Why Missions? Robert D. Patton, M.D. Missionary to Suriname Baptist World Mission
We should have missions because Missions is the heartbeat of God – He sent His Son as the first missionary God deserves the glory of His creation God wants worshippers from every people and tongue and nation Jesus Christ has commanded us We are in the age of grace We have the indwelling Holy Spirit
God sent His Son Gal. 4: But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons
God sent His Son John 3: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved
For the glory of God Isaiah 42: I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images ... Let them give glory unto the LORD , and declare his praise in the islands.
For the glory of God Isaiah 48: For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another.
For the GLORY of God Rev. 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
God wants worshippers ofevery nation, tongue & people Revelation 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof; for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation
God wants worshippers ofevery nation, tongue & people Revelation 7:9 After this I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands.
God seeks spiritual worship John 4: But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
God wants all men reached 2 Peter 3: The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward , not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance
God’s goal - To populate the entire universe with believers who resemble Jesus Christ, because He lives in us… We are created in His image We are to reign with Him as kings and priests forever We are co-inheritors with Christ
God makes us resemble Jesus Romans 8: For whom he did fore- know, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.  Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
Believers become His children Romans 8: For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption , whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God .
Believers become His children Romans 8: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.  For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
Our command Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature John 20:21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you; as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
Our message Luke 24:46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day; 47. And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem
Our method – salvation and discipleship Mt. 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19. Go therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world
Our responsibility 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 18. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation
Our responsibility - continued II Cor. 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as through God did beseech you by us; we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God
God’s provision II Peter 1:3 According as his divine power has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue,
God’s provision (continued) II Peter 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust…
Troubles lead us to depend on Him 2 Cor. 12: And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me
Remember – it is of Him, andnot of us II Cor. 12:9 And He said unto me, My grace (God’s supernatural enabling power) is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness . Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me .
Are you willing to say with missionary Paul 2 Cor. 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
Are we prepared to be used? Are you willing to be used? My greatest strength was science and medicine – my weakness, languages. God took away my medical career and started me translating the Bible.
God works through our weakness I Cor. 1: For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
God works through our weakness I Cor. 1: And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.
God delights to use our weakness for His glory One rod in the hand of Moses against the mighty Egyptian nation A trumpet, torch and clay pot in the hands of Gideon’s 300 against 135,000 Midianites A few fish and a little bread to feed 5000 men The cross – against the power of Satan
Have we done our duty? More than 50% of the world has never heard the gospel The number of unsaved is constantly increasing The largest group of unsaved are in the so-called 10/40 window between 10 and 40 degrees north – they are unreached because they are difficult
What about translations? 85% of the Bibles printed are in English. Only 9% of the world have English as their first language There are approximately 6950 known languages. Only 457 have an entire Bible translated . More than 2000 have not a single word translated into their language .
Where are large challenges? Previously – Africa, with malaria and other illnesses killing many, as well as resistance from witchcraft, etc. China fought against the foreign devils – abt. 200 died in the Boxer Rebellion In the south sea islands, cannibalism – The Gordons, John Williams and James
Where are large challenges? Now – terrorism and persecution, especially in Muslim and communist countries, as well as some in Roman Catholic countries Many of the martyrs are the national Christians Closed doors need to be prayed open; we need to walk through open doors
Where are you going to work? Where are the greatest needs? Where are the biggest challenges? Where is it most difficult?
Where are you going to work? My advice – Give yourself totally over to the Lord Go as far as you can , and ask Him to stop you when you should not proceed further
The missionary’s task To plant self-sustaining, self- propagating churches in a different culture/language group This may mean working yourself out of a job You may have to give the work over to someone with different talents, skills and methods than you have…
The missionary’s responsibility A consistent witness to the power of the Spirit-filled and controlled life in context Husband-wife relationships Raising children – obedience, attitudes Relationship with other missionaries Relationship with nationals
The missionary’s responsibility To use, through the power of the Holy Spirit, his spiritual gifts – may show in: Publishing Translation Church planting Teaching ministry Medicine Communication – radio & TV Support ministries, etc.
