Imagine if we had been standing with the disciples after the resurrection of Christ, looking into His face as He spoke these now well-known words referred to as the Great Commission.
“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Going therefore, disciple all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. (Matthew 28:18-20)
We no doubt would have felt compelled to work toward the fulfillment of this commission. Then, a little later immediately before His ascension, we would have heard Him pronounce similar words embodying a similar mandate:
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 NKJV)
By now we would be getting the strong impression that He wants us to spread the gospel to the world.
Now assume that you are Assistant VP of Marketing for McDonalds, and one day you were called into the marketing director’s office. Sitting with him was the CEO, who said to you, “Jones, we want to get everyone in the world within reach of one of our restaurants within five years. We are allocating $5 billion dollars for this initiative, and you will be in charge of making it happen.”
Grasping simultaneously the amazing opportunity and the overwhelming challenge, you charge out of the office and immediately began doing research to guide you in the task ahead.
First you discover this map displaying the McDonalds doing business in the United States.
Then you find this map depicting McDonalds located in various countries by the size of the circles.
Five years later McDonalds’ CEO, Mr. Easterbrook calls you in to report on your success. You proudly announce that you invested all the $5 billion designated for the project: $4.68 billion was allocated for the United States and $0.32 billion was spent in foreign countries.
How do you think Mr. Easterbrook would respond?
Those numbers happen to reflect the percentages of spending by evangelical churches in the United States on ministry in our country (93.6%) vs. overseas (6.4%). How do you think Jesus feels about that? To help us with our answer it is interesting to note that Antioch Presbyterian Church in Chonju, Korea, gives 70% to missions.