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The Great (American) Commission, Part 3 of 3

This third post (part 1part 2) in a 3-part series on the role of American missionaries in the 21st century by Tim Keesee (author of Dispatches from the Front: Stories of Gospel Advance in the World’s Difficult Places) is available on Crossway's blogHere's a sneak peek: "My copy of Zwemer’s book is battered and yellowed, its statistics and even some country names outdated, but Zwemer was a pioneer missionary to Arabia, and his words have both the weight and the glory of the Cross about them. With 40% of the world yet unreached, with vast lands and teeming cities 'unoccupied,' his words still speak forcefully:

The challenge of the unoccupied fields of the world is one to great faith and, therefore, to great sacrifice. Our willingness to sacrifice for an enterprise is always in proportion to our faith in that enterprise. Great victory has never been possible without great sacrifice. . . . The unoccupied fields of the world must have their Calvary before they can have their Pentecost."

Zwemer book cover

"So is there still a place for Americans in pioneer missions today? Thankfully, the answer is absolutely yes! With vast regions of the world still unreached, there’s more than enough work to go around—and more than enough joy to go around. It’s the joy of telling people for the first time that Jesus has made a way so that they can live forever...."

"Our motivation is not thrill-seeking or fame—it’s Christ. His grace and mercy are so beautiful and abundant in our own lives that we want to find others who were like we were before we met Jesus—blind and shackled—and see them made new. This is what sustains the pioneer and draws others to take up the hard, unfinished task."

Read the full post here:

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The Great (American) Commission, Part 1 of 3

"The Great (American) Commission" is a three-part series on the role of American missionaries in the 21st century, written by Tim Keesee and published this week by Crossway. Special thanks to Dana Thompson for his illustrations.

"There is a spot near the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, a little marble circle that marks where the ancient Chinese believed was the very center of the universe.

"Today this cosmic bull’s-eye is just a place for grinning tourists to stand and have their pictures taken. Many other ancient peoples had similar beliefs about their realm being at the center of things. Why else, for example, would one say, 'All roads lead to Rome'?

"When it comes to The Great Commission, I’m afraid that for too long, many of us here in America believe (or at least behave) as if we are at the center of the missions universe. Whether spoken or unspoken, the attitude is that our heritage, resources, seminaries, organizations, and obedience are critical to the breadth and depth of gospel work throughout the world. ..."

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The Great (American) Commission