The kingdom of God - 6B - MISSIONS

SERMON TOPIC: The kingdom of God - 6B - MISSIONS

Speaker: Gavin Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 9 November 2008


Sermon synopsis: What is the 'Great Commission' that Jesus gave and what are the excuses that Christians use for not keeping it?

(1) Calvinist fatalism,
(2) It’s a big sacrifice,
(3) You might suffer,
(4) I’m not qualified or talented,
(5) It’s not convenient,
(6) I have other things to do first,
(7) The task is too great.

Jesus taught 7 consecutive parables in Matthew 13 about the kingdom. The parables, if understood, reveal the secrets of “the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 13:10-11). The 7 parables refer to 7 church ages. The sixth parable of 'The Pearl of Great Price' covers the period from approximately 1700 - 1900 AD or the 'Missionary Church'.
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The 7 parables of the kingdom - Part 6B

The Pearl of great price

Matt 13:45-46 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.

Jesus taught 7 consecutive ‘kingdom’ parables in Matthew 13. The parables, if understood, reveal the “knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 13:11).

The 7 parables refer to 7 church ages. Like the other kingdom parables, the “Pearl of Great Price” parable also represents a period in Church history from approximately AD 1700 to 1900, which can be classified as the “Missionary Church”.






The Sower

AD 30 – 100

Apostolic Church


The Wheat and Weeds

AD 100 – 300

Persecuted Church


The Mustard Seed

AD 300 – 600

State Church (Constantine)


The Leaven

AD 600 – 1500

Papal Church (Roman Catholic)


The Hidden Treasure

AD 1500 – 1700

Reformation Church (Protestant)


The Pearl of Great Price

AD 1700 – 1900

Missionary Church

The Seven Church Ages



Voltaire, a Deist,1 further develops the rationalism of the ‘Enlightenment’, attacking Christianity and finding in man the centre of all things.

The French Revolution of 1789 overthrows the traditions of the Church and briefly establishes the ‘goddess of Reason’. This ‘enlightened’ godless society resulted in a bloodbath during the ‘Reign of Terror’, with over 10 people being guillotined a day at one stage. Robespierre was anti-God and tried to establish man as supreme. He ruled as an irrational and paranoid dictator, eventually meeting the same fate of guillotine execution that he so freely administered to others. 1 Deism is the belief that a supreme creator God exists, but that he does not intervene in creation. Deists reject supernatural events like prophecy and miracles, and reject belief in a triune God, the divinity of Jesus, and the inerrancy of Scriptures. They believe that God’s greatest gift to humanity is not religion, but the ability to reason. Unitarianism is a form of Deism.

18th Century: The bad news

Voltaire (1694–1778)

One of the unfortunate side-effects of religious freedom was the growth of cults. In America, many sects including Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Christian Science were established.

New philosophies such as Darwin’s evolution, Marx’s communism, and Freud’s psychology, attack the traditional Christian view of life and history.

German ‘higher critics’ attack the historical validity of the Scriptures.

19th Century: The bad news

Charles Darwin Karl Marx Sigmund Freud

Count von Zinzendorf established Herrnhut as a Moravian settlement in Saxony, from which the Moravian Brethren begin their missionary work. Missionary colonies were established in the West Indies, in Greenland, amongst the North American Indians, Livonia and the northern shores of the Baltic, to the slaves of North Carolina, to Suriname, to the Negro slaves in several parts of South America, to Tranquebar and the Nicobar Islands in the East Indies, to the Copts in Egypt, to the Inuit of Labrador, and to the west coast of South Africa. 1

“I have but one passion: It is He, it is He alone. The world is the field and the field is the world; and henceforth that country shall be my home where I can be most used in winning souls for Christ.” (von Zinzendorf)

“That the Lamb who was slain would receive the reward of His suffering.” (The missionary motivation of the Moravians)

1 Source: Wikipedia

18th Century: The good news

Count Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf (1700–60)

This century is sometimes called the Protestant Century. Protestants established missions throughout the world. Organizations such as the British and Foreign Bible Society, the American Bible Society, the Sunday School Union, and the American Board of Commissioners of Foreign Missions lead in the spread of the Gospel message.

In the analysis below, note the radical increase in world evangelization and the languages of the Scripture.

19th Century: The good news


% Christian *



Evangelization of world *


Languages *































Source: David Barrett


The Third Great


The Third Great Awakening was a period of religious revival in American history from the late 1850s to the 1900s.

New groups emerged, such as the Holiness movement and Nazarene Church.

Charles Spurgeon was a British Reformed Baptist preacher who remains highly influential among different denominations, among whom he is known as the “Prince of Preachers.” Spurgeon was to 19th century England what D.L. Moody was to America. Although Spurgeon never attended theological school, by the age of 21 he was the most popular preacher in London. 1

He preached to crowds of 10,000 at Exeter Hall and the Surrey Music Hall. Then when the Metropolitan Tabernacle was built, thousands gathered every Sunday for over 40 years to hear his lively sermons. 1

In addition to his regular pastoral duties, he founded Sunday schools, churches, an orphanage, and the Pastor’s College. He edited a monthly church magazine and promoted literature distribution. 1

Sincerely and straightforwardly he denounced error both in the Church of England and among his own Baptists. An ardent evangelical, he deplored the trend of the day toward biblical criticism. 1


The “Prince of Preachers”

C.H. Spurgeon (1834 – 1892)

Henry Varley, a friend of D.L. Moody, once said to Moody in his early days of ministry, ‘It remains to be seen what God will do with a man who gives himself up wholly to Him.’

When Varley said that, Moody said to himself, ‘Well, I will be that man.’ R.A. Torrey said, “I, for my part, do not think ‘it remains to be seen’ what God will do with a man who gives himself up wholly to Him. I think it has been seen already in D.L. Moody.” 1

Estimates vary, but Moody is thought to have led as many as a million people to confess faith in Christ. 2

Moody was an incessant student of the Bible and rose at 5 o’clock in the morning, that he might enjoy several hours in prayerful study. 3

He greatly influenced the cause of cross-cultural Christian missions after he met the pioneer missionary to China, Hudson Taylor. He actively supported the China Inland Mission and encouraged many of his congregation to volunteer for service overseas. 4

1 “Why God used D.L. Moody” - R.A. Torrey 2 Christian History Institute 3 Source: 4 Wikipedia

A man given up wholly to God

It was while on a trip to England in 1872 that he became well known as an evangelist. He preached almost 100 times and came into communion with the Plymouth Brethren. On several occasions he filled stadiums of 2,000 to 4,000 capacity. In the Botanic Gardens Palace, a meeting had between 15,000 to 30,000 people. 1

This turnout continued throughout 1874 and 1875, with crowds of thousands at all of his meetings. Charles Spurgeon invited him to speak as well. When he returned to the US, crowds of 12,000 to 20,000 were just as common as in England. President Grant and some of his cabinet attended a meeting in 1876. His evangelistic meetings were held from Boston to New York, throughout New England and as far as San Francisco, and other West coast towns from Vancouver to San Diego. 1

Moody aided in the work of cross-cultural evangelism by promoting “The Wordless Book”, a teaching tool developed by Charles Spurgeon. Moody added a 4th colour to the design of the 3-colour evangelistic device: gold - to “represent heaven”. This ‘book’ has been and is still used to teach uncounted thousands of illiterate people - young and old - around the globe about the Gospel message. 1

1 Source: Wikipedia

D.L. Moody

Moody said, “Some day you will read in the papers that D.L. Moody of East Northfield, is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it! At that moment I shall be more alive than I am now; I shall have gone up higher, that is all, out of this old clay tenement into a house that is immortal - a body that death cannot touch, that sin cannot taint; a body fashioned like unto His glorious body. I was born of the flesh in 1837. I was born of the Spirit in 1856. That which is born of the flesh may die. That which is born of the Spirit will live forever.” 1

10 years after Moody’s death, the Chicago Avenue Church was renamed The Moody Church in his honour, and the Chicago Bible Institute was likewise renamed Moody Bible Institute. 2

1 Source: 2 Wikipedia

Don’t you believe a word of it!

D. L. Moody (1837 - 1899)

The 6th

kingdom age -

Missions &


Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation

The Great Commission

In what is known as “The Great Commission”, after his resurrection Jesus, on various occasions, instructed His disciples:

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Matt 28:18-20)

“Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned…” Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it. (Mark 16:15-20)

“This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” (Luke 24:46-47)

“As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” (John 20:21)

“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.” (Acts 1:8)

The Great Commission

The early disciples took Jesus’ commission seriously.

