Verses on missions: Christian missions in the Bible

"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

globeHarvest passages: 80 New Testament verses on missions

Why missions? We have a mission to fulfill: New Testament Biblical passages dealing with world evangelism

     Are you working on a 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 New Testament. Use these to encourage a clear missionary vision. Several of the 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.

Is missions really in the Old Testament? 120 Old Testament passages on world missions

New Testament and Christian missions

  • Matthew 4:8-11 — Temptation of Jesus — "All the kingdoms of the earth"
  • Matthew 6:9-10 — The Lord's prayer — "Your Kingdom come; Your will be done on earth" Engage magazine article
  • Matthew 8:11(Luke 13:29) — "Many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast . . . in the kingdom of heaven"
  • Matthew 9:37 — "harvest is plentiful but the workers are few"
  • Matthew 10:18 — "On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles."
  • Matthew 13 (Ezekiel 17:23) — parables of sower, weeds, mustard seed, fishing net Engage magazine article
  • Matthew 21:13 (Isaiah 56:7) — a house of prayer for all nations — Engage magazine article
  • Matthew 24:14 — the gospel will be preached in the whole world
  • Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15 - The Great Commission (which many say is a re-statement of God's promise to Abraham in Genesis 12) [ Rev. Susan Fitkin's reflection on the passage ]
  • Mark 11:17 (see Matthew 21:13
  • Mark 13:10 — "the gospel must first be preached to all nations"
  • Mark 16:15 (see Matthew 28:19-20) Engage magazine article
  • Luke 2:10 — "Good News to all people" Engage magazine article
  • Luke 2:32 — "a light for revelation to the Gentiles"
  • Luke 10:2 — "harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few" (see John 4:35)
  • Luke 10:27 — "love your neighbor as yourself"
  • Luke 15:4 — parable of the lost sheep Engage magazine article
  • Luke 19:46 (see Matthew 21:13)
  • Luke 24:47 — "Repentance and forgiveness of sin should be proclaimed . . . to all nations"
  • John 3:16 [ text of verse ]
  • John 4:35 — ripe harvest fields (see Luke 10:2 and Matthew 9:37) Engage magazine article
  • John 12:32 — "I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself."
  • John 17:23 — "to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them"
  • John 20:21 — "As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." Engage magazine article
  • John 21:4-14 — some Biblical commentators have said the 153 fish equals the number of all the tribes and nations which the ancients thought existed on earth
  • Acts 1:8; 2:5-12 13:47 (Isaiah 49:6) — witnesses in all the earth — Engage magazine article
  • Acts 3:25 — "He said to Abraham, Through your offspring, all peoples on earth will be blessed.'"
  • Acts 9:15 "Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings."
  • Acts 10:35 — "God . . . accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right."
  • Acts 11:18 — "They praised God, saying, So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life.'"
  • Acts 13:47 — "I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth." (Isaiah 49:6) — Engage magazine article
  • Acts 14:27 — "They reported all that God had done through them and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles."
  • Acts 28:28 — "Therefore I want you to know that God's salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!"
  • Romans 1:5 — "We received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to obedience."
  • Romans 1:16 — "The gospel . . . is the power of God that brings salvation . . . first to the Jew, then to the Gentile"
  • Romans 3:29 — "Is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too."
  • Romans 9:17 — "that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth"
  • Romans 10:12-15 — "How can they hear?" — Engage magazine article
  • Romans 15:10 "Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people." (Deuteronomy 32:43]
  • Romans 15:11 "Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and sing praises to him, all you peoples." (Psalm 117:1)
  • Romans 16:26 — So that all nations might believe
  • 1 Corinthians 1:24 — "To those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks"
  • 2 Corinthians 4:15 — "grace that is reaching more and more people"
  • 2 Corinthians 10:16 — "so that we can preach the gospel to the regions beyond you" Engage magazine article
  • Galatians 3:8 — "The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: All nations will be blessed through you.'" (Genesis 12:3; 18:18; 22:18)
  • Galatians 3:14 — "He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles."Engage magazine article
  • Ephesians 1:10 — "To bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ."
  • Ephesians 2:11-19 — "you are no longer foreigners and aliens"
  • Philippians 2:10 — Every knee shall bow
  • 1 Thessalonians 2:15-16 — "to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved"
  • Hebrews 6:13-14 — God's promise to Abraham
  • 2 Peter 3:9, 12 — "not wanting anyone to perish"
  • 1 John 2:2 — "He is the atoning sacrifice . . . for the sins of the whole world"
  • Revelation 5:9 — "you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation"
  • Revelation 7:9 — Every tribe, tongue, people and nation — Engage magazine article
  • Revelation 14:6 — "The angel had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth — to every nation, tribe, language and people."
  • Revelation 15:4 — "all nations will come and worship before you"
  • Revelation 21:23-24 — "The Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light" Engage magazine article

Is missions really in the Old Testament? 120 Old Testament passages on world missions

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.

In top line blessings/bottom line responsibilities categories of Don Richardson and Bob Sjogren, many of these scriptures are of the bottom line responsibility type.

"The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest" — Luke 10:2 (New King James Version)

Page of missions slogans, classic scripture passages and faces from the "crowd of witnesses": PDF format

The barbarians become Christian

Click hereIn the years 400-800 the Germanic tribes of central Europe turned to Christ in massive numbers. [ read more ]

SNU missions course materials and syllabi

Cultural Anthropology    Introduction to Missions    Linguistics    Missions Strategies    Modern Missionary Movement (History of Missions)    Nazarene Missions    Church Growth and Christian Missions    Theology of Missions    Traditional Religions    World Religions
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