Helping struggling churches in remote areas
Urging missionaries and churches to stand
fast in the Last Days
This message is
intended to help Pastors as well as Missionaries know the truth from
God's word about who is in charge of the mission program in the local
church. Many Pastors have egotistically assumed it is they who
Missionaries and boast about how many are sent by the church where they
pastor. I don't mean to criticize good Bible believing Baptist Pastors
but it has gotten out of hand in many cases. I often see the
multitude of Missionary prayer cards with the
wording, sent by Calvary Baptist Church or some other church. The
wording is a misnomer. It should be stated that the missionaries are
members of some particular church. There is a vast difference! God is
being robbed of his glory and he said he wouldn't share his glory with
By Preacher James
The truth is described in Acts 13:4- " So they
being sent forth by the Holy Ghost ",
1- WHO IS IN
CHARGE OF GOD'S MISSION PROGRAM?
the local Church.
The church didn't call the missionary nor was it they who sent
them. The church is only an instrument which the Lord
Acts 13:4- "Sent
forth by the Holy Ghost".
Acts 13:3 seems to imply that the church sent the missionaries away so
I want to explain from Greek wording what is being said. The word
"Sent" is inserted by the King James Translators but the Greek word
"Away" is ap-ol-oo/-o which means To set at liberty- To dismiss- and is
used in Matthew 19:7 for Divorce. "Put her Away". It has the exact
opposite thought than most Baptist Pastors think it gives them a right
to practice. When a woman is given a bill of divorcement her husband
has no more authority over her. She is at liberty to pursue her own
actions. The Missionary therefore is at liberty to pursue his own
actions as long as they meet biblical perspectives. Many times our
Mission board had Pastors calling them to get some kind of disciplinary
action administered against a missionary that had no biblical
guidelines to back up what they were saying.
The Greek word for The Holy Ghost sending missionaries is found in Acts
13:4. It is ek-pem/-po. Here again the word "Sent" is inserted by the
Translators for clarity but the word "Forth" ek-pem/-po means to send
forth. It is a direct translation that God in the person of the Holy
Spirit is the sending factor and not a body of believers even though
God uses the church to help in various ways.
I have an Interlinear Greek English New Testament with the Authorized
Version which reads for Acts 13:3 :Then having fasted and prayed, and
having laid hands on them, they let [them] go. They indeed therefore
having been sent forth by the Spirit the Holy, went down to Selucia,
and thence sailed away to Cyprus".
misconception on the subject
is that Calvary Baptist Church or
other named church is the one
who sends missionaries and for that reason missionaries are
looked upon as mere puppets of their so called "sending church". If
you want to put them on a salary and pay for the missionary to perform
a certain task, then you are the employer and
have the right to ask them to abide by your rules but until that time
you are to let the Lord lead the missionary for their lives and
service where ever they serve!
(2)- God will not allow man made rules
to take charge
of the mission program or the lives of missionaries.
Phillippians 2:13- "For it is God
which worketh in you both
to will and do of his good pleasure".
frightened to the edge of being traumatized on the subject of
mistake that would not fit into a group of man made guidelines by the
brethren which have no scripture to back up what they say. I lost
some financial support by some pastors who preach it is a sin to own or
view a television. A pastor told me they didn't support missionaries
who owned a tv nor did they approve of missionaries who subscribed to
newspapers and read what they called secular information. This is
ludicrous! It is wrong however to leave children unsupervised when
it comes to pornographic content It is wrong to let programming enter
into your home that uses language that slanders the Lord but we
to control what we use rather than disregard it completely. God said we
are in the world but not of the world!
(3)- Prayer and
God's word are the only instructions needed for missionaries to abide
John 16:13- "Howbeit when he,
the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth":
We need to look
into God's word for answers and pray much about fixing the
often hindering the work of the Lord on mission fields and missionary
personnel trying to get to their field of service. It seems like some
Pastors look at missionaries as if
they are somewhat inferior spiritually and need strict guidelines to
follow in order to keep them in line. The New Testament calls this
legalism and Jesus condemned the practice of legalism in the twenty
third chapter of Matthew and summed it up in verse 24 by saying "Ye
blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel". I am trying
to relate that it is wrong to put legalistic boundaries on missionaries
while failing to support good personnel who are anxious to get the
gospel to those who sit in darkness around the world.
and God's word is the only way
to properly address the guidelines for the mission program.
2- WHO CHALLENGES MISSIONARIES
TO SERVE ON VARIOUS FIELDS AROUND THE WORLD?
JESUS GAVE US THE EXAMPLE WHEN HE TOLD THE DISCIPLES THEY WERE SENT BY
John 20:21- Jesus speaking-
hath sent me, even so send I you".
(2)- MISSIONARIES ARE EMPOWERED BY GOD.
MISSIONARIES WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO SERVE THE LORD WITHOUT DIVINE
Acts 1:8- "But ye shall receive
power, After that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be
witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria,
and unto the uttermost part of the earth".
John 20:22 - Jesus
when he had
said this, he breathed on them, and said unto them, receive ye The HOLY
GHOST". see also John 17:18.
Jesus empowered the disciples by filling them with His Spirit.
(3)- MISSIONARIES ARE CALLED BY GOD.
MISSIONARIES WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH THEIR GOAL OF REACHING THE
LOST WITH THE GOSPEL WITHOUT A CALL FROM GOD.