Peter told Cornelius, “He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead.” (Acts 10:42)

Paul told the Ephesian elders, “I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God.” (Acts 20:26-27)

“People who don’t believe in missions have not read the New Testament. Right from the beginning Jesus said the field is the world. The early church took Him at His word and went East, West, North and South.” (J. Howard Edington, Senior pastor of Orlando’s First Presbyterian Church)

All nations

Speaking prophetically, Jesus said that “this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matt 24:14)

God has not commanded us to go into most of the world, but into “all the world”. We are told that the redeemed gathered before God’s throne consist of “every nation, tribe, people and language.” 1

“…since the great commission to make disciples of all nations is still valid and there are peoples today who do not know the gospel, therefore every church should pray that God raise up many frontier missionaries, and make all of us evangelists.” (John Piper, a Reformed and Baptist preacher and author)

1 John saw “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… they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.’” (Rev 7:9-10)

Missions & Evangelism

“Evangelism is a church growing where it is: Missions is a church growing where it isn’t.” (Ralph Winter)

“No pastor is fully obedient to Christ if he does not lead his church to pursue the Great Commission by making disciples both locally and around the world.” (Bill Lawrence, President of Leader Formation International)

“There are frontier or pioneer missionaries, and there are evangelists. Missionaries cross cultures and learn languages. And frontier missionaries pour out their lives “by word and deed, by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God” to break through thousands of years of darkness and the reign of Satan over a people who do not know the King of kings and the Saviour of the world. This was Paul’s ambition.” 1 (John Piper)

1 Rom 15:20-21 It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation. Rather, as it is written: “Those who were not told about him will see, and those who have not heard will understand.”

Calvinist fatalism

It’s a big sacrifice

You might suffer

I’m not qualified or talented

It’s not convenient

I have other things to do first

The task is too great

Some objections to

the Great Commission

Go and make disciples of all nations

William Carey became involved with the Particular (i.e. Hyper-Calvinist 1) Baptists. During this time he read Jonathan Edwards’ account of the life of David Brainerd and became deeply concerned with propagating the Gospel throughout the world. 2

At a ministers’ meeting in 1786, Carey raised the question of whether it was the duty of all Christians to spread the Gospel throughout the world. An elder pastor, J.R. Ryland, allegedly retorted: “Young man, sit down; when God pleases to convert the heathen, he will do it without your aid and mine.” 2

Carey preached a pro-missionary sermon using Isaiah 54:2-3 as his text. 3 In the sermon he repeatedly used the phrase which has become his most famous quotation: “Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.” 2 1 Hyper-Calvinists fatalistically assert that God’s intention to destroy some is equal to His intention to save others. This view holds that it is pointless to tell the ‘non-elect’ to repent and believe the gospel. Hyper-Calvinism arose from within the Calvinist tradition among the early English Particular Baptists in the mid 1700s. 2 Source: 3 “Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities.”

1) Overcoming Calvinist fatalism

William Carey is now known as the “father of modern missions.” In 1792 he published his groundbreaking missionary manifesto which consists of 5 parts outlining his basis for missions including Christian obligation, wise use of available resources, and accurate information. The points were:

A theological justification for missionary activity, arguing that the command of Jesus to make disciples of all the world remains binding on Christians.

A history of missionary activity, beginning with the early Church and ending with David Brainerd and John Wesley.

Tables, listing area, population, and religion statistics for every country in the world. Carey had compiled these figures during his years as a schoolteacher.

Answers to objections to sending missionaries, such as difficulty learning the language or danger to life.

A calls for the formation by the Baptists of a missionary society and description of the practical means by which it could be supported. 1

Carey finally overcame the resistance to missionary effort, and what became the Baptist Missionary Society was founded in October 1792. 1 1 Source: Wikipedia

1) Overcoming Calvinist fatalism

Carey ministered in India, translating the Bible into India’s major languages.

He used his influence with the Governor-General to help put a stop to the practices of infant sacrifice and ‘suttee’ (burning of widows on the funeral pyre of their husbands). In addition he provided schools for women and an asylum for lepers.

The conversion of Hindus to Christianity posed a new question as to whether it was appropriate for converts to retain their caste. In 1802, the daughter of Krishna Pal, a Sudra, married a Brahmin. This wedding was a public demonstration that the church repudiated the caste distinctions.

Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God

Dr. William Carey (1761–1834)

David Livingstone said:

“If a commission by an earthly king is considered a honour, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?”

“Can that be called a sacrifice which is simply paid back as a small part of a great debt owing to our God, which we can never repay? Is that a sacrifice which brings its own blest reward in healthful activity, the consciousness of doing good, peace of mind, and a bright hope of a glorious destiny hereafter? Away with the word in such a view, and with such a thought! It is emphatically no sacrifice. Say rather it is a privilege. Anxiety, sickness, suffering, or danger, now and then, with a foregoing of the common conveniences and charities of this life, may make us pause, and cause the spirit to waver, and the soul to sink, but let this only be for a moment. All these are nothing when compared with the glory which shall hereafter be revealed in and for us. I never made a sacrifice.”

2) It’s a big sacrifice

Mark 10:28-30 Peter said to him, “We have left everything to follow you!” “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 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.”

C.T. Studd was an English millionaire and famous cricketer. He forsook his cricketing fame and family fortune and went to China. He returned 21 years later, broken in health, after serving in China and India. At the age of 53 he unexpectedly received a new and very distinct call to the heart of Africa. He became the founder of the Heart of Africa Mission (now W.E.C. International).

His motto was: “If Jesus Christ is God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.”

“How could I spend the best years of my life in living for the honours of this world, when thousands of souls are perishing every day?” (C.T. Studd)

2) It’s a big sacrifice

“When I came to see that Jesus Christ had died for me, it didn’t seem hard to give up all for Him. It seemed just common, ordinary honesty.” (C.T. Studd)

I am getting desperately afraid of going to heaven for I have had the vision of the shame I shall suffer as I get my first glimpse of the Lord Jesus; His majesty, power and marvellous love for me, who treated Him so meanly and shabbily on earth, and acted as though I did Him a favour in serving Him! No wonder God shall have to wipe away the tears off all faces, for we shall be broken-hearted when we see the depth of His love and the shallowness of ours. (C.T. Studd)

C.T. Studd (1860-1931)

2) It’s a big sacrifice

Mary Slessor’s mother was a devout Christian but her father was a drunkard. Mary was greatly moved by the death of an older brother who had always hoped to be a missionary and volunteered to be a missionary in his place. On one day Mary heard a missionary tell about Calabar which was located in Nigeria, West Africa. He said something like this: “Calabar is the worst spot on earth! A mysterious, awful land ruled by witchcraft and secret cannibal societies. Human sacrifices, spells, poisons. And the awful custom of murdering twin babies which are considered bad luck. A land of fever, skin diseases, malaria.” 1

Would you have wanted to go to such a land? This would be the last place in the world that most people would want to go! As Mary heard these words her heart reached out to these needy people. She wanted to help them and at the age of 28 she went to Calabar. 1

1 Source: missions

2) It’s a big sacrifice

Mary Slessor

“The challenge of the unoccupied fields of the world is one to great faith and, therefore, to great sacrifice. Our willingness to sacrifice for an enterprise is always in proportion to our faith in that enterprise. Faith has the genius of transforming the barely possible into actuality… The unoccupied fields of the world must have their Calvary before they can have their Pentecost.” (Samuel Zwemer, Missionary to the Muslims of Saudi Arabia)

“For me, passion means whatever a person is willing to suffer for….’Apostolic passion,’ therefore, is a deliberate, intentional choice to live for the worship of Jesus in the nations. It has to do with being committed to the point of death to spreading His glory. It’s the quality of those who are on fire for Jesus, who dream of the whole earth being covered with the Glory of the Lord.” (Floyd McClung)

2) It’s a big sacrifice

Samuel Zwemer (1867-1952)

John Paton was a missionary to the New Hebrides islands, which were inhabited by savage cannibals. In fact less than 20 years before, the first 2 missionaries to set foot on one of these islands (John Williams and James Harris) were clubbed to death and eaten! 1

Before Paton left for these islands, an old man kept trying to stop him from going by saying, “You will be eaten by cannibals!” Paton could not be turned from his purpose. “Mr. Dickson, you are advanced in years now, and your own prospect is soon to be laid in the grave, there to be eaten by worms; I confess to you, that if I can but live and die serving and honouring the Lord Jesus, it will make no difference to me whether I am eaten by cannibals or by worms; and in the Great Day my resurrection body will rise as fair as yours in the likeness of our risen Redeemer.” 1

With his wife, Mary, John sailed from Scotland in 1857 and landed on the island of Tanna in the New Hebrides, an island chain northeast of Australia. With them was another young missionary, Joseph Copeland. 1

The people were as fierce as he had been told. Cannibal celebrations took place in sight of the Patons’ home and human blood fouled the drinking water. The natives frightened Joseph Copeland so much that he lost his wits and died; they continually threatened John. 1

1 Source: Christian History Institute

3) You might suffer

Early the next year, Mary bore a son. Both mother and child came down with fevers and died. With a breaking heart, John dug their grave and laid them in it. Later he said, “But for Jesus, and the fellowship He granted me there, I would have gone mad and died beside that lonely grave!” 1

