Friday, November 1, 2013

Acts 1:8 Missions Giving

     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. Acts 1:8

     I heard it again recently and every time I have heard it the geographical locales of "Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the uttermost part of the earth" is paralleled the same. "Jerusalem" is our home town or city, "Judea" is our county or perhaps State, "Samaria" is our country, and "the uttermost" is the foreign fields of the world. I don't see anything wrong with this. What I have begun to wonder about is the majority of mission monies spent overseas when Acts 1:8 may show a principle of 75% of mission support ought to be here at home.
     Now, I am for foreign missions. I have to put that in because there are those who are quicker to judge what is being written then to think about what is being written. Acts 1:8 shows the great commission as three-fourths domestic without argument. So, what if we translated that into the way we spend our mission monies? What kind of a nation might we have today if 75% of all mission giving had been directed into areas of church planting, discipleship, evangelism and helps here in the United States the last fifty years? What kind of a more robust spiritual nation might we be? How many more churches would there be to support those called individuals seeking to go to a distant country?  Would we be on the precipice of ruin if we had been taking care of America with our "Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria" monies (75%) instead of taking care of the "uttermost part" with our 75%, or more, level of giving?
     One of the first things I do when visiting a church is see the fields that are being reached by that particular church's mission program. A few things stand out. First, the majority of missionaries are foreign. Second, three fields are usually always represented - the Philippines, Mexico and Papua New Guinea. These are certainly needful areas no doubt but I mentioned to my family that its almost like you cannot be an IFB church without a representative to these three nations (there are 196 countries in the world). Third, there are few individuals being supported who are working here at home in the areas of evangelism or church planting.
     America is in need of being reached with the gospel. If America goes down as a nation the gospel will continue on without her but how much more could be done if America should regain her spiritual strength once again? With all the monies proportionately spent in foreign lands why is the world 'further' away from being reached than ever before? Maybe the answer, in part, lies in how we spend missionary dollars. Just saying.

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