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Missions Throughout the Bible

By Daniel King

From beginning to end, the Bible is a story about missions. In the beginning of time, God walked and talked with Adam and Eve, but then separated them from their Creator by their disobedience. The rest of the story is how God works to reconnect with His children. We could call it “His Story.”

From the beginning, God’s intention was for the entire earth to be saved. God begins His plan of redemption by calling a man named Abraham, later his descendants became the nation of Israel. They were chosen to manifest God’s glory for the rest of the world to see. Throughout the Old Testament, God sends prophets as ancient missionaries to bring His words to the people.

God’s calling began with one man, Abraham, and extended to one people, the children of Israel, but it was never meant to stop there. Throughout the Bible, we see that God’s love is universal. His salvation is meant for the nations, for all peoples, for all tribes, and tongues. From the first man Adam, to the new-born babe, God loves everyone.

In the fullness of time, God sent forth His Son, Jesus Christ as a missionary to the world. When Jesus ascended back into heaven, He gave his followers the Great Commission to go as missionaries into all the world.

Nina Gunter said, “If you take missions out of the Bible, you won’t have anything left but the covers.” The Nazarene Bible College says, “Missions is not merely contained in the Bible. The missions enterprise does not merely find a basis in the Bible. From beginning to end, the Bible is an intensely missionary book. It not only encourages world evangelism, it demands it.”

Old Testament Verses About Missions

Genesis 3:15 – The Promised Redeemer would save all humankind.

Genesis 12:1-3 God said to Abraham, “…in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Genesis 18:18 (NKJV) “Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him.”

Genesis 22:17-18 (NKJV) “blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”

Genesis 26:24 (NKJV) And the Lord appeared to him the same night and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham; do not fear, for I am with you. I will bless you and multiply your descendants for My servant Abraham’s sake.”

Genesis 28:12-14 (NKJV) Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. And behold, the Lord stood above it and said: “I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants. Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Exodus 9:14-16 (NKJV) for at this time I will send all My plagues to your very heart, and on your servants and on your people, that you may know that there is none like Me in all the earth. Now if I had stretched out My hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, then you would have been cut off from the earth. But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth. “purpose of the plagues”

Exodus 19:6 (NKJV) “And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” One nation was called to be a priest-nation for every other nation.

Numbers 14:21 (NKJV) “…all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord.”

Deut. 4:6-8 The laws of Israel and their closeness to God were to be a sign to all other nations.

Deut 10:19 “You are to love those who are aliens”

Deuteronomy 28:10 (NKJV) Then all peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord…”

Deuteronomy 32:1 (NKJV) “…Hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.”

Joshua 4:24 (NKJV) “that all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty…”

1 Samuel 2:10 “…The LORD will judge the ends of the earth…”

1 Samuel 17:46 “…that all the earth will know that there is a God in Israel…”

1 Kings 8:41-43, 59-60 (also in 2 Chron. 6:32-33) so that all peoples of the earth may know your name” (Solomon’s prayer at dedication of Temple)

2 Kings 19:15 Hezekiah prayed, “O LORD, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth.”

1 Chron. 16:23-24 “Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.”

1 Chron 16:28 “O families of nations, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.”

1 Chron. 16:31 “Let the earth be glad; let them say among the nations, the Lord reigns!”

2 Chron 6:32-33 “so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you.”

 

Missions Verses in Psalms

The Book of Psalms is an intensely missionary book. Imagine the children of Israel singing these songs of universal redemption.

Psalm 2:7-10 “You are my Son…I will make the nations your inheritance.”

Psalm7:7-8 “let the Lord judge the peoples.”

Psalm 8:9 “How majestic is your name in all the earth!”

Psalm 9:11 “Proclaim among the nations what he has done.”

Psalm 18:49 “I will praise you among the nations.”

Psalm 19:1-4 “The heavens declare the glory of the Lord…their words to the ends of the world.”

Psalm 22:26-28 “all the families of the nations will bow down.”

Psalm 22:27 “All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord.”

Psalm 24:1 “The earth is the Lords…”

Psalm 33:12 “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord…”

Psalm 45:17 “The nations will praise you for ever and ever.”

Psalm 46:10 “I will be exalted among the nations.”

Psalm 47:8 “God reigns over the nations.”

Psalm 48:10 “Like your name, O God, your praise reaches to the ends of the earth.”

Psalm 49:1 “Hear this, all you peoples; listen, all you live in this world.”

Psalm 50:1 “[The Lord] has called the earth from the rising of the sun to the place where it sets.”

Psalm 57:9  “I will praise You, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing to You among the nations.”

Psalm 59:13 “It will be known to the ends of the earth that God rules over Jacob.”

Psalm 65:5-8 “the hope of all the ends of the earth…where morning dawns and evening fades you call forth songs of joy.”

Psalm 66:4 “All the earth shall worship You And sing praises to You”

Psalm 67:1-4 “God be merciful to us and bless us, And cause His face to shine upon us, That Your way may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations. Let the peoples praise You, O God; Let all the peoples praise You. Oh, let the nations be glad and sing for joy!

Psalm 68:32 “Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.”