John remained on Tanna. He went from village to village telling of the love of Christ and translating Scripture into the Tannese language. But finally, when all his supplies were stolen and starvation stared him in the face, he made his way across the island to the settlement of a second missionary. Exhausted he fell asleep. 1

After leaving Tanna, John remarried and worked on a smaller island. He had the joy of seeing the people of Aneityum come to Christ in a way the people of Tanna never had. 1

1 Source: Christian History Institute

3) You might suffer

Adoniram Judson was imprisoned for 9 months in Burma. His sufferings from fever, excruciating heat, hunger, and repeated cruelty of keepers is one of the most challenging narratives in the history of missions. Judson would have fallen except for the tender, persistent ministry of his heroic wife Ann. Under cover of darkness, she crept to the door of Judson’s den, bringing food and whispering words of hope and consolation. 2

While he was gone, Ann fell victim to a vicious fever. Before she died she said, “The teacher (husband) is long in coming; and the new missionaries are long in coming; I must die alone and leave my little one. But as it is the will of God, I submit to his will.” She died at 36 years of age. When Judson returned his heart was broken, as he buried his wife under a hopia tree in Amherst. About 3 months later he buried his third child – next to Ann. 2 1 Wikipedia 2,,,

Ann Judson (1789-1826)

3) You might suffer

“If I had not felt certain that every additional trial was ordered by infinite love and mercy, I could not have survived my accumulated suffering.” (Adoniram Judson)

“All my friends are but one, but He is all sufficient.” (William Carey)

“We will a thousand times sooner die trusting only our God, than live trusting in man. And when we come to this position the battle is already won, and the end of the glorious campaign in sight.” (C.T. Studd)

“So don’t come out to be a missionary as an experiment, it is useless and dangerous. Only come if you feel you would rather die than not come. Lord Wolsey was right: ‘A missionary ought to be a fanatic or he encumbers the ground.’ There are many trials and hardships. Disappointments are numerous and the time of learning the language is especially trying. Don’t come if you want to make a great name or want to live long. 1 Come if you feel there is no greater honour, after living for Christ, than to die for Him.” (C.T. Studd)

1 Missionaries to West Africa in the 19th century often transported their possessions to the field by packing them in a coffin and shipping them! The expected life expectancy on the field at the time was approximately 3 to 4 years. Upon setting out, missionaries understood that they could die so they brought coffins – for their bodies to be sent back to Europe or America.

3) You might suffer

“Obedience to the call of Christ nearly always costs everything to two people- the one who is called, and the one who loves that one.” (Oswald Chambers, 1874-1917, Scottish Protestant minister and teacher)

“Within 6 months, you will probably hear that one of us is dead. When the news comes, do not be cast down; but send someone else immediately to take the vacant place.” (Alexander MacKay, 1849-1890, pioneer missionary to Uganda - How prophetic his words were. Within 3 months, one of the party of 8 was dead; within a year 5 had died; and at the end of 2 years, MacKay himself was the sole survivor. In the face of overwhelming odds he struggled on for 12 years until he too was felled by malarial fever.)

“We did not come to China because missionary work here was either safe or easy, but because He has called us. We did not enter upon our present positions under a guarantee of human protection, but relying on the promise of His presence. The accidents of ease or difficulty, of apparent safety or danger, of man’s approval or disapproval, in no wise affect our duty. Should circumstances arise involving us in what may seem special danger, we shall have grace, I trust, to manifest the depth and reality of our confidence in Him, and by faithfulness to our charge to prove that we are followers of the Good Shepherd who did not flee from death itself…” (Hudson Taylor)

3) You might suffer

“I want my breakfast served at 8, with ham and eggs upon my plate; A well-broiled steak I’ll eat at one, and dine again when day is done. I want an ultramodern home. And in each room a telephone; Soft carpets, too, upon the floors, and pretty drapes to grace the doors. A cozy place of lovely things, like easy chairs with inner springs, And then I'll get a small TV – Of course, ‘I’m careful’ what I see. I want my wardrobe, too, to be of neatest, finest quality, With latest style in suit and vest: Why should not Christians have the best? But then the Master I can hear in no uncertain voice, so clear: ‘I bid you come and follow Me, the lowly Man of Galilee. Birds of the air have made their nest, And foxes in their holes find rest, But I can offer you no bed; no place have I to lay My head.’ In shame, I hung my head and cried. How could I spurn the Crucified? Could I forget the way He went. The sleepless nights in prayer He spent? For 40 days without a bite, alone He fasted day and night; Despised, rejected – on He went, and did not stop till veil He rent.

3) You might suffer

A man of sorrows and of grief, no earthly friend to bring relief; ‘Smitten of God,’ the prophet said – ‘Mocked, beaten, bruised, His blood ran red.’ If He be God, and died for me, no sacrifice too great can be for me, A mortal man, to make; I’ll do it all for Jesus’ sake. Yes, I will tread the path He trod, no other way will please my God; So, henceforth, this my choice shall be, my choice for all eternity.” (William “Smiling Bill” McChesney, age 28, missionary to the Congo. While suffering from malaria he was shoved into a truck by Simba rebels in 1964, stripped and mercilessly beaten by soldiers. He was imprisoned in a small cell with 40 other prisoners and turned over to a rioting mob armed with clubs and fists who struck him down dead.)

Sometimes the door of opportunity swings on the hinges of opposition.

“Circumstances may appear to wreck our lives and God’s plans, but God is not helpless among the ruins. Our broken lives are not lost or useless. God’s love is still working. He comes in and takes the calamity and uses it victoriously, working out His wonderful plan of love.” (Eric Liddell, Olympic Champion, and Missionary to China)

3) You might suffer

“Too many people want the fruit of Paul’s ministry without paying the price that Paul paid. He died. He died to everything. He died daily He was crucified with Christ…I challenge you to pray this prayer: ‘Lord, be ruthless with me in revealing my selfish ambition and my lack of willingness to die to myself.’ I guarantee that He will answer your prayer – and quickly.” (Floyd McClung, international director of All Nations)

Paul wrote:

“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2 Cor 4:17)

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” (Rom 8:18)

“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21)

“But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ…” (Philippians 3:7-8)

3) You might suffer

When James Calvert went out as a missionary to the cannibals of the Fiji Islands, the ship captain tried to turn him back, saying, “You will lose your life and the lives of those with you if you go among such savages.” To that, Calvert replied, “We died before we came here.”

There is no painless way to follow Christ.

Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.” (Mark 8:34-35)

“And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do” (Luke 12:4).

3) You might suffer

James Calvert (1813-1892)

God’s not looking for ability, He’s looking for availability.

By almost every standard known to modern missionary boards, David Brainerd would have been rejected as a missionary candidate. He suffered from tuberculosis – dying from that disease at age 29 – and from his youth was frail and sickly. 1

Brainerd never finished college, being expelled from Yale for criticizing the worldliness of some members of the faculty. 2 This young man became a missionary to the American Indians.

For 24-year-old David Brainerd, thrilling experiences in God’s presence were regularly interspersed with deep bouts of melancholy in which he despaired of ever achieving anything in God’s service. 3 years later, an unprecedented outpouring of the Spirit upon American Indians erupted after his preaching. This move coincided with a time when the clammy clouds of dejection were so thick that he was seriously contemplating ending his missionary endeavors. 3

Brainerd was a pioneer of modern missionary work. 1 Jonathan Edwards edited Brainerd’s diary into a book that has been used by God to challenge Christians around the world to greater service. Among those influenced by it were the missionary heroes William Carey and Henry Martyn. 2

1 2 3 http:// tough

4) I’m not qualified or talented

“It is possible for the most obscure person in a church, with a heart right toward God, to exercise as much power for the evangelization of the world, as it is for those who stand in the most prominent positions.” (John R. Mott, 1865–1955, a long-serving leader of the YMCA & the World Student Christian Federation.)