God gave the call to Barnabas and Saul in Acts 13:2- "Separate me Barnabas
Acts-13:1- "Now there were in the
church that was at Antioch certain prophets
and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius
of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the
tetrarch, and Saul."
they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost
said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have
(A)- CHURCH INSTRUCTIONS
IN RELATION TO THE CALL.
The church's part is
described in Acts-13:3- "And
when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on
them, they sent them away."
The principal is found
in 2 Corinthians 11:8 where Paul said, ..."I robbed other churches,
taking wages of them...". The Greek word for wages is op-so/-nee-on
which means a soldiers pay. The missionary example we have through the
Apostle Paul was to take finances for the journey given by local
churches to proceed with evangelizing the world.
(B)- THE HOLY SPIRIT'S ROLE IN
EVANGELIZING THE WORLD.
Acts-13:4- "So they,
being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from
thence they sailed to Cyprus."
(C)- THE ORIGIN OF THE MISSIONARY CALL.
God works in and through the local church to select missionary
personnel. Acts 13:1- "in the church that was at antioch".
God has chosen the local
church as a tool to evangelize the
world and selects missionary personal
from it's congregations.
(D)- THE PERSON
The Holy Ghost is God and he only has the right to call a person to
full time service.
Acts 13:2- "as they ministered
the Lord and fasted, The Holy Ghost said, separate me Barnabas and Saul..."
(E)- THE PURPOSE
THE CALL .
Acts 13:2- "for the work whereunto I have
called them ".
For every call, God has a
plan and a purpose and he will reveal it to
each mission family individually. No Pastor or anyone has a right to
suggest a mission family go to a certain field that the Pastor might
have an interest in sending them.
I never will
forget during our Bible College days in Greenville, South Carolina,
more than thirty years ago, a young preacher boy stood and gave a
testimony in one of the chapel services that he was there but didn't
know for what he was called. Some time later in our senior year, each
of us preachers were given the chapel service. During my message the
Spirit of God caused me to remember the statement that young preacher
had made and I proclaimed, "Some of you have made the statement that
God hasn't called you but He isn't going to give you any more than he
has already given you in His word, Acts chapter one verse eight
YE INTO ALL THE WORLD AND PREACH THE GOSPEL TO EVERY CREATURE". I
said, "you already have your call". Each one needs to let the Holy
Spirit direct him into his particular field of service.
that young man came up to me and said the Lord had
spoken to him about Pastoring. That was his eye opening experience and
soon after my family and I left for mission work in Southeast Alaska
that preacher had a church going and started supporting THE TYSONS in
ALASKA. It is a joy to see God work as we go about His service.
3- GOD'S CHARGE FOR THE CHURCH IN VIEW OF
Acts 13:3- "And when they had fasted and prayed,
and laid hands on them, they sent them away ".
(1)- THE CHURCH
When have you last heard
of a church that fasted as they
sent out missionaries?
My how little prayer we
have in most modern churches. I mean real prayer, where
heaven is accessed and the power of God
falls with sinners being saved and
missionaries being called out of the
congregation as well as financial
support for missions.
(3)- THE CHURCH ORDAINED PREACHERS.
Acts 13:3- "laid
ceremony of ordination is supposed to be a measuring rod to make
absolutely sure certain standards are met
in the life and character of the man
being ordained. God's standards include being the husband of one wife
and not one at a time as some try to get away with. Divorce and
remarriage will disqualify a msssionary in the Lord's sight. Having faithful children is
another qualification that many have neglected. Some Preachers kids are
so worldly that they might even make the devil blush. Not a novice is
another qualification that needs recognition. A missionary should
prepare before he makes his way to the field of service. A good Bible
College would be a good start in most cases. Forming a sound Biblical
doctrinal position is mandatory and the ordination is a testing to
prove he is in line with the Word of God. I would even suggest that the
King James Bible only be used for preaching and if he didn't meet that
qualification, I would not ordain him. One of the first things I did
after Pastoring my first mission church was to include in the church
minutes that we would only allow a speaker to preach from a King James
Bible and if the guest speaker did not have one we would offer to lend
him one. If that was refused we would not permit him to speak. Another
qualification is that he use no alcoholic beverages. Some Pastors even
say that it is all right to drink a glass of wine as long as you don't
get drunk but that is not what the Bible teaches and certainly a Pastor
or Missionary should not partake of it. In the first place, churches
need to ordain preachers and
missionaries who are in line with the
Acts 13:3- "Sent them away".
The word sent was
inserted by the King James translators but "Away:
means they were set free. The concept that they
financed the journey is found in 2 Corinthians 11:8 where the Apostle
Paul said, "I robbed churches, taking wages of them...". Greek word for
Wages is op-sol/-nee-on. It means a soldiers pay. The Missionary
example given by Paul was that the finances for evangelizing the world
came from the local church.
(1)- If a missionary is
no good, don't support him, but please get off the backs of good
missionary families and let them do the work God has in mind without
(2)- If you want to
have guidelines, let them be from God's Word. If the missionaries don't
King James Bible don't support them, If they don't believe in sound
doctrine, don't support them, If they don't meet biblical marital
requirements, don't support them.
(3)- With all this in
mind, it is no wonder God said in his word, ''Judgment must
first begin at the house of God..." 1
Peter 4:17. God will not bless a church that exercises lordship over
missionaries. 1 Peter 5:3- "Neither
as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock". Thank God for good Pastors who love
Missions. Many are genuine who have their program centered in the word
of the Lord but there are also many who need to make some adjustments.
By James Tyson Sr.