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The Focus of God’s Mission

February 20, 2019

“And from them I will send survivors to the nations…to the coastlands far away, that have not heard my fame or seen my glory.” Isaiah 66:19

Notice that there are two descriptions of the people to whom God sends his missionaries. First, God sends his missionaries to those who “have not heard my fame.” We would call them “unreached” peoples. People who have never heard. God sends missionaries to communities where there is no viable church. We should focus missionary effort on unreached peoples and give priority to those who have not heard.

But there is significance in the second description here: People who “have not…seen my glory.” There are many people who have heard the gospel, but they have not yet seen Christ’s glory. They have been reached, but they have not been converted.

It’s sometimes said that nobody has the right to hear the gospel twice until everybody has heard the gospel once. But how many people are converted the first time they hear the gospel? So unreached people are the primary focus, but not the only focus. God’s purpose is not only that nations should be evangelized, but that from every nation people should be converted. Not just that they should hear of his fame, but also that they may see his glory.

Would you pray that God would raise up workers and send them to those who are unreached and to those who are unconverted?

The Author
Colin Smith

Colin Smith is the senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He has authored a number of books, including Heaven, How I Got Here and Heaven, So Near - So Far. Colin is the president and teacher for Unlocking the Bible. Follow him on Twitter.

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