Gladys Aylward was born in London in 1902 and forced into domestic service at an early age. She always had an ambition to go overseas as a missionary, and studied with great determination in order to be fitted for the role, only to be turned down by the China Inland Mission because her academic background was inadequate. 1

Then she heard of a 73-year-old missionary, Mrs. Jeannie Lawson, who was looking for a younger woman to carry on her work. Gladys wrote to Mrs. Lawson and was accepted if she could get to China. She did not have enough money for the ship fare, but spent her life savings from her meager wages earned as a housemaid on alternate transport. In 1930 she set out with her passport, her Bible, her tickets, and two pounds ninepence, to travel to China by the Trans-Siberian Railway, despite the fact that China and the Soviet Union were engaged in an undeclared war. She used a combination of train, ship, bus and mule to reach her destination. 2 1 Source: Wikipedia 2 http://

4) I’m not qualified or talented

Aylward learned the Chinese language, a feat she called “one of God’s great miracles.” (The mission agencies had been sure she lacked the education for that.) Sharing the Gospel in the surrounding villages, she also began to take in unwanted children. Before long she had 20 little ones under her roof, these in addition to the 30 to 40 wounded soldiers that she cared for at a time. 1

The children she cared for in the midst of repeated Japanese bombings grew to 100. With the Japanese invasion, reluctantly she had to leave her beloved inn. The devoted missionary led her 100 children over the mountains on foot - a perilous journey of over a 100 miles to the safer province of Sian. After 27 exhausting days and shivering nights she brought her children safely into Sian and collapsed. How had she made it? The doctors were amazed at this woman, who was suffering from typhus, pneumonia, relapsing fever, malnutrition, and supreme exhaustion. 1 1 Source: Christian History Institute

4) I’m not qualified or talented

Gladys Aylward (1902-70)

Once she regained her strength, she resumed her ministry in this new region, sharing the Gospel in the villages, prisons and among lepers. Throughout her years in China her ministry was characterized by a humble dependence upon God in a steady stream of extreme circumstances. 1

“I wasn’t God’s first choice for what I’ve done for China… I don’t know who it was… It must have been a man… a well-educated man. I don’t know what happened. Perhaps he died. Perhaps he wasn’t willing… and God looked down… and saw Gladys Aylward… And God said – ‘Well, she’s willing.’” (Gladys Aylward)

A popular story relates how Gladys Aylward envied her tall blonde friends their beauty, while she was less than 5 foot tall with black hair. Yet years later when she arrived in China as a missionary, she looked around on a Chinese street and realized God’s purposes. She would be working with dark, short statured people - exactly like she was! “Oh, God,” she is said to have gasped. “You knew what you are doing!”

At the end of her life Gladys wrote of herself: “My heart is full of praise that one so insignificant, uneducated, and ordinary in every way could be used to His glory for the blessing of His people in poor persecuted China.” 1 1 Christian History Institute

4) I’m not qualified or talented

Dwight Moody was born in Northfield, Massachusetts to a large family and raised in poverty. His alcoholic father died when Moody was 4 years old. 1

His mother struggled to support the family, but even with her best effort, some of her children (including Dwight) had to be sent off to work for their room and board. 1

Moody didn’t attend school beyond the fifth grade. 2 The teacher of the district school didn’t consider him a promising pupil. He progressed poorly in reading and writing, was a bad speller, and poor at maths. 1

He was raised in the Unitarian 3 church. When Moody turned 17, he moved to Boston to work in his uncle’s shoe store. One of his uncle’s requirements was that Moody attend the Congregational Church of Mount Vernon. In 1855 Moody was converted to evangelical Christianity when his teacher, Edward Kimball talked to him about how much God loved him. 1

Moody as a young Christian was for a while a mere babe in the Kingdom. His zeal was strong, but his mind was not tutored in the Scriptures, his command of language was very limited, his sentences were broken and ungrammatical. So his first application for admission into church membership was not accepted, as he was thought not to know enough. 1

1 2 Christian History Institute 3 Unitarians deny the full divinity of Christ and do not emphasize human need for salvation from sins.

4) I’m not qualified or talented

His teacher, Edward Kimball, stated, “I can truly say, and in saying it I magnify the infinite grace of God as bestowed upon him, that I have seen few persons whose minds were spiritually darker than was his when he came into my Sunday School class; and I think that the committee of the Mount Vernon Church seldom met an applicant for membership more unlikely ever to become a Christian of clear and decided views of Gospel truth, 2 still less to fill any extended sphere of public usefulness.” 1

At the age of 20, Moody became frustrated in Boston because of lack of opportunity to work for God so he moved to Chicago, attending the Plymouth Congregational Church. He was so eager to do good that he hired 4 pews in his church, and set about hunting people to fill them. But his efforts were as unacceptable there as in Boston, and he was repeatedly advised not to attempt to speak in public.” 1

A contemporary commented that when Moody began to work for the Lord, he had little more than a half of a talent to account for. But he put his half talent to service so diligently that the Lord added to it continually, until he came to be endowed with 10 talents. 1

1 Source: biography/ biomoody.html 2 Asked what Christ had done for him, the nervous boy replied that he wasn’t aware of anything particular. Leaders felt that was an unacceptable answer. - CHI

4) I’m not qualified or talented

A casual visit to a Methodist class-meeting led Moody to join a mission band, who spent Sunday mornings scattering tracts throughout the city. He came across a little Sunday school in North Wells Street, and offered himself as a teacher. He was accepted, on condition that he would bring his pupils with him. Accordingly a week later he appeared followed by 18 ragged children, whom he had coaxed in out of the lanes. These he soon transferred to another teacher, and kept on himself in the task of recruiting till the schoolroom was crowded. 1

Within a year the average attendance at his school was 650, while 60 volunteers from various churches served as teachers. During the 6 years these faithful services were kept up, fully 2000 children are thought to have been brought each year within its control. 1

1 Source:

Young Moody with a class of boys

4) I’m not qualified or talented

In 1857, he began to look after the welfare of the sailors in the port of Chicago. On Sunday mornings he circulated tracts and Bibles, and prayed and talked in vessels, boarding-houses, hospitals and prisons. 1

Moody became awakened to the need to carry the gospel to those sunk in the depths of sin. So he chose the worst section in Chicago, frequented by gamblers, thieves, and the depraved. He hired a rickety saloon for Sunday school services and evening meetings. Then he set about persuading the outcasts to come in, while their unkempt and boisterous children were won over by gifts of maple sugar. There they met, a rude, disorderly crowd, at first without even seats, and with only the shadow of any discipline. They sang hymns and Moody told stories. 1

1 Source:

4) I’m not qualified or talented

A graphic picture of this is related by a Mr. Reynolds : “The first meeting I ever saw him at was in a little old shanty that had been abandoned by a saloon-keeper. Mr. Moody had got the place to hold the meetings in at night. I went there a little late; and the first thing I saw was a man standing up with a few tallow candles around him, holding a negro boy, and trying to read to him the story of the Prodigal Son and a great many words he could not read out, and had to skip. I thought, ‘If the Lord can ever use such an instrument as that for His honour and glory, it will astonish me.’ After that meeting was over, Mr. Moody said to me, ‘Reynolds, I have got only one talent; I have no education, but I love the Lord Jesus Christ, and I want to do something for him: I want you to pray for me.’ I have never ceased, from that day to this, to pray for that devoted Christian soldier. I have watched him since then, have had counsel with him, and know him thoroughly; and, for consistent walk and conversation, I have never met a man to equal him. It astounds me to look back and see what Mr. Moody was 13 years ago, and then what he is under God today… The last time I heard from him, his injunction was, ‘Pray for me every day; pray now that the Lord will keep me humble.’ ” 1

1 Source:

4) I’m not qualified or talented

You might feel inadequate and incapable to be effective in evangelism.

1 Cor 1:26-29 Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things - and the things that are not - to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.

When the educated Jewish rulers “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.” (Acts 4:13)

Former shoe salesman, D.L.Moody said, “If this world is going to be reached, I am convinced that it must be done by men and women of average talent. After all, there are comparatively few people in the world who have great talents.” 1

Hudson Taylor: “God isn’t looking for people of great faith, but for individuals ready to follow Him” and “God uses men who are weak and feeble enough to lean on him.”


4) I’m not qualified or talented

Long after he became famous in India, becoming Professor of oriental languages in the college of Fort William, William Carey was dining with a select company at the Governor-General’s. One of the guests asked someone else in a whisper deliberately loud enough to be heard by the professor, whether Dr. Carey had not once been a shoemaker. “No, sir,” immediately interjected Dr. Carey, “only a cobbler!” 1

Yet this former shoe-mender was instrumental in translating the entire Bible into Bengali, Oriya, Marathi, Hindi, Sanskrit and Assamese, and parts of 209 other languages and dialects.

