Recently we've signed up for an online course for a part of our continued training. This course is called "Perspectives on the World Christian Movement". I think you can guess what the focus of the class is on. One lesson in the course that caught our attention talked in detail about how the Bible is not merely a series of stories with various lessons to pull from but rather one big story that focuses on you guessed it, missions.
The story starts out in Genesis 1 when God creates the heavens and the earth along with Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve were in a right relationship with God and all was well until they ate from the forbidden tree of knowledge and truth. Because of Adam and Eve's act of defiance, humankind's relationship between humans and God was broken by sin. Man was no longer in right relationship with God. But God being a loving God, came up with a new plan to restore His relationship with mankind. He chose to make a covenant with a man named Abraham. Abraham was to be the father of a new nation called Israel and through his descendants, all nations would come to know the love of God. Israel was to be the hands and feet of God serving as His witness to all of the other nations on the earth. Although we see times where the people of Israel followed God and did many wonderful things to show the other nations who was truly the God of the universe, they also turned from God and failed to live up to expectations. Ultimately, their acts of defiance weakened them to the point that Babylonians were able to overtake them.
Four hundred years passed since the time Israel was captured by the Babylonians and many followers began to think that God's promise to Abraham was never going to be fulfilled until a young lady gave birth to a baby boy in a manger in Bethlehem. His name is Jesus, God with us. Jesus came to restore the broken relationship between mankind and God. Through giving His pure and blameless life, he atoned for our sins restoring our relationship with God. All we have to do is accept this free gift.
But God's mission doesn't stop at us. He calls each of us to "go and make disciples of all nations". As spiritual descendants of Abraham through Jesus Christ, we too are called to be the hands and feet of God and a witness to all the other nations on the earth. Will we accept this calling of missions or allow our acts of defiance keep us from furthering God's kingdom? Only time will tell...