The Highest Of All Missionary Motives

This last Sunday, I did my best to lift up the glory of God in Jesus Christ for why we must be zealous to see the number of worshipers of God increase, through missions.  God’s glory is the “end,” missions is the “means.”

Stott says better in three paragraphs what I said in a sermon:

If God desires every knee to bow to Jesus and every tongue to confess Him, so should we.  We should be “jealous” for the honor of his name – troubled when it remains unknown, hurt when it is ignored, indignant when it is blasphemed, and all the time anxious and determined that it shall be given the honor and glory which are due it.

The highest of all missionary motives is neither obedience to the Great Commission (important as that is), nor love for sinners who are alienated and perishing (strong as that incentive is, especially when we contemplate the wrath of God), but rather zeal – burning and passionate zeal – for the glory of Christ.

Only one imperialism is Christian, and that is concern for his Imperial Majesty Jesus Christ, and for the glory of his empire or kingdom.  Before this supreme goal of the Christian mission, all unworthy motives wither and die.

– John Stott, The Message of Romans (Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press, 1994), 53

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