“Churches realize that God will do more through their honest mistakes than their disobedience; more through their fumbled efforts than their lack of efforts; more through their awkward attempts to influence their global neighbors than through their grand programs within their comfort zone.” (Mark Mays)

“It is not so much the degree of arts that is needed, but that of hearts, loyal and true, that love not their lives to the death: large and loving hearts which seek to save the lost multitudes…” (C.T. Studd)

1 i.e. not able to make shoes, only mend them

4) I’m not qualified or talented

5) It’s not convenient

While traveling by boat one day, Hudson Taylor entered into conversation with a Chinaman who had once visited England, where he went by the name of Peter. The man listened attentively to the missionary’s account of Christ’s saving love and was even moved to tears, but refused the immediate acceptance of the proffered salvation. A little later, evidently in a mood of great despondency, Peter jumped overboard and sank. In agonized suspense Taylor looked around for assistance and saw close by a fishing boat with a dragnet furnished with hooks. “Come!” shouted Taylor to the fishermen. “Drag over this spot. A man sank here and is drowning!” “It is not convenient,” was the unfeeling reply. “Don’t talk of convenience!” cried the missionary. “A man is drowning.” “We are busy fishing and cannot come,” they responded. When Taylor urged them to come at once and offered to pay them, they demanded to know how much. His offer of 5 dollars was refused. He then said: “Do come quickly and I will give you all the money I have - about 14 dollars.” Finally, the boat was brought and the hooks let down. Less than a minute was required to bring up the body but all efforts at resuscitation failed. Life was extinct. 1


To Hudson Taylor this incident was profoundly sad in itself and pathetic in its parabolic significance. Were not those fishermen guilty of the death of the Chinaman, in that they had the opportunity and means of saving him but refused to use them? Most assuredly they were guilty. “And yet,” says Taylor, “let us pause before we pronounce judgment on them, in case a greater than Nathan answers, ‘You are the man.’ Is it so wicked a thing to neglect to save the body? Of how much worse punishment then, is he worthy, who leaves the immortal soul to perish. The Lord Jesus commands me, commands you: ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature’ (Mark 16:15). Shall we say to Him, ‘No, it is not convenient?’ Shall we tell Him that we are busy at fishing or other business and cannot go? … Oh, let us pray and let us labour for the salvation of China’s unevangelized millions.” 1

‘Must you go to China? How much nicer it would be to stay here and serve the Lord at home!’ She made it plain at last that she would not go to China. (Hudson Taylor’s ex-girlfriend)

“Some want to live within the sound of Church or Chapel bell; I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell.” (C.T Studd)


5) It’s not convenient

“There are too many over-fed, under-motivated Christians hiding behind the excuse that God has not spoken to them. They are waiting to hear voices or see dreams – all the while living to make money, to provide for their future, to dress well and have fun.” (Floyd McClung)

“To me, it has always been difficult to understand those evangelical Christians who insist upon living in the crisis as if no crisis existed. They say they serve the Lord, but they divide their days so as to leave plenty of time to play and loaf and enjoy the pleasures of this world as well. They are at ease while the world burns; and they can furnish many convincing reasons for their conduct, even quoting Scripture if you press them a bit. I wonder whether such Christians actually believe in the Fall of Man.” (A.W. Tozer)

“Do not pray for easy lives; pray to be stronger men. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers; pray for powers equal to your tasks. Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle, but you shall be a miracle.” (Phillips Brooks)

5) It’s not convenient

“Before I left the farm,” Moody related about an experience in his early manhood, “I was talking one day to a man who was working there, and who was weeping. I said to him, ‘What is the trouble?’ And he told me a very strange story - strange to me then, for I was not at that time a Christian. He said that his mother was a Christian when he left home to seek his fortune. When he was about starting, his mother took him by the hand and spoke these parting words: ‘My son, seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.’ ‘This,’ said he, ‘was my mother’s favorite text’… He went to a little church, and the minister preached from the text, ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God;’ and he thought the text and sermon were meant for him. He wanted to get rich; and when he was settled in life he would seek the kingdom of God… It was not long before he heard another minister preach from the same text, ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God.’ He thought someone must have been speaking to the minister about him… But he said, when he got settled in life, and had control of his time, and was his own master, he would then seek the kingdom of God. 1 1 Source: biography/ biomoody.html

6) I have other things to do first

Some time after he was at another age, and here went to church again; and he had not been going a great while when he heard the third minister preach from the same text: ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God…’ He said it went right down into his soul; but he calmly and deliberately made up his mind that he would not become a Christian until he had got settled in life, and owned his farm. This man said, ‘Now I am what the world calls rich. I go to church every Sunday; but I have never heard a sermon, from that day to this, which has ever made any impression on my heart. My heart is as hard as a stone.’ As he said that, tears trickled down his cheeks. I was a young man, and did not know what it meant. When I became converted, I thought I would see this man when I should go back home, and preach Christ to him. When I went back home I said to my widowed mother, naming the man, ‘Is he still living in the same place?’ My mother said, ‘He’s gone mad, and has been taken away to the insane asylum; and to every one that goes to see him he points his finger and says, ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God’. I thought I should like to see him; but he was so far gone it would do no good. The next time I went home he was at his home, idiotic. I went to see him. When I went in, I said, ‘Do you know me?’ 1

1 biography/ biomoody.html

6) I have other things to do first

He pointed his finger at me and said, ‘Young man, seek ye first the kingdom of God.’ God had driven that text into his mind, but his reason was gone. 3 years ago, when I visited my father’s grave, I noticed a new stone had been put up. I stopped, and found it was my friend’s. That autumn wind seemed to be whispering that text, ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God.’” 1

Contrast this tragic story with that of Moody himself:

On parting with his wife one morning, Moody said to her: “I have no money, and the house is without supplies. It looks as if the Lord had had enough of me in this mission work, and is going to send me back again to sell boots and shoes.” But a day or two brought to him two $50 checks from a stranger for the use of himself and his school.

Again, as he was setting out for his day’s work, his wife asked him to order a barrel of flour that morning. He found his pocket was empty, however; but his mind was quickly diverted from the thought of money to the care of some souls he was then bearing constantly in prayer before the mercy-seat. So he returned home at night just as empty-handed, and found that a friend, whose heart had been moved upon from above, had sent ahead of him a barrel of flour. 1

1 biography/ biomoody.html

6) I have other things to do first

To Hudson Taylor 1 there was “no dream that must not be dared”; no risk that must not be taken, if it came in line of duty; no obstacle that could not be surmounted, if the call of God demanded. “Faith,” he asserted, “laughs at impossibilities, and obedience raises no questions.” 2

“There is nothing in the world or the Church - except the church’s disobedience - to render the evangelization of the world in this generation an impossibility.” (Robert Speer, leader in Student Volunteer Movement)

“The man… looking at him with a smile that only half concealed his contempt, inquired, “Now Mr. Morrison do you really expect that you will make an impression on the idolatry of the Chinese Empire?” “No sir,” said Morrison, “but I expect that God will.” (written of Robert Morrison)

“The more obstacles you have, the more opportunities there are for God to do something.” (Clarence W. Jones)

1 Historian Ruth Tucker says, “No other missionary in the 19 centuries since the Apostle Paul has had a wider vision and has carried out a more systematized plan of evangelizing a broad geographical area than Hudson Taylor.” 2 Hudson Taylor: The Man Who Believed God, written by Marshall Broomhall

7) The task is too great

“When I left England, my hope of India’s conversion was very strong; but amongst so many obstacles, it would die, unless upheld by God. Well, I have God, and His Word is true. Though the superstition of the heathen were a thousand times stronger than they are, and the example of the Europeans a thousand times worse; though I were deserted by all and persecuted by all, yet my faith, fixed on the sure Word, would rise above all obstructions and overcome every trial. God’s cause will triumph.” (William Carey)

“Never concede to doing something so small that it could be accomplished entirely in your lifetime. Be a part of something that began before you were born, and will continue onward toward the fulfillment of all that God has purposed to accomplish.” (Ralph Winter, Founder/ Director of the US Center for World Mission)

“All the resources of the Godhead are at our disposal!” (Jonathan Goforth)

“If miracles are not required to maintain your work for Christ, you are not doing enough.”

“Start something so big, that only God can finish it.”

“Get out on a limb. That is where the fruit is.”

7) The task is too great

“If the Great Commission is true, our plans are not too big; they are too small.” (Pat Morley, President of the National Coalition of Men’s Ministries)

“We have a God who delights in impossibilities.” (Andrew Murray)

“Christ does not want nibblers of the possible, but grabbers of the impossible.” (C.T. Studd)

“Difficulties, dangers, disease, death, or divisions don’t deter any but Chocolate Soldiers from executing God’s Will. When someone says there is a lion in the way, the real Christian promptly replies, ‘That’s hardly enough inducement for me; I want a bear or two besides to make it worth my while to go.’ ” (C.T. Studd)

7) The task is too great

‘The Chocolate Soldier’ by C.T. Studd

A missionary is one who never gets used to the sound of heathen footsteps on their way to a Christless eternity.

“If God calls you to be a missionary, don’t stoop to be a king.” (Jordan Grooms, former Methodist pastor & Bible teacher at Life Challenge, a men’s recovery center in Amarillo)

Nate Saint (1923-56), the missionary pilot to Ecuador who was martyred along with Jim Elliot, said, “People who do not know the Lord ask why in the world we waste our lives as missionaries. They forget that they too are expending their lives… and when the bubble has burst, they will have nothing of eternal significance to show for the years they have wasted.”

“Never pity missionaries; envy them. They are where the real action is - where life and death, sin and grace, Heaven and Hell converge.” (Robert C. Shannon, Christian author)

“God had only one Son and he made that Son a missionary.” (David Livingstone)

“Had I cared for the comments of people, I should never have been a missionary.” (C.T. Studd)


Adoniram Judson had been a child prodigy, learning to read in one week-at age 3! He grew up in a conservative Congregational pastor’s home and went to Brown University where he consistently led his class in grades. 1 Here he made friends with Jacob Eames, a persuasive Deist, and this led to his own rejection of traditional Christianity.

