"They received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day
to see if what Paul said was true." — Acts 17:11
Does the Old Testament (a.k.a. Hebrew Bible) have a missionary
120 Old Testament verses relevant to world missions
Why is missionary work important? We have a mission to fulfill: Biblical passages
dealing with world evangelism
Are you working on a global missionary sermon or
message? Do you have to do a Bible study on missions? Has someone asked the question:
Why missions? Why should I be concerned about the global harvest of souls?
Sacred scripture is full of explicit as well as implicit
references to God's will for world evangelism. Most evangelical believers know the
Great Commission: "Go ye into all the world."
The Great Commission is only one reason for God's people
to be doing global mission. There are lots of other missions verses in God's Word. Here is a
partial listing of missionary scriptures — scriptures concerning missions — from
the Old Testament. Use these to encourage a clear missionary vision. Several passages have
links to where they are cited on other pages of this web site.
Some of these Bible phrases relating to missions would
make great Faith Promise convention themes.
"We must choose this day whether we will hide our eyes from the need and close our
ears to the call or whether we will tackle with new decisiveness, mixed with humility and
devotion, the unchanging command of a faithful God who is still seeking." —
Ralph Winter in Faithful in Christ Jesus: A mission reader
Psalm 96 — "sing to the Lord, all the earth . . .
Declare his glory among the nations"
Psalm 97:1 — "The Lord reigns, let
the earth be glad; let the distant shores rejoice."
Psalm 98:3 — "All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God."
Psalm 98:9 — "He comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples with equity."
Psalm 99:1-3 — "He is exalted over all the nations. Let them praise your great and
Psalm 102:15 — "The nations will fear the name of the Lord, all the kings of the
earth will revere your glory."
Psalm 102:22 — "when the peoples and the kingdoms assemble to worship the
Psalm 105:1 — "make known among the nations what He has done" —
Psalm 106:8 — reason for dividing the Red Sea
Psalm 107:3 — "the redeemed of the Lord . . . those he gathered from the lands,
from east and west, from north and south"
Psalm 108:3 — "I will sing of you among the peoples"
Psalm 108:5 — "Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, and let your glory be over all
Psalm 110:6 — "He will judge the nations"
Psalm 113:3 — "From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the
Lord is to be praised" — Engagemagazine article
Psalm 117 — "Praise the Lord, all
Psalm 126 — "it was said among the nations"
Psalm 135 — "our Lord is greater
than all gods"
Psalm 138:4 — "may all the kings of the earth praise you, O Lord"
Ecclesiastes 3:11 — "[God] has set eternity in the hearts of men."
Isaiah 2:3 — "Many peoples will come and say, Come, let us go up to the mountain
of the Lord, to the house of the God of
Isaiah 5:26 — "He lifts up a banner for the distant nations, he whistles for those at the
ends of the earth."
Isaiah 6:3 — "They were calling to one another: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord
Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.'"
Isaiah 11:9 — "fill the earth with the knowledge of the Lord"
Isaiah 11:10 — "a Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples, the nations will
rally to Him"
Isaiah 12:4 — "Make known among the nations what He has done"
Isaiah 24:14-16 — "From the ends of the earth we hear singing: Glory to the
Righteous One.'" — Engagemagazine article
Isaiah 25:6 — "the Lord Almighty
will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples"
Isaiah 34:1 — "Come near, you nations, and listen; pay attention, you peoples!"
Isaiah 37:16 — "O Lord Almighty . .
. , you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth."
Isaiah 40:5 — "The glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it
Isaiah 42:4 — "in His law the islands will put
Isaiah 42:6 — "I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and
a light for the Gentiles."
Isaiah 42:10 — "Sing to the Lord a
new song, His praise from the end of the earth"
Isaiah 43:6 — "I will say to the north, 'Give them up!' and to the south, 'Do not hold
Isaiah 45:6 — "from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting men may know
there is none besides me." — Engagemagazine
Isaiah 45:22 — "Turn to me . . . all you ends of the earth"
Isaiah 49:1-6 — "I will make you a light for the Gentiles"
Isaiah 49:22 — "The Sovereign Lord
says: "See, I will beckon to the Gentiles, I will
lift up my banner to the peoples."
Isaiah 51:4-5 — "My justice will become a light to the nations . . . the coastlands hope
Isaiah 52:7, 10 — "The Lord will lay
bare his holy arm in the sight of all the nations,
and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God."
Isaiah 56:3 — "Let not the man from a strange land who has joined the Lord say, 'For
sure the Lord will keep me away from His people.'"
Isaiah 56:7 — "my house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations"
Isaiah 57:19 — "Peace to those near and far . . . I will heal them"
Isaiah 59:19 — "From the west, men will fear the name of the
Lord, and from the rising of the sun, they will
revere His glory."
Isaiah 60:3 — "Nations will come to your light"
Isaiah 62:11 — "The Lord has made
proclamation to the ends of the earth"
Isaiah 65:1 — "I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me."
Isaiah 66:18-19 — "They will proclaim my glory among the nations" —
Jeremiah 1:5 — "I appointed you as a prophet to the nations"
Jeremiah 3:17 — "All nations will gather in Jerusalem to honor the name of the
Jeremiah 12:16 — "If they learn well the ways of my people and swear by my name,
saying, 'As surely as the Lord lives' -- even as they once taught my people to swear by Baal --
then they will be established among my people."
Jeremiah 16:19 To you the nations will come from the ends of the earth and say, "Our fathers
possessed nothing but false gods, worthless idols that did them no good."
Jeremiah 31:10 — "Hear the word of the
Lord, you nations; proclaim it in distant
coastlands" — Engagemagazine article
Ezekiel 34:4, 6 — "[My sheep] were scattered over the whole earth and no one
searched or looked for them."
Ezekiel 36:22-23 — "The nations will know I am the Lord."
Ezekiel 38:20 — "All the people on earth will tremble at my presence"
Daniel 2:47; 4:1-2; 6:25 — "Surely your God is the God of gods"
Daniel 7:13, 14 — "all peoples, nations and languages should serve Him"
Into whatever groups we divide humanity — races, nations, languages, cultures
— it is clear that God loves all of them and wants people from all those groupings to be
reconciled to Him.
Video: "Making disciples in all nations" (13 minutes)
In top-line blessings/bottom-line responsibilities categories used by Don Richardson and Bob
Sjogren, many of the biblical passages on this page are of the bottom line responsibility type.
mission of the church
"O God, you have made of one blood all the peoples of the earth and sent your blessed Son to
preach peace to those who are far off and to those who are near. Grant that people everywhere
may seek after you and find you.
"Bring the nations into your fold. Pour out your
Spirit upon all flesh, and hasten the coming of your Kingdom through Jesus Christ our
Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the
Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen."
— Book of Common Prayer (Anglican)
"Make known among the nations what He has done." — Psalm 105:1
1In the Bible, the word "nations" does not mean the political entities like China,
India and the USA. Rather, it means people groups or societies in which people speak the same
language, have the same culture and live in or have originated the same area. "Nations" is
synonymous with the plural word "peoples." In other words, nations in the Bible means all of the
people groups of the world other than the people of Israel.
"Throughout scripture, God made His passion known for the people of all nations.
Right from the beginning, God was not just invested in the Hebrew people. He loves and longs
for all nations." -- Louise S., Nazarene Bible College student
The barbarians become Christian
In the years 400-800 AD the Germanic
tribes of central Europe turned to Christ in massive numbers. [ more