Ever since Jesus gave the disciples the Great Commission, the church has been committed to missions. Paul spent much of his ministry on his missionary journeys, and through his work, the church became even more passionate about telling the known world about Jesus.
We’ve pulled together some passages that touch on themes common to missionary work and evangelism. In the Old Testament, this looked like God having a special relationship with Israel. And through Israel’s example and proclamation, the nations became familiar with their God. By proclaiming (and demonstrating) God’s goodness and protection, they made Him known.
Jesus’ ministry, death, and resurrection made God’s kingdom accessible beyond Israel. This is why Jesus gave us the Great Commission, so we could issue an invitation to the whole world and others could discover the life-giving message of Jesus.
1. Declare his marvelous deeds among all the people (1 Chronicles 16:24)
Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous deeds among all peoples.
2. Declare His glory among the nations (Psalm 96:1–3)
Sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, praise his name;
proclaim his salvation day after day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous deeds among all peoples.
3. Proclaim His praise (Isaiah 42:10–12)
Sing to the Lord a new song,
his praise from the ends of the earth,
you who go down to the sea, and all that is in it,
you islands, and all who live in them.
Let the wilderness and its towns raise their voices;
let the settlements where Kedar lives rejoice.
Let the people of Sela sing for joy;
let them shout from the mountaintops.
Let them give glory to the Lord
and proclaim his praise in the islands.
4. They will proclaim My glory among the nations (Isaiah 66:19)
“I will set a sign among them, and I will send some of those who survive to the nations—to Tarshish, to the Libyans[a] and Lydians (famous as archers), to Tubal and Greece, and to the distant islands that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory. They will proclaim my glory among the nations.
5. His word is in my heart like a fire (Jeremiah 20:9)
But if I say, “I will not mention his word
or speak anymore in his name,”
his word is in my heart like a fire,
a fire shut up in my bones.
I am weary of holding it in;
indeed, I cannot.
6. The gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole word (Matthew 24:14)
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
7. Make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19–20)
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
8. Go into all the world and preach the gospel (Mark 16:15)
He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.
9. Ask the Lord of the harvest to send workers (Luke 10:1–2)
After this the Lord appointed seventy-two[a] others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.
10. Preached in His name to all nations (Luke 24:46–47)
He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
11. As the Father has sent Me, I am sending you. (John 20:21)
Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
12. And you will be My witnesses . . . (Acts 1:8)
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
13. We cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard (Acts 4:19–20)
But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”
14. Do not call anything impure that God has made clean (Acts 10:9–16)
About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”
“Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”
The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”
This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.
15. I have made you a light for the Gentiles (Acts 13:47)
For this is what the Lord has commanded us:
“‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles,
that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’”
16. How can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? (Romans 10:14)
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?
17. Those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel (1 Corinthians 9:13–14)
Don’t you know that those who serve in the temple get their food from the temple, and that those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? 14 In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.
18. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel (1 Corinthians 9:16)
For when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, since I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!
19. God gave us the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18–21)
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
20. God has chosen to make known the glorious riches of this mystery (Colossians 1:25–27)
I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness—the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
21. I was appointed a herald and apostle (1 Timothy 2:5–7)
For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a true and faithful teacher of the Gentiles.
22. Be prepared to give an answer to everyone (1 Peter 3:15)
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,
Looking for more missions-oriented content?
The Jesus Film Project® has a number of articles related to missions, missionaries, and missions work. If you’re looking for more information in this area, check out the following articles:
- The Missionary Journeys of Paul
- How to Pray for Missionaries: Five Tips for Supportive Prayer
- We Are All Missionaries
- 5 Ways You Can Help Missionaries Other Than Financially
- 4 Things Missionaries Wish Churches Understood
- How Should I Respond When People Criticize Missionaries?