He broke his parents hearts when he told them that he had no faith and that he intended to go to New York and learn to write for the theatre. He did not, however, find his expected fame or fortune there. 2

Eventually he headed West and one night he stayed in a small village inn where he’d never been before. The innkeeper apologized that his sleep might be interrupted because of a man critically ill in the next room. Adoniram was tired but rest did not come. Throughout the night, he heard sounds in the next room - low voices, people moving about on the creaking floor, groans and gasps, but most of all agonizing cries of despair and desperation, coming from the dying man. It bothered him to think that the man may not be prepared to die. All night long He wondered about himself and had terrible thoughts of his own death. How would he face this enemy that his own father would welcome as the doorway to God? His philosophy offered no answers beyond this earthly life. 2

1 “The Life Of Adoniram Judson” by Courtney Anderson 2,,

Adoniram Judson

But then he felt ashamed of himself - what would his deist friend, Jacob Eames, think of his silly thoughts of God? 1

When he was leaving the next morning he asked if the man was better. “He is dead,” said the innkeeper. Struck with the finality of it all he asked, “Do you know who he was?” “Oh yes.” came the reply, “Young man from the college in Providence. Name was Eames, Jacob Eames.”

That reality sent Adoniram’s mind reeling and he wondered about the eternal destiny for such a man. Suddenly, he realized that his father’s God was true: The beliefs of Jacob Eames were empty and had failed him at his greatest hour. Back home Adoniram committed himself fully to God. His dedication led him into ministry and later mission work in Burma.

In 1806 he and several other like-burdened Congregationalist students at Williams College formed the first U.S. foreign missionary society. Until this time work in America was limited to Indians. The famous haystack prayer meeting was a result of a storm at their first meeting which was held outdoors when they all jumped into a haystack to pray. 2 1 “The Life Of Adoniram Judson” by Courtney Anderson 2,,

Adoniram Judson

The largest church in Boston sought him as its pastor, but 12 days after his marriage to Ann Hasseltine in 1812, the couple sailed to India. On the voyage and after their arrival, Judson studied the question of baptism, and came to realize that the Baptist view (that baptism is for believers only and must be by immersion only) was Biblical. He submitted to baptism by immersion at the hands of William Carey’s colleague, William Ward. 1

This necessitated a resignation from the Congregational missions board, and the creation of a Baptist mission board from a distance of 12,000 miles so that they could stay on the field. William Carey’s urging of American Baptists to take over support for Judson’s mission, led to the foundation in 1814 of the first American Baptist Mission board. 1

Prohibited residence in India, the Judsons went to Burma, where they laboured to life’s end. Judson’s extensive linguistic knowledge (Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and French) served him in good stead as he learned Burmese, and then translated the NT and then the OT into Burmese. His Burmese version was based directly on the Hebrew and Greek texts. Ann was the first missionary to learn Siamese and to translate a portion of Scripture, the Gospel of Matthew, into that tongue. 1


Adoniram Judson

In 1828 he began preaching to the Karens, a race of wild people living in the remote areas of the jungles. A Karen slave was bought by a local Christian, who brought him to Judson to be taught and evangelized. This desperate robber bandit was involved in some 30 murders. Patiently, Judson instructed him until he was converted and subsequently went through the jungles as a fiery evangelist among his people. 1

By 1837 there were 1,144 baptized converts in Burma. Judson would preach and teach all morning and in the evening would hold a service for believers and inquirers. 1

30 years after Judson’s death the work he gave birth to numbered 7,000 converts and some 63 churches. The working staff over which he had oversight consisted of 163 missionaries, native pastors and assistants. There was a publishing house and schools where natives were taught to read. 2 100 years after his death, Burma had some 200,000 Christians.1

1 2 missions

Adoniram Judson

Adoniram Judson (1788-1850)

John Wesley tells of a man who said to him, “Sir, you wish to serve God and go to heaven. Remember you cannot serve him alone; you must therefore find companions or make them; the Bible knows nothing of solitary religion.”

“A true faith in Jesus Christ will not suffer us to be idle. No, it is an active, lively, restless principle; it fills the heart, so that it cannot be easy till it is doing something for Jesus Christ.” (George Whitefield)

“God is a God of missions. He wills missions. He commands missions. He demands missions. He made missions possible through His Son. He made missions actual in sending the Holy Spirit.” (George W. Peters - professor of world missions at Dallas Theological Seminary for many years.)

“The spirit of Christ is the spirit of missions. The nearer we get to Him, the more intensely missionary we become.” (Henry Martyn, 1781-1812, missionary to India and Persia)

“If you take missions out of the Bible, you won’t have anything left but the covers.” (Dr. Nina G. Gunter - a general superintendent in the Church of the Nazarene.)

Solitary religion?

“The concern for world evangelization is not something tacked on to a man’s personal Christianity, which he may take or leave as he chooses. It is rooted in the character of the God who has come to us in Christ Jesus. Thus, it can never be the province of a few enthusiasts, a sideline or a specialty of those who happen to have a bent that way. It is the distinctive mark of being a Christian.” (James S. Stewart, 1896-1990, a Scottish preacher who taught at the University of Edinburgh)

“The Christian is not obedient unless he is doing all in his power to send the Gospel to the heathen world.” (A.B. Simpson, Canadian preacher & founder of The Christian and Missionary Alliance)

“ ‘Go ye’ is as much a part of Christ’s Gospel as ‘Come unto Me.’ You are not even a Christian until you have honestly faced your responsibility in regard to the carrying of the Gospel to the ends of the earth.” (J. Stuart Holden, 1874-1934, Anglican Vicar of St. Paul’s Church, London)

Solitary religion?

The first work of the whole Church is to give the Gospel to the whole world.

“Save others, snatching them out of the fire.” (Jude 23)

“Essentially, the church has many responsibilities but only one mission, and that is the evangelization and discipling of all nations.” (Daniel Bacon)

Oswald J. Smith:

“The mission of the church is missions.”

“The supreme task of the Church is the evangelization of the world.”

“Any church that is not seriously involved in helping fulfill the Great Commission has forfeited its biblical right to exist.”

“The mark of a great church is not its seating capacity, but its sending capacity.” (Mike Stachura, served with Operation Mobilization for over 20 years and was president of Advancing Churches in Mission Commitment.)

“Missions properly rooted in Christ and motivated by the Holy Spirit ceases to be a burdensome duty of the church. It becomes rather the outflow of the life of the church. It is lifted from a legalistic spirit of duty to the fruit of the Spirit generated from a life relationship to Christ.” (George W. Peters, Mennonite Missiologist)

The mission of the church

“The purpose of the church is to bring God glory through the worldwide proclamation, reception and worship of His Son. This is our corporate purpose. It should be our individual purpose as well.” (David Shibley)

“The church is a subplot to the bigger story. If it exists for its own sake, or its own growth, it has probably already broken the first commandment” (Paul McKaughan)

“The Bible in its totality ascribes only one intention to God: to save mankind. Every task of the church makes sense and has a purpose only as it leads to the mission.” (Georg F. Vicedom)

“There is no argument for missions. The entire action of God in history, the whole revelation of God in Christ — that is the argument.” (James S. Stewart)

“God is a missionary God. The Bible is a missionary book. The Gospel is a missionary message. The church is a missionary institution. And when the church ceases to be missionary minded, it has denied its faith and betrayed its trust.” (J. Herbert Kane)

“Missions are the chief end of the Church….the chief end of the ministry ought to be to equip the Church for this. Each congregation is meant to be a training class.” (Andrew Murray in ‘The Key to the Missionary Problem’)

The reason some folks don’t believe in missions is that the brand of religion they have isn’t worth propagating.

