the Bible and join a vibrant Adventist group.
This entry was posted in Bible Study, Church Planting, Global Missions, Outreach, Prayer, Preaching, Second Coming, Soul Winning, Why Not Try This...?. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Why Not Try This? …Understand Why We Must Send Missionaries

  1. Pingback: Why Not Try This? … Recognize How God Saves Those Without Scriptures | Dan Serns

  2. Pingback: Why Not Try This? … Recognize How God Saves Those Without Scriptures | Dan Serns

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