What does Matthew 28:18-20 and Revelations 5:9 have in common? Revelation 5:9 is the great culmination to the Great Commission that was given in Matthew 28. Listen to the lyrics of the song that will be sung before the Lamb in heaven from Revelation 5:9: “You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals: for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation.” Jesus spoke to His disciples in Matthew 28 shortly after His death and resurrection and shortly before He ascends into heaven Jesus gives this command: “make disciples of all the nations.”
Because of the Great Commission and the great culmination to the commission, First Baptist Church of Hamburg has and, by God’s grace, will continue a vibrant mission’s outreach. The country of Brazil has been a main focus of our international missionary endeavors. On February 23, 2018, a six-member team from First Baptist Church of Hamburg began a 24 hour journey to Caldas Novas, Brazil. For the next nine days, we ministered alongside our missionaries, Pastor Filipe and Marina Niel. We were able to serve the people of Caldas Novas through work projects, encouraging and equipping members of the church, and by preaching the gospel. What a privilege to share the gospel with over 650 students and teachers in the public schools. What a privilege to build friendships with our brothers and sisters in Christ in Caldas Novas.
But the fruit from this most recent trip is possible from a human point of view because of the 10-year investment First Baptist Church of Hamburg has made in Pastor Filipe and Marina. Back in 2008, our church sent Pastor Filipe and Marina to Caldas Novas desiring to make disciples of every nation. The last ten years have not always been easy or fruitful for the work in Caldas Novas. But God has sustained the Niels and He has used the faithful financial support, visits, prayers and encouragement from believers in Hamburg to help them persevere. Today, the church in Caldas Novas is a vibrant, growing church that is looking to expand their building. Eternity has been impacted! You see the great commission involves more than those who are sent, it involves an entire church serving the senders! Paul said it this way, “how shall they hear without a preacher, and how shall they preach unless they are sent.” May the Lord encourage us to faithfully support all of our missionaries. Keep praying for them! Take time to send them a note of encouragement!
To the glory of God, Christ has been faithful in building His church and we have had the privilege of participating in the process as we have obeyed the Great Commission. Eternity will be a special time for those who have been actively involved in carrying out the Great Commission. Our recent trip to Caldas provided a little glimpse of what we might experience in heaven. Numerous times, various believers in the church in Caldas Novas conveyed to me with a huge smile on their face, “thank you for sending Pastor Filipe to us, we have now heard the gospel and we are growing in Christ.”
Because Christ was slain, we are called to make disciples of every nation and someday, believers from every nation will be praising God together as we proclaim, “worthy is the Lamb who was slain and has redeemed us to God out of every nation.”