“Where passion for God is weak, zeal for missions will be weak.” (John Piper)

“The first joint priority of the churches of any city should be that of making it hard for people to go to hell from that city.” (David Shibley)

“A congregation that is not deeply and earnestly involved in the worldwide proclamation of the gospel does not understand the nature of salvation.” (Ted Engstrom, World Vision)

“A church that does not recognize the primacy of missions deprives herself of the most intimate relationship with her Lord, fails to identify herself with the primary purpose of God, robs her membership of the deepest experiences of the Holy Spirit, and denies the world the greatest blessings the Lord in grace has provided. She ceases to be truly Christian.” (George W. Peters, Mennonite Missiologist)

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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you

“The Great Commission is not an option to be considered; it is a command to be obeyed.” (Hudson Taylor)


Appendix 1: Mission quotes

“I used to ask God to help me. Then I asked if I might help Him. I ended up by asking Him to do His work through me.” (Hudson Taylor)

“Why do what others can and will do, when there is so much that needs to be done that others will not do?”– Dawson Trotman, Founder of Navigators

“Send us people with initiative, who can carry themselves and others too; such as need to be carried hamper the work and weaken those who should be spending their strength for the heathen. Weaklings should be nursed at home! If any have jealousy, pride, or talebearing traits lurking about them, do not send them, nor any who are prone to criticize. Send only Pauls and Timothys; men who are full of zeal, holiness and power. All others are hindrances. If you send us 10 such men the work will be done. Quantity is nothing; quality is what matters. ‘FORWARD EVER; BACKWARD, NEVER!’”– C.T. Studd

“You can do something other than working with God in His purpose, but it will always be something lesser, and you couldn’t come up with something better.”- Steve Hawthorne

“His authority on earth allows us to dare to go to all the nations. His authority in heaven gives us our only hope of success. And His presence with us leaves us no other choice.”- John Stott

“Is it possible to get close to the Master’s heart without getting close to the Master’s mission?”– Larry Moyer

“Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring.”- Jesus

“Would that God would make hell so real to us that we cannot rest.”–Hudson Taylor

“God does not have to come and tell me what I must do for Him, He brings me into a relationship with Himself where I hear His call and understand what He wants me to do, and I do it out of sheer love to Him… When people say they have had a call to foreign service, or to any particular sphere of work, they mean that their relationship to God has enabled them to realize what they can do for God.”- Oswald Chambers

“Prepare for the worst, expect the best, and take what comes.”- Robert E. Speer

“I have seen the Vision and for self I cannot live; Life is less than worthless till my all I give.” – Oswald J. Smith (Missionary Statesman and Pastor of the People’s Church, Toronto, Canada)

“What are we here for, to have a good time with Christians or to save sinners?” (Malla Moe)

“Don’t aim to plant churches. Aim to plant a church that will plant many other churches.”– George Patterson

“Do not bring us the Gospel as a potted plant. Bring us the seed of the Gospel and plant it in our soil.”– Mr. Murthis (Indian Evangelist)

“The shore waters are largely over-fished. Out in the deeps are fish that have never had smell or sight of bait or net. Here, near shore, the lines get badly tangled sometimes, and committees have to be appointed to try to untangle the lines and sweeten up the fishermen. And the fish get very particular about the sort or shape of the bait. Some men have taken to fishing wholly with pickles, but with very unsatisfying results. The fish nibble, but are seldom landed apparently. And just a little bit out are fish that never have gotten a suggestion of a good bite.”– S.D. Gordon

“Missions is the reason we live. The minute the Church gets on her knees, the minute the Church sells out to advancing the Gospel into these dark areas, Satan is done.”– John Willis Zumwalt

“It is not clever technology that will see salvation brought to the ends of the earth. It is the taking on of His Name, His nature and character, the living of His life and the partaking in His sufferings and death.”– John Willis Zumwalt

“No one will be able to rise to the magnificence of the missionary cause who does not feel the magnificence of Christ. There will be no big world vision without a big God. There will be no passion to draw others into our worship where there is no passion for worship.” – John Piper

“Missions is not a recruitment project for God’s labour force. It is a liberation project from the heavy burdens and hard yokes of other gods.” – John Piper

“When people are not stunned by the greatness of God, how can they be sent with the ringing message, ‘Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods!’?” – John Piper

“God is pursuing with omnipotent passion a worldwide purpose of gathering joyful worshippers for Himself from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. He has an inexhaustible enthusiasm for the supremacy of His name among the nations. Therefore let us bring our affections into line with His, and, for the sake of His name, let us renounce the quest for worldly comforts, and join His global purpose.” – John Piper

“You can’t take it with you, but you can send it on ahead.” – Oswald J. Smith (Missionary Statesman and Pastor of the People’s Church, Toronto, Canada)

"If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?” – James Hudson Taylor (This verse was quoted by Hudson Taylor in the recruiting of workers in the early days of the China Inland Mission. Today millions of people in thousands of unreached people groups continue to be "drawn unto death" by the evil one. How will we respond? Will we pretend ignorance when we met Jesus face-to-face? Or, recognizing that He knows our hearts and guards our lives from destruction, will we seek to rescue unreached peoples from a Christless eternity?)

“You have a factor here that is absolutely infinite, and what does it matter as to what other factors may be. ‘I will do as much as I can,’ says one. Any fool can do that. He that believes in Christ does what he can not do, attempts the impossible and performs it.” – Charles H. Spurgeon (preaching from the text, “All power is given unto me…go ye therefore…and Lo, I am with you always”)

“It is not by trying to be faithful, but in looking to the Faithful One, that we win the victory.” (Hudson Taylor)

“This generation is waiting for the challenge that will demand their all. They are waiting to find something they can pour their lives into - something to sink their teeth into. They have become disillusioned with both the secular world and the Christian world. Our greatest natural resources - the vision and energy of a whole generation of youth - are being squandered. We must show them a Christianity that will answer their cry for a meaningful life. It is time to call them to give their lives away to a cause greater than themselves. We need to let them know there is a Christ to live for and a cause worth dying for.”- Ron Luce

“Look to the heathen without Christ, and you will find an altar…and may God help you to be a sacrifice.”– Warren Chastain (OMF Missionary to Thailand, Singapore, and Indonesia)”

“We commonly represent God as a busy, eager, somewhat frustrated Father hurrying about seeking help to carry out His benevolent plan to bring peace and salvation to the world…Too many missionary appeals are based upon this fancied frustration of Almighty God. Don’t get interested in missions out of some delusion that God is in trouble. He is still the Creator of the ends of the earth, the great Redeemer, the Almighty.” – A.W. Tozer

“God entered into history by sending His Incarnate Son as a suffering slave who would end His own earthly life enduring torture and martyrdom. In this event, God revealed to us that suffering and self sacrifice are His specific methods for tackling the problems of rebellion, of evil, and of the sin of mankind. Self-sacrifice is the only method consistent with His own nature.” – Josef Tson (President of the Romanian Missionary Society)

“Does it really matter how many die or how much money we spend in opening closed doors if we really believe that missions are warfare and that the King’s glory is at stake?”

“Sometimes it may be that while we are complaining of the hardness of hearts of those we are seeking to benefit, the hardness of our own hearts, and our own feeble apprehension of the solemn reality of eternal things, may be the true cause of our want of success.” (Hudson Taylor)

“When the ambassador of Christ speaks the truth in love, and meets death with joy, a strange, miracle occurs: the eyes of unbelievers are opened, they are enabled to see the truth of God. Many, many groups of people on this planet have testified that the darkness which had been over them was dissipated only when a missionary was killed there….The death of the martyrs opens the eyes of unbelievers, and when they see the light, Satan’s power over them is gone…..When the martyrs meet their death without fear, Satan’s last instrument is rendered powerless, and he is crushed and defeated.” – Josef Tson (President of the Romanian Missionary Society)

“If you don't do Acts 1:8; then you'll get Acts 8:1.”

“Lord, here in your precious Word I give myself, my husband, my children, and all that I have or ever shall posses, all to you. I will follow your will, even to China. Lord, open doors, and I will go and tell the Chinese of your great love. In time of need, supply for us; in time of sorrow, give us peace; in times of joy, send someone to share. Help me to never murmur nor complain. I love you Lord Jesus.” (Tanna Collins - This note comes from a page in Mrs. Collins’ Bible that was found at the scene of the airline crash in Tibet in which the entire family perished in 1994).

“What God will do is always more than what He has given us to do. He has given us a clear and simple thing to finish: to see that Christ is worshipped and followed in every people. This is the essential missionary task. This task we must do with utmost focus and passion until it is finished.” Ralph Winter (Founder/ Director of the United States Center for World Mission)

“You don’t lose if you go with God. But you have to be willing to lose or you can’t stick close to God.” – Ralph Winter (Founder/ Director of the United States Center for World Mission)

Could any place be safer than the centre of His will? Did not he assure me by His very presence that His thoughts toward us are good, and not evil? Death to my own plans and desires was almost deliriously delightful. Everything was laid at His nail-scarred feet, life or death, health or illness, appreciation by others or misunderstanding, success or failure as measured by human standards. Only He himself mattered.” - Victor Raymond Edman (Missionary to Ecuador/ President of WheatonCollege)

“Missions is more than a matter of obeying a command, it is the result of an encounter with Christ. To meet Christ, means to become caught up in a mission (Christ’s mission) to the world.” – David Bosch (Missionary to South Africa)

“It is the sincere and deep conviction of my soul when I declare that if the Christian faith does not culminate and complete itself in the effort to make Christ known to all the world, that faith appears to me a thoroughly unreal and insignificant thing, destitute of power for the single life and incapable of being convincingly proved to be true.” – Phillip Brooks

“World Christians are heaven’s expatriates, camping where the Kingdom is best served.” – David Bryant (Founder/ Director of Concerts of Prayer International)