Problems missionaries face in the USA Transportation – especially reliable vehicle Lodging, with preferably some sort of base to leave items, pack, etc Costs of being constantly on the road – especially food and lodging Obtaining meetings Adequate support base – prayer as well as money
Problems missionaries face on the field Spiritual health and growth. Support often missing that you have in the USA – friends, pastors, meetings Continued spiritual growth. You cannot lead beyond where you have gone Often you have just invaded enemy territory which Satan has held long – and he will fight against you
Problems missionaries faceSpiritual growth Must be a high priority Have time for prayer and personal Bible study Time for prayer with others as well Sermons or tapes or books are important
Problems missionaries faceCultural adaptation Language Culture – priorities, ways of doing things; family structure Climate Food
Problems missionaries face Support facilities Especially noted in technical fields like medicine, broadcasting, publishing, etc Medical and dental support Equipment and supplies You may lack Christian fellowship of others from a similar background
Problems missionaries face Family Children care & education – home schooling is more developed now Higher education for children Elderly parents who need care
Working with other missionaries You have little choice of co-workers You must learn to work together if the work is to progress Unfortunately sometimes missionaries leave the field because of differences in personality, philosophy, etc.
Supporting churches sometimes lack understanding of the field situation For example – soulwinning in Hungary vs. Suriname; or soulwinning in a village next to a compound vs. a city situation like Paramaribo Demonic attacks in third world countries like Suriname Witnessing in a communist or Muslim country
How can the supporting church help? - First Prayer Prayer Prayer Prayer This is why we send out prayer updates
How can supporting churches help? Personal interest in the missionary and his field Encouragement Financial support Willingness to personally get involved in missions. Remember the church of Antioch gave up its senior pastor and its best preacher-teacher – Barnabas & Paul
How can supporting churches help Second best is not really glorifying to the Lord. Our God is not a second best God. Our offering must reflect our idea of God. This includes our personnel & gifts & equipment
How can supporting churcheshelp Malachi 1:8 And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? And if ye offer the lame and the sick, is it not evil? Offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, and accept thy person, saith the Lord of hosts?
God’s provision = our responsibility We are the richest country in the world, and still free to worship though our freedom is being attacked on multiple fronts. Remember what happened to the first areas of missionaries – England, Ger- many, Holland, etc – where we send missionaries now – let this be a warning to us
God’s provision = ourresponsibility What did God do to Israel, who was to be a light to all the world when they refused to fulfill their God-given mandate, and retreated within themselves?
God’s provision = ourresponsibility There are apostate denominations now who are seeking to come under the leadership of African leaders in the Anglican community because of homosexuality & lack of respect for the Word Sometimes other nations will be far more successful in penetrating other cultures than we do as western missionaries.
The Holy Spirit makes things happen! When the individual is filled with the Holy Spirit, a few things are inevitable Joyful lives Souls saved Persecution Church growth – the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church When Paul arrived, he often caused a riot
We pray to come full circle inour own personal ministry We covet your prayers that our Suriname churches will become self-governing, self-supporting and self-propagating, and also train their own nationals as missionaries to spread the word further…
Important trends in missions About 80% of all money for believing Christians comes from North America and Europe However, 2/3 of Christians are now located in Latin and South America, Africa, Asia, and Oceania
2/3 world missions Missionaries coming from the developing world are increasing at a rate 5x that of the USA, etc. However, most of the financial resources are in the USA
Partnerships are becomingmore common We live in a global era Partnerships with developing nations are becoming more common – to tie the strengths of the national organization with that of the US sending organization
Partnerships make things complicated You must deal with cross-cultural communication and understanding It is important not to undermine the national churches by overwhelming them with outside finances No paternalism No dependency But partnership
The persecuted church Over 80% of all religious persecution falls on Christians Nearly 200,000 martyrs are expected now PER YEAR Over 400,000,000 persons will suffer some sort of religious persecution – perhaps loss of job, chance for education, etc.
We must not forget thepersecuted church Heb. 13: Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.
Now the challenge to YOU Have you totally yielded to the Lord, and are you willing to do whatever He shows you? Are you committed to growing in the Lord? Are you willing to place the Lord’s will as your first priority above your own plans?