Jesus gave this commission to His disciples: "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations..." (Matthew 28.19) Just before He ascended into heaven, Jesus spoke again to His disciples, and instructed them, "...you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth" (Acts 1.8)
Partnering With God In His Work Among The Nations
How does Riverview fulfill Jesus' commission and obey His instruction to go to all nations, even to the remotest part of the earth? The answer is found in our support of home and foreign mission work -- what we call "Missions" for short. Missions is the work of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ beyond our own community and to distant lands. With so many needs at home, why should we be concerned for things that are happening so far away? We support mission work for the following reasons.
1. WE SUPPORT MISSIONS BECAUSE GOD DEMANDS IT.
Jesus commanded us to do so. In Matthew 28.19-20 Jesus commanded us to "make disciples of all nations." In Acts 1.8 Jesus defined that "all the world" consisted of Jerusalem (our immediate neighborhood), Judea (our surrounding area), Samaria (the "difficult" neighborhood nearby we would rather avoid), and the remotest part of the earth (foreign countries.) The first generation of disciples obeyed these words of Jesus, penetrating far into Europe, Asia, and Africa.
2. WE SUPPORT MISSIONS BECAUSE REASON DEMANDS IT.
There are many people in the world who have not yet heard the Gospel. In Romans 10.14-15 Paul writes, "... how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent?" It is up to us who have heard the Gospel to share it with others. We also have a responsibility to provide resources for the ministry to those who lack such resources, as Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 8.13-14, "For this is not for the ease of others and for your affliction, but by way of equalityñ at this present time your abundance being a supply for their need..."
3. WE SUPPORT MISSIONS BECAUSE OF THE BLESSING WE RECEIVE FROM IT.
When the Jerusalem church heard the report of the conversion of the Gentiles in the house of Cornelius, they glorified God (Acts 11.18) and when that church communicated back to the Gentile church in Antioch by letter the Christians in Antioch "rejoiced because of its encouragement" (Acts 15.31.) Great encouragement and inspiration comes when we share across cultural and political boundaries the work that God is doing.