“And Jonah stalked to his shaded seat and waited for God to come around to his way of thinking. And God is still waiting for a host of Jonahs in their comfortable houses to come around to His way of loving.” – Thomas Carlisle

“I am destined to proclaim the message, unmindful of personal consequences to myself”. – Count Nikolus Ludwig Von Zinzendorf

“Mission is ultimately not a human response to human need. The Church’s involvement in mission is its privileged participation in the actions of the triune God.” – Tim Dearborn

“We want Paul’s theology and his results but not his methods.” – Roland Allen (Anglican Priest and Missiologist)

“This is a decision we do not make, because it has already been made. Whether we spend our lives for the purpose of reaching all men with the Gospel is not optional. Christ has commanded every Christian to do just this. Now there are many different ways of accomplishing this one purpose – but regardless of the particular work God has for each of us to do, the one aim of us all in doing our particular job for the Lord must be the evangelization of the whole world.” (G. Allen Fleece, President of Columbia Bible College)

“The weakness of much current mission work is that we betray the sense that what is yet to be done is greater than what Christ has already done. The world’s greatest need is less than Christ’s great victory.” (P.T. Forsyth)

“Go all out for God and God will go all out for you!” – Jonathan Goforth (Missionary to China)

“The Bible is a missionary book throughout….The main line of argument that binds all of it together is the unfolding and gradual execution of a missionary purpose.” – Bruce Ker

“As long as I see anything to be done for God, life is worth having; but O how vain an unworthy it is to live for any lower end!” – David Brainerd (Missionary to the American Indians, New England)

“People pursuing a God-given vision live with strategic intent. The vision virtually captures them. They no longer dream about what could happen. They become convinced that certain things must happen. They make choices as if each day held abiding value. They are not driven by obligation. They live in the dignity and liberty of knowing they give their utmost for God’s purposes.” – Steve Hawthorne (Founder/ Director of WayMakers and Perspectives Author)

“It is not enough to have a Christian presence in every place, but also to have followers of Jesus in every people.” – Patrick Johnstone (Director of Research at WEC International, Author of Operation World and The Church is Bigger Than You Think)

When Judson was lying loaded with chains in a Burmese dungeon, a fellow prisoner asked with a sneer about the prospect for the conversion of the heathen. Judson calmly answered, “The prospects are as bright as the promises of God.” – Adoniram Judson

“Did you think that the missionary path was all glory? Then you have not read of God’s greatest Messenger to earth, who sat and wept over Jerusalem, crying out, ‘I would...but ye would not.’” - Isobel Kuhn (Missionary to China and Thailand)

“Oh, that I had a thousand lives, and a thousand bodies! All of them should be devoted to no other employment but to preach Christ to these degraded, despised, yet beloved mortals.” - Robert Moffat (Pioneer Missionary and Linguist to Africa)

“Never think that Jesus commanded a trifle, and do not dare to trifle with anything He has commanded.” – Dwight L. Moody

“If God has called you to China or any other place and you are sure in your own heart, let nothing deter you….Remember, it is God who has called you and it is the same as when He called Moses or Samuel.”– Gladys Aylward (Missionary to China)

“When he landed in 1848 there were no Christians here; when he left in 1872 there were no heathen.”- said of John Geddie

“Let us press on. All Africa must be won for Christ. Though a thousand missionaries die, send more.”– Andreas Riis (Missionary to Africa)

“Anywhere, provided it be forward.” – David Livingstone

“Cannot the love of Christ carry the missionary where the slave trade carries the trader?” - David Livingstone

“In view of the constraining memories of the cross of Christ and the love wherewith He hath loved us, let us rise and resolve, at whatever cost of self-denial, that live or die, we shall live or die for the evangelization of the world in our day.” – John Mott (Missionary Statesman, chairman of the Student Volunteer Movement)

“God almost never calls His people to a fair fight.” – George Otis

“I thought of all God’s people looking out after me with expectation, following me with their wishes and prayers. I thought of the holy angels, some of whom, perhaps, were guarding me on my way; and of God and Christ approving my course and mission. Who will go for me? Here am I, send me.” – Henry Martyn (Missionary to the Muslims of Persia and India)

“Even if I should never see a native converted, God may design by my patience and continuance in the Word to encourage future missionaries.” – Henry Martyn

“As a hungry man makes dispatch and takes large morsels on account of his great hunger, so Thy servant feels a great desire to die that he may glorify Thee. He hurries day and night to complete his work in order that he may give up his blood and his tears to be shed for Thee.” – Raymond Lull (the first missionary to the Muslim world)

This expression more than any other reveals the living God of the Bible to be a missionary God. This expression condemns: all our petty parochialism, our narrow nationalism, our racial pride, our condescending paternalism all our arrogant imperialism. How dare we adopt a hostile or scornful or even indifferent attitude to any person of another colour or culture if our God is the God of “all families of the earth?” We need to become global Christians with a global vision, for we have a global God!” (Gen 12:3 "All families of the earth") – K.P. Yohannan (Missions Mobilizer and founder of Gospel for Asia)

“The primacy of missions is written in large letters across the pages of the whole Bible. All the apostles gave themselves to missions, and only the sword could cut short their path to the uttermost part of the earth.” – George W. Peters (Mennonite Missiologist)

“It is conceivable that God might have ordained to preach the Gospel directly to man through dreams, visions and revelations. But as a matter of fact, He has not done this; but rather has committed the preaching to man, telling them to go and disciple all nations. The responsibility lies squarely on our shoulders.”– J. Oswald Sanders

“I declare, now I am dying, I would not have spent my life otherwise for the whole world.” – David Brainerd

“He loves You too little who loves anything together with You, which he loves not for Your sake.” - Augustine

“To accept Christ is to enlist under a missionary banner. It is quite impossible to be ‘in Christ’ and not participate in Christ’s mission in the world.” – Dr. James S. Stewart

“It seems to me personally that our failure to have as complete and perfect an understanding of ‘fairness’ as God does, stems from two things. First, we do not have all the facts. Trying to decide if what He does in a given situation is fair or not, is like coming into a room half way through an argument. Not having all the background information, we are in no real position to cast a verdict. And we won’t have all the information until the Judgment Day, when we’ll be able to see things in the light of an eternal perspective. The second reason…is our own failure to appreciate the seriousness and hideousness of sin. I know that it seldom really strikes me that God owes this utterly rebellious and ungrateful planet absolutely nothing. In fact, that is an understatement. Actually He does owe us something – hell.” – Joni Eareckson Tada

“Not for Us Only!” (based on 1 John 2:2, "...and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.") – David Shibley

“When the flame of worship burns with the heat of God’s true worth, the light of missions will shine to the darkest peoples on earth.” – John Piper

“If this indeed is the present condition and future prospect of the heathen – and Scripture seems to offer no alternative – and if the church of Christ has in her charge the message which alone can transform these tragic ‘withouts’ into the possession of ‘the unsearchable riches of Christ,’ then how urgent is the missionary enterprise. And how great the tragedy if we fail to proclaim it.” – J. Oswald Sanders (Director of the OMF, formerly the China Inland Mission)

A missionary working on the borders of Tibet wrote these impressive words: ‘The eyes of Christians should turn as instinctively toward the lands closed to the Gospel in this missionary age as do the eyes of a conquering army toward the few remaining outposts of the enemy which withstand the victors and hinder complete victory, and without which the commander-in-chief is unable to close the campaign.’”– Robert Hall Glover

“There is a living God. He has spoken His word. He means just what He says, and will do all that He has promised.” (Hudson Taylor)

“History’s one great lesson is that reactionaries are losers.” (George Otis, Jr.)

20 year-old John R. Mott walked in late to the meeting at Cornell while J.K. Studd was quoting, “Young man, are you seeking great things for yourself? Seek them not! Seek first the Kingdom of God!” He couldn’t sleep all night. He finally got up and had the courage to meet with Studd. He later said that the meeting with Studd was the “decisive hour of his life”. He went on to become the greatest missions mobilizer in world history. “There is something wonderfully misleading, full of hallucination and delusion in this business of missionary calls. With many of us it is not a missionary call at all that we are looking for; it is a shove. There are a great many of us who would never hear a call if it came.”- Robert Speer

“The evangelization of the world in this generation is not play-word. It is no motto to be bandied about carelessly. The evangelization of the world in this generation is the summons of Jesus Christ to every one of the disciples to lay himself upon a cross, himself to walk in the footsteps of Him who, though He was rich, for our sakes became poor, that we through His poverty might be rich, himself to count his life as of no account, that he may spend it as Christ spent His for the redemption of the world.” – Robert E. Speer (Missionary Statesman/ Administrator)

“But I have given myself up, and I have put myself in the hands of God; and I am resolved to trust in Him as long as I live; I never mean to stop.” – Amanda Berry Smith


Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV: THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (

Scripture quotations are taken from the ESV: Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.