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What Are the Most Important Bible Verses About Missions?

June 12, 2024 |  By Rebecca Olsen

In a previous blog about what a missionary is, we mentioned that missions is a prevalent topic throughout the Bible. While there are many Bible verses about missions, we’ve pulled out some of the most important ones so you can understand this pervasiveness and why God cares so deeply about mission work.

Genesis 26:4: “I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed.”

God is talking to Isaac in this verse, telling him that He will keep the promise He made to Abraham and that the descendants of Abraham and Isaac will fill the earth. While this verse is specifically about the Jewish people, it also references Jesus.

Jesus is a direct descendant of Abraham, and through Him, all the nations on the earth can experience the blessing of salvation. Mission work is all about sharing the blessing of Jesus with others, which is why this verse is so important.

Psalm 22:27: “All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him.”

David wrote Psalm 22 with great emotion, first reflecting on his difficult circumstances and then gradually praising God for what He would do in the future. Part of that future praise is an acknowledgment that all people from all nations will eventually bow before our God.

Missions hope that when we all bow before God, we will do so as believers together. This is only possible if we’ve told people about Jesus and helped them grow in their relationship with Him.

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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

These are Jesus’s last words in the Gospel of Matthew and they are what we traditionally think of as the Great Commission. This Great Commission is the direct instruction that all Christians are supposed to teach others about Jesus.

People doing mission work live out this Great Commission every day. Many are working full-time to evangelize, baptize, church plant, disciple, and help unbelievers and new believers around the world.

Mark 13:10: “And the gospel must first be preached to all nations.”

In this section of Mark, Jesus is answering the disciples’ questions about His eventual victorious return and the end of this world. One of the qualifiers He gives is that the end won’t come until the Gospel has gone everywhere.

Advancing Native Missions exists to equip native missionaries so they can preach the Gospel to their nations and, therefore, hasten Jesus’s return.

Romans 10:13-14 “for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ 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?”

Paul highlights the importance of missions with these rhetorical questions about how people will call on the name of the Lord without believing, or hearing, or meeting a believer. The answer is that they can’t call on a name they don’t know and therefore they can’t be saved, which is devastating.

With over 7,000 unreached people groups, these challenging rhetorical questions are still relevant. We must work hard to equip native missionaries close to these people groups so they can hear, believe, and call.

Revelation 7:9-10 “After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people, and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.’”

Revelation looks to the future, and through it, we see the end result of missions: a heavenly kingdom full of believers from every nation, tribe, people, and language. This is a beautiful, exciting future to look forward to.

Native missionaries are a vital part of this diverse future. They can better reach unbelievers like them since they are already on the ground, with common cultural beliefs and a common language. They may also have an easier time contacting unreached people groups since they’re already in the area.

The most important Bible verses about missions show us that God has always cared about missions. They also help us deepen our appreciation for native missionaries. If you want to partner with native missionaries through prayer, we offer a free 7 Days of Prayer for Missionaries guide that you can download. Each day will take you through prayer needs for native missionaries working around the globe.

Download 7 Days of Prayer for Missionaries guide.