In his evening sermon, Liam Goligher addresses another controversial topic: mission. “Mission: Home or Away?” is the next sermon in his summer series Christ the Controversialist (Jesus Confronts His Critics).
Liam tells us that he will be answering two questions in this sermon.
- Definition: How do we define mission?
- Location: Where is mission done?
Matthew 24—Jesus is taking the long view of Christian history. He has just wept over Jerusalem. Jesus’ disciples didn’t really grasp the seriousness of his grief. In this chapter we find them walking through the Temple precincts, and they’re impressed by this massive structure. Jesus responds that it will be demolished, which shocks his disciples. They’re not affected by his emotions as he pours out his heart about the city of Jerusalem, but now they’re finally listening. They ask, "When these things will be? When will Jerusalem fall, and when will the end of the age be?"
Jesus responds by separating these two events. He gives an overview of human history: wars and rumors of wars; famines and earthquakes; many will fall away from the faith; false prophets will rise; lawlessness will increase. All of these things are pointing to Jesus’ return, but they will characterize the entire era between his going and his coming. It is the distinctive mark of this age that the gospel is to be preached to all the nations. Jesus sees the church as a movement marked by gospel proclamation from his day to the last day. It isn’t an institution; it’s a movement. Gospel proclamation is the unique thing God’s church does in the world.
This verse summarizes what mission is in the mind of Jesus. Mission is the proclamation of the whole gospel by the whole church to the whole world during this whole age.
There are 3 words that specifically capture our exploration of mission, and they comprise Liam's three sermon points.
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