In whatever way we interact with our world, when we do we are entering the mission field. Out there is where we see Jesus.
Under the old system, the high priest brought the blood of animals into the Holy Place as a sacrifice for sin, and the bodies of the animals were burned outside the camp. So also Jesus suffered and died outside the city gates to make his people holy by means of his own blood. So let us go out to him, outside the camp, and bear the disgrace he bore. For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come. (Hebrews 13:11-14)
When I was younger, I won a toy from one of those crane games.
It was a window hang; at the end of the string attached to the suction cup was a small plush shaped like a yellow road sign.
On it, the text read “Just Visiting This Planet.” I used to keep it hanging inside the back window of my car. I appreciated the comedic, yet unintentionally truthful message.
It wouldn’t surprise me if I still had it tucked away somewhere.
It reminded me the Bible tells us once we accept Jesus Christ, our main address is no longer on Earth, but in Heaven. Once we become disciples of Jesus Christ we change our permanent address.
Our time spent here until we leave this world is meant to be used for storing up treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:19-20).
Meeting Christ in the Mission Field
I have met many people who grew up in church that at some point feared God would one day call them to be a foreign missionary.
The reality is, everyone who is called to be a Disciple of Jesus Christ is a missionary wherever they are.
When we find ourselves entering the mission field of the world, just as today’s passage says, we are going to meet Christ there. His life’s work and His sacrifice was made out amongst the people. When we follow Jesus Christ, this is where we are following Him.
During His earthly ministry, that is where he could be found. Amongst the sick, the needy, and the sinful. It is where he calls us to be.
We are “just visiting”, but that doesn’t mean we stay isolated from the world. Jesus Christ call us daily to enter the mission field.
It could be where we work, or in our neighborhoods, or at the local strip mall with the homeless veteran sitting on the corner.
It could be at the local park, library, or prison.
As disciples of Jesus Christ, entering the mission field happens every time we step outside our door.
Entering the Mission Field, Not Living it
If you grew up in church, you may have heard the phrase “in the world but not of the world” before. What does it really mean, though?
Essentially, we have to recognize that while the world is our mission field, we must be careful not to become too accustomed to it.
Entering the mission field requires us to put aside our own desires. Even though we have made our decision for Christ, the things of this world will still be competing for our affections. We must choose one or the other, because we cannot love both the things this world offers and God (1 John 2:15-16).
Yes we are “just visiting”, but that doesn’t make us tourists. If anything, we are spies in the land, who instead of avoid being caught, attempt to shine our light in the world (Matthew 5:14-16).
Entering the Mission Field to Be His Sheep
Jesus Christ wants us to understand that when we serve the sick, the prisoner, the hungry, the hurting, we are actually serving Him as cited in the famous passage many call the Sheep and the Goats (Matthew 25:31-46).
The musical evangelist Keith Green sang an incredible song about this passage. At the end of the song he says “the only difference between the Sheep and the Goats according to scripture is what they did and didn’t do”.
When we abide with Christ, we are being equipped to be His sheep, and He is the Good Shepherd. (John 10:11-18). He sacrificed His life for us. When we accept His sacrifice, we also accept His call to become His disciple.
Disciples of Jesus Christ are sent into the world. Jesus sent them both during His earthly ministry and called them to do the same as He left this earth.
Jesus Christ calls us to be His hands and feet. He calls us to be His sheep.
What mission field is Jesus Christ calling you to find Him in today?
More verses about entering the mission field of the world:
Psalm 96:3; Isaiah 6:8; Matthew 28:18-20; Luke 10:1-23; Romans 10:13-14; Galatians 5:13; James 1:27;