I was in the office of a well known college president some years ago, after I had done some institute work overseas. He said to me, “I believe you could help me plant institutes all over the world, couldn’t you?” I said to him without any hesitation, “No, I could help you plant churches all over the world.” I never had another conversation with that man. The Biblical mandate of getting missionaries to the field must not take a back seat to other projects. These projects are not necessarily wrong, nor is it unbiblical to support them. What is wrong is to sacrifice the things we are commanded by God’s Word to do, in order to do the things that we want to do. It is not difficult to do the things that make us feel good, give us prestige, and validate our own agendas. Many of those things are permitted within the scope of Bible teaching, but they may not all be commanded. When it comes to missions we are commanded to conduct ourselves in such a way that souls will be won to Jesus Christ, and churches will be planted with those who have been won to Christ. Authentic churches are to train their workers and reproduce themselves wherever they are. The field is the world. Men often have a blurred vision when called upon to distinguish between Church building for the glory of the Lord and kingdom building for the glory of a man. We do have a Biblical Mandate. Having a mission’s conference and supporting missionaries is not all there is to having an authentic mission’s minded church.
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Psalm 122:1 A Song of degrees of David. I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.
There are many examples of the God’s people being glad on different occasions in the Bible. None of those occasions are tainted with self-serving circumstances imposed by self-willed people. What we have to be glad about is of far greater impact than our health, our finances, our acceptance by others or our fear of failure.
Ps 16:8-9 I have set the LORD always before me: because [he is] at my right hand, I shall not be moved. 9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.
Pr 10:1 The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son [is] the heaviness of his mother.
Lu 1:11-19 And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12 And when Zacharias saw [him], he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. 13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. 14 And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. 15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. 16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. 17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. 18 And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. 19 And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.
Lu 15:23-24 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill [it]; and let us eat, and be merry: 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
Lu 19:36-38 And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way. 37 And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; 38 Saying, Blessed [be] the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.
Joh 20:19-20 Then the same day at evening, being the first [day] of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace [be] unto you. 20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them [his] hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.
Re 19:6-7 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. 7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
Ps 122:1 A Song of degrees of David. I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.
( I originally got this thought from a sermon preached by Evangelist Tommy Stone. I preached it in this form Sunday afternoon, September 3rd at Landmark Baptist Church, Red Oak, Texas)
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