Friday, February 27, 2009

February 27- Calvin on MIssions

February 27- Calvin on Missions
Ezekial 18:20 The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them.
21 "But if the wicked turn away from all the sins they have committed and keep all my decrees and do what is just and right, they will surely live; they will not die. 22 None of the offenses they have committed will be remembered against them. Because of the righteous things they have done, they will live. 23 Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?
Calvin: God certainly desires nothing more than for those who are perishing and rushing toward death to return to the way of safety. This is why the gospel is today proclaimed throughout the world, for God wished to testify to all the ages that he is greatly inclined to pity. (Commentary Ezek. 18:23)
The meaning amounts to this, that by proclaiming the gospel everywhere, they should bring all nations to the obedience of the faith, and next, that they should seal and ratify their doctrine by the sign of the gospel. (Commentary on Mathew 28:19-23)

Philip E. Hughes said that Geneva under Calvin became a “school of missions” where people learned about the need and the procedure to be missionaries. Later Calvinits (JH Rice of Union) would say that the church is a “missionary society” whose goal is to reach others. Presbyterians have started more mission fields than any other Protestant denomination (M. Carpenter).
In 1561 Geneva sent out 151 ministers to areas without Protestant Reformed ministers. They were evangelists, missionaries. Reformed ministers were sent from Geneva to Brazil and to North America- South Carolina (Port Royal).
Calvin knew that God was concerned about all people, no matter what they looked like, or where they lived. Contrary to what some want Calvin to have done and believed, he did send out missionaries and did believe in evangelism. Some would argue if you really believe in predestination, then you don’t have to invite others to know Christ or send missionaries out to minister to those who have never heard. Predestination in part means that God has a purpose for everyone- a plan for everyone. Just because there is a plan and a purpose, that does not excuse our sitting on our hands and not obeying God. For Calvin we do the work of an evangelist and go into all the world because God commands it- and that is enough. But we should also know that God does not plan despite what we do, but he works through what we do. It is utter nonsense to think God planned the cross so Jesus didn’t have to get up on it. It makes no sense that because Jesus predicted and knew certainly that Jerusalem would fall (Matthew 24) that the Romans didn’t have to fight to take it. God’s plan includes our actions (or inaction).

Prayer: God, when we see the news of tragedies around the world, help us to pray for those people. Help us to grow in our desire to see other people know your love, grace, mercy, and kindness.

No comments:

Post a Comment