And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. (Matthew 24:14)
THE MISSION FIELD
"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." (Mark ,16)
Jesus refers to the mission field in general terms as “all the world”, (Mark 16:15). This great mission field extends from sea to utmost sea, and encompasses every remotest region of the world. Christ will have His glorious kingdom of righteousness to come among all nations, peoples, tongues, and kindreds. As the sun casts her sparkling beams of warmth and light upon every people, so would Christ have His saving knowledge to fill the entire earth. (Psalm 72:8; Acts 13:47; Revelation 14:6; Malachi 1:11; Habakkuk 2:14).
The mission field is also of a personal and individualistic nature. Jesus commands the preaching of His gospel to “every creature”, (Mark 16:15). Each individual has a distinct, personal soul, which directly relates to God in a personal way. By nature, because of being conceived and born in sin, a person is outside of the blessed communion with God, and is under wrath and condemnation. But there is a way of reconciliation! The precious gospel reveals this way through blood; the way of the cross; the way in Jesus Christ! And this Way, this gospel, must be preached to every creature! Then individual sinners, by the power of the Holy Spirit, will be reconciled to God in Jesus Christ. Then, once again, sinners will be restored into personal, spiritual relationships with God as their heavenly Father, and to Jesus Christ as their Saviour, Friend, and Bridegroom! What great blessings await upon the proclamation of this gospel—let us then go, and preach it to “every creature.” (Mark 16:15; Mark 8:36-37; 2 Corinthians 6:16,18; John 3:36; Colossians 1:20-22; John 6:63; Revelation 21:2-4).
The need for evangelism is great. Vast multitudes of people are living in spiritual disease and are dying in spiritual poverty. Thousands die every year, who have been bitten by the deadly serpent of sin. Well might it be asked, "Is there not a balm in the blood of Jesus? Is there not a Physician in Christ the Saviour?" Yes! Absolutely, yes! "But then why must so many die in their sins? Why, then, must so many perish in eternal torment?" Unbelief.—Yes, alas, because of unbelief, which is the direct result of spiritual ignorance. Truly, the need is great when so many go lost because of ignorance to the precious, saving health of the gospel. Would to God they had known it; the things that belonged to their peace! even while there was yet hope, but now they are hid from their eyes forever. Truly, the harvest is plenteous and the laborers are few! "Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth labourers into His harvest," before the harvest time passes by for another precious, precious soul. (John 8:24; 2 Corinthians 8:9; Numbers 21:6-9; Jeremiah 8:22; Mark 16:16; Luke 19:42; John 3:15-21; Matthew 9:37-38).
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God is glorified most in the free and full salvation of sinners through the merits of His only-begotten, well-beloved Son. This amazing wonder that is worked in the hearts of the ungodly is all of free, one-sided, and sovereign grace! It is for God's own, eternal glory that the harvest on the mission field will bring forth an hundred fold. The glory of God should then be both our purpose and our blessed encouragement in missionary work. There is such great hope and encouragement in the cause of God's glory. Christian missions and evangelistic labors purpose God's own glory, and shall He then not make them to prosper! Then be not "weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not," (Galatians 6:9). "Cast thy bread upon the waters" and continue to sow the seed of the gospel in earnest tears of heartfelt love, for the abundant harvest is assured and the kingdom of Christ shall come among all nations. "And blessed be His glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with His glory; Amen, and Amen," (Psalm 72:19); (John-32; John 17:4-10; Romans ; Matthew 13:8; Ecclesiastes 11:1; Psalm 126:5).
"When I went to the cannibal island of Ambrim in the north of the New Hebrides three years ago, we saw natives on shore all under arms. We hesitated to land, and whenever we approached them they would rush to the shore and draw up their canoes. For hours they acted that way. "At last two men came off in canoes, their limbs shaking, and trembling, and one called: ‘You missionary?’ " 'Yes, I am a missionary.' " 'You true missionary?' " 'Yes.' " 'You no got revolver?' I bared my body and showed I had none. " 'You no come to steal boys or woman?' " 'No, we come to tell you about God.' "Then he cried, 'Me savvy you! You true missionary! You brought MissiGordon who come here long, long ago!' "I said, 'Yes.' And with one rush the two men came in their canoes and leaped into our boat. One called ashore, 'Missi! Missi! Missi!' and something else that we did not understand. "Soon the cry was taken up along the shore of the island: 'Missionary, Missionary!' The people piled up their rifles and crowded together as we came near the shore. When we got there, they rushed in and took our boat up onto the beach. "As soon as I got out, I saw a painted, forbidding-looking savage making for me. I kept my eye on him, for I did not know what he was after. He seized me by the arm and began in broken English: " 'Me die for missionary! Me die for missionary! Me no got a missionary! Me no got a missionary! Me die for missionary!' "I said, 'We cannot give you a missionary.' " 'Do, do, do!' he said, looking at the young men with us. "I said they were for another island. He replied, 'You stop 'long o' me. Me die, me die, me want missionary teacha me.' "When we went to the boat he asked, 'When you come with missionary?' "I said, 'We cannot for a year!' " 'Oh,' he said, 'me want missionary. Me die for missionary. Not say year!' "As we left the island, crowds caught at me to keep me back, and the last sight I had was the old chief sitting there on the beach, silent and despairing. His plea is still ringing in my heart. The anxiety of the heathen lies on the heart of Jesus. That is my one consoling thought. And He will fill their need."
(Copied from the autobiography of JohnG.Paton: "Thirty Years with SouthSea Cannibals")
Complete autobiography: "JohnG.Paton, missionary to the New Hebrides". An autobiography edited by his brother JamesPaton. Published by Banner of Truth, 1994. 524 pgs. ISBN: 085151667X. First published in 1889. There is also "The Story of JohnG.Paton Told for Young Folks" by JamesPaton. New York: A. L. Burt Company, 1892. See Electronic text edition.
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