Psalm 72:11 “…All nations shall serve Him”

Psalm 72:9 “the desert tribes will bow before him.”

Psalm 72:17, 19 “All nations will be blessed through him…May the whole earth be filled with his glory.”

Psalm 77:14 “you display your power among the peoples.”

Psalm 82:8 “all the nations are your inheritance.”

Psalm 83:18 “You alone are the Most High over all the earth.”

Psalm 86:8-13 “all nations will come and worship.”

Psalm 87:6  “The Lord will record, When He registers the peoples.”

Psalm 96:1-3 “Sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, bless His name; Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples.”

Psalm 97:1 The Lord reigns; Let the earth rejoice; Let the multitude of isles be glad!

Psalm 98:3 “All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.”

Psalm 98:9 “He comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples with equality.”

Psalm 99:1-3 “He is exalted over all the nations. Let them praise your great and awesome name.”

Psalm 102:15 “The nations will fear the name of the Lord, all the kings of the earth will revere your glory.”

Psalm 102:22 “when the peoples and the kingdoms assemble to worship the Lord.”

Psalm 105:1 “make known among the nations what He has done.”

Psalm 106:8 (NKJV) “Nevertheless He saved them for His name’s sake, That He might make His mighty power known.

Psalm 107:3 “The redeemed of the Lord…those gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south”

Psalm 108:3 “I will sing of you among the peoples.”

Psalm 108:5 “Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, and let your glory be over all the earth.”

Psalm 110:6 “He will judge the nations.”

Psalm 113:3 “From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised.”

Psalm 117:1 “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles! Laud Him, all you peoples!”

Psalm 126:2    “Then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.”

Psalm 135:5 “Our Lord is greater than all the gods.”

Psalm 138:4 “May all the kings of the earth praise you, O Lord.”

 

Missions in the Old Testament – Ecclesiastes to Malachi

Ecclesiastes 3:11 “[God] has set eternity in the hearts of men.”

Isaiah 2:3 “Many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob.”

Isaiah 5:26 “He lifts up a banner for the distant nations, he whistles for those at the ends of the earth.”

Isaiah 6:3 “They were calling to one another: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”

Isaiah 11:9 “fill the earth with the knowledge of the Lord.”

Isaiah 11:10 “In that day a Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples, the nations…”

Isaiah 12:4 “Make known among the nations what He has done.”

Isaiah 24:6 “the Lord Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples.”

Isaiah 42:4 “in His law the islands will put their hope.”

Isaiah 42:6 “I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles.”

Isaiah 34:1 “Come near, you nations, and listen; pay attention , you peoples!”

Isaiah 37:16 “O Lord, Almighty…you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth.”

Isaiah 42:4 “He will not falter or be discourage till he established justice on earth. In his law the islands will put their hope.”

Isaiah 43:6 “I will say to the north, ‘give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.”

Isaiah 45:6 “from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting men may know there is none besides me.”

Isaiah 45:22 “Turn to me…all you ends of the earth.”

Isaiah 49:6 “I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.”

Isaiah 49:22 “The Sovereign Lord says: “See, I will beckon to the Gentiles, I will lift up my banner to the peoples.”

Isaiah 57:7, 10 “The Lord will lay bare his holy arm in the sight of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God.”

Isaiah 56:7 “my house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.”

Isaiah 59:19 “From the west, men will fear the name of the Lord, and from the rising of the sun, they will revere His glory.”

Isaiah 60:3 “Nations will come to your light!”

Isaiah 62:11 “The Lord has made proclamation to the ends of the earth.”

Isaiah 65:1 “I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me.”

Isaiah 66:18-19 “They will proclaim my glory among the nations.”

Jeremiah 3:17 “All nations will gather in Jerusalem to honor the name of the Lord.”

Jeremiah 16:19 “To you the nations will come from the ends of the earth and say, “Our fathers possessed nothing but false gods, worthless idols that did them no good.”

Ezekiel 36:22-23 “The nations will know I am the Lord”

Ezekiel 38:20 “All the people on earth will tremble at my presence.”

Daniel 2:47; 4:1-2; 6:25 “Surely your God is the God of gods.”

Daniel 7:13-14 (NKJV) I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed.”

Jonah – the whole book is a missionary story.

Micah 1:2 “Hear, O peoples, all of you, listen, O earth and all you are in it.”

Micah 4:2 “Many nations will come.”

Micah 5:4 His greatness will reach to the ends of the earth.”

Habbakuk 2:14 “The earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the water covers the sea.”

Zephaniah 2:11 “Nations on every shore will worship him”

Zephanisah 3:9 “Then will I purify the lips of the peoples, that all of them may call on the name of the Lord.”

Haggai 2:7 (NKJV)  “and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory, says the Lord of hosts. Jesus is the desire of all nations

Zechariah 2:11 “Many nations will be joined with the Lord in that day and will become my people.”

Zechariah 8:20-23 “Many peoples and inhabitants of many cities will come.”

Zechariah 9:10 “He will proclaim peace to the nations.”

Zechariah 14:9 “The Lord will be king over the whole earth.”

Malachi 1:10-11 “My name will be great among the nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun.”

