What Bible verses come to mind when you think of missions?
For most, missions is a distant concept, emphasized only by the occasional mention of the Great Commission in Matthew 28.18-20.
And while these verses are pinnacle to the call of all believers who have been witness to the saving work of Christ, they are not the only verses that compel us to take on God’s mission.
The Bible does not simply speak about missions, rather the Bible is about missions. From the account of Creation to the final Revelation, every word of Scripture is evidence of the longing of God for every individual to turn to Him and know unity between God and man.
This is God’s mission, and we can see it woven throughout the entire narrative of Scripture.
No matter your understanding of missions, these verses will challenge you to see that the whole Bible is our mandate for missions.
Bible Verses in the Old Testament about Missions
1. Genesis 12:1-3
“Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, andin you all the families of the earth shall be blessed”
When the nations were created, God had already formed a plan to draw them to Him. He destined one nation, Israel, to be a light to all the rest, blessing them with His presence and word that they may spread it.
2. 1 Chronicles 16:24
“Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!”
From then on, God established His call for all those who know Him to declare His glory to the world. He did mighty works through the nation of Israel to show the surrounding nations that He alone was God, and He called those who did know to continuously testify to His power.
3. Isaiah 25:1
“O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you; I will praise your name, for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure.”
In His perfect love, God had made plans to draw His creation to Him far before we can imagine, and in His divine graciousness He has beckoned us into those plans.
4. Psalm 22:27
“All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you.”
The words of the Psalmist look beyond the first coming of Christ, into the day in which the whole world will be before the Lord in worship. This reveals the fulfillment of God’s promise to bless all of the nations spoken of in Genesis 12:1-3, and this is the vision of missions.
New Testament Bible Verses about Missions
5. Matthew 28:18-20
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Jesus commissioned the disciples to testify to all that they had witnessed in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ.
6. John 17:18-21
“As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me”
When the Son of God took on flesh to walk among humanity, He became the conduit of God’s mission, seeking to bring salvation to all who hungered and to make hungry all who did not realize their need for what He was bringing. As Jesus became the way for salvation, He made disciples, raising them up to be His body of believers on earth for the coming generations.
7. Acts 1:8
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth”
When Christ fulfilled salvation by His death and resurrection, He opened the door to a new age, one in which He gives His Holy Spirit to those who receive salvation. calling them to be witnesses to the work of the Lord proclaiming the Gospel to the world.
8. Romans 10:13-15
“For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
Now, God’s call to those who have heard and believed is to align their mission with God’s mission, which has remained the same throughout the ages.
9. 2 Peter 3:9
“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”
Salvation is destined for all. God’s heart longs to bring every individual into relationship with Him through repentance and faith. Because of this, He is patient, willing to endure that the ends of the earth may hear the Gospel and be offered the opportunity to receive His salvation. He has entrusted believers to spread the Gospel message throughout the world.
10. Revelation 7:9-10
“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
This is the mission of God: that every tribe, tongue, people, and language be before His throne confessing His salvation and sharing His glory. As those who are freely and graciously reconciled to Him, we cannot ignore His longing for the Kingdom of Heaven to be revealed, not solely by His own life and ministry, but also through the multitude of those here on earth who confess their salvation in Him.
His mission is that we believers make it our heartbeat to go and find as we have been found, making disciples who truly know the living God. Scripture unfolds the mission of God before us so that we can join Him in fulfilling it.
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