The Motivation of Missions

Many have come up to me after a missions talk and say, “Dr. Rankin, I am willing to go, but God has just not called me.” I have not figured out how to reply to that tactfully. Read your Bibles! Who are the commands to go to the nations given to? It is not just an elite few, but to all of God’s people.

Where are our hearts and affections in relation to the nations and the advancement of the gospel? During the Iranian hostage crisis, a missions speaker asked his audience how many had prayed for the hostages in bondage to their Iranian captives. Nearly the whole crowd raised their hands. Then he asked how many had prayed for the release of millions of Iranians from their bondage to sin and death. Few raised their hands and he sat down. How little do we pray for the nations! How little do we feel burdened for the advancement of the gospel!

When the Son of Man comes, will he find us praying in faith, believing? Consistently praying for the nations, for barriers to be removed? I have found that many who go to the nations are not leaving their established livelihoods at home because of mere duty but because they are obsessed with the glory of God among the nations.

One of our missionaries who gave her life for the cause of Christ had left a letter with her pastor before she had left for Iraq. In the letter, she had written, “His glory is my reward.” That is what will motivate us and our churches. That is what will motivate our relationship with God in prayer to call for the evangelization of the nations.