 

Missions in the New Testament – The Gospels

The New Testament is completely focused on missions. It tells the story of how salvation spread from the Jews (God’s chosen people) to the Gentiles throughout the earth. The Gospels reveal how God loved the world so much that He sent His only Son, that whoever would believe in him would have eternal life. The book of Acts is a history of the missions efforts of the early church.  The epistles were letters written to churches that had been established by missionary efforts. Without missions, there would be no New Testament.

Matthew 4:8-10 (NKJV) Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, “You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.” – Satan knew God’s passion for the world.

Matthew 6:9-10 The Lord’s Prayer “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Matthew 8:11 (Luke 13:29) “Many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast…in the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 10:18 “On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles.”

Matthew 13 (Ezekiel 17:23) parables of sower, weeds, mustard seed, fishing net

Matthew 24:14 “this Gospel will be preached in the whole world.”

Matthew 28:19-20 (NKJV) Go therefore and make disciples of 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.”

Mark 11:17 (Isaiah 56:7) “a house of prayer for all nations.”

Mark 13:10 “the Gospel must first to preached to all nations.”

Mark 16:15 “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.”

Luke 2:32 “A light for revelation to the Gentiles.”

Luke 10:2 “Harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.”

Luke 10:27 “Love your neighbors as you love yourself.”

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only son…”

John 4:35 (NKJV) “Do you not say, There are still four months and then comes the harvest? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!”

John 12:32 “I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.”

John 21:4-14 some Bible commentators have said that the 153 fish represent the number of all the tribes and nations that the ancients thought existed on the earth.

 

Missions in the New Testament – The Book of Acts

The entire book of Acts is a book about missions. In Acts 1:8, Jesus commissions the disciples to be witnesses to the “ends of the earth.” They begin in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost. They continue to Samaria in Acts 8. The Ethiopian Eunuch carries the Gospel to what was considered the ends of the earth after Phillip the Evangelist ministers to him on the desert road in Acts 8.  The door to heaven is opened to the Gentiles when Peter ministers to Cornelius in Acts 10. Paul goes on four missionary journeys throughout the known world until he reaches Rome, the center of the world during the First Century A.D. The book of Acts is a book of missions.

Acts 1:8 (NKJV) 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.

– The Holy Spirit is the spirit of missions. His indwelling gives us the power to become missionaries, and not only the power, but also the desire.

Acts 2:5-12 On the day of Pentecost, people from around the world heard the Gospel proclaimed in their own tongues.

Acts 3:25 “He said to Abraham, ‘Through your offspring, all peoples on earth will be blessed.’”

Acts 9:15 “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings.”

Acts 11:18 “They praised God, saying, So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life.”

Acts 13:47 (NKJV) For so the Lord has commanded us: “I have set you as a light to the Gentiles, That you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.” This prophecy echoes the verse in Isaiah 49:6, “witnesses in all the earth.”

Acts 14:27 “They reported all that God had done through them and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles.”

Acts 28:28 “Therefore I want you to know that God’s salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!”

 

Missions in the New Testament – The Epistles

Romans 1:5 “We received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to obedience.”

Romans 1:16 “The Gospel…is the power of God that brings salvation…first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.”

Romans 3:29 “Is God the God of the Jews only? Is he not the God of the Gentiles too? Yes. Of Gentiles too.”

Romans 10:12-15 “How can they hear?”

Romans 15:10 “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.” (Deut 32:43).

Romans 15:11 “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and sing praises to him, all you peoples.” (Psalm 117:1).

Romans 16:26 “So that all nations might believe.”

1 Corinthians 1:24 “To those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks.”

2 Corinthians 4:15 “grace that is reaching more and more people.”

2 Corinthians 10:16 “So that we can preach the Gospel to the regions beyond you.”

Galatians 3:8 “The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the Gospel in advance to Abraham: all nations will be blessed through you.” (Genesis 12:3; 18:18; 22:18)

Galatians 3:14 “He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles.”

Ephesians 1:10 “To bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.”

Ephesians 2:11-19 “you are no longer foreigners and aliens.”

Philippians 2:10 “Every knee shall bow.”

1 Thessalonians 2:15-16 “To keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved.”

Hebrews 6:13-14 God’s promise to Abraham was for the entire world. He was blessed so he could bless the nations.

2 Peter 3:9 (NKJV) “The Lord is…not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

1 John 2:2 “He is the atoning sacrifice…for the sins of the whole world.”

 

Missions in the New Testament – Revelation

The book of Revelation is the great culmination of the missionary mandate. In this book, we clearly see the harvest of souls all in one place. At the same time, we witness the consequences for all those who rejected the Gospel.

Revelation 5:9 (NKJV And have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,

Revelation 7:9 (NKJV) After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands,

Revelation 14:6 “The angel had the eternal Gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth, to every nation, tribe, language, and people.”

Revelation 15:4 “All the nations will come and worship before you.”

Revelation 21:23-24 “The Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light.”

 

About Daniel King

Evangelist Daniel King, D.Min is on a mission to lead people to Jesus. He has visited over seventy nations preaching good news and he has led over two million people in a salvation prayer. To support King Ministries in our quest for souls, click here!