Modern Christians are soft.  Do you want to make a difference for Christ?  It will require a return to the pioneer Christian spirit of days gone by.  Learn how to reclaim a missionary spirit for Christ.

Jesus Christ, our Lord, left His people with an audacious goal.  Preach the Gospel to every creature.  Every generation of believers is responsible for going into all the world and preaching the Gospel to everyone alive.  

Some generations have done better at this task than others.  We cannot rest on the accomplishments of bygone days.  We must not solace ourselves with great stories of yesteryear.  History is still being written.  This is our time.  

We were handed the baton of the Great Commission.  Will we give all we have in our leg of the race?  Will we stroll along in comfort while Satan deceives the world?  Will we stumble with the glorious Gospel as Hell enlarges herself to accept more prisoners?

The decision is up to us.  Our story has yet to be written.  History will record the decisions we make today.

Comfort is the enemy of the Gospel.  Luxury is a prison without walls for the people of God.  

It’s impossible to take up your cross and follow Christ if you refuse to get uncomfortable.  

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There is a clear choice before us:

Will we exhaust ourselves in the ministry of the glorious Gospel, or will we succumb to the temptation of a comfortable life?

I believe the answer is found in a missionary spirit.  If you have this spirit, you will strive for the eternal.  If you don’t, you will be lulled to sleep by the siren song of pleasure.

What is a missionary spirit?

The missionary spirit is an unyielding commitment to reach sinners regardless of personal cost!

Our Saviour set the example of a missionary spirit.  He left the glory of Heaven, the comfort of His throne, in a selfless effort to reclaim humanity.  The God of Creation was born as a human baby.  The One Who made the mouth couldn’t talk.  The God by Whom all things consist couldn’t take care of Himself.  The King of kings submitted Himself to sinful parents.  What condescension!  What love!  What sacrifice!  What commitment!

Our perfect Lord lived over 30 years among sinful men. The builder of the Cosmos strapped on a carpenter’s belt and picked up a hammer.  

His earthly ministry began with doubt and continued with controversy.

Our Lord didn’t live in mansions.  He had no place to lay His head that was called His own.    Kings and priests did not entertain him.  Instead, He preached to the common man while being a friend to publicans and sinners. 

He sought not to build cathedrals or temples.  Rather, He built lives of men upon the Rock.

Our Lord continued courageously in the midst of persecution and danger.

He gave His all so we could be saved.  Literally.

Jesus Christ was a missionary.  He modeled the perfect missionary spirit. 

When His time on earth had come to an end, He gave His disciples the greatest of commissions.  

John 20:21 

“Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.”

Christians were to follow in His footsteps.  Sparing no expense, paying whatever the cost, doing whatever was required to save the souls of men!

Christianity in Jerusalem and surrounding areas exploded.  Multitudes were saved by the thousands.  Believers multiplied.

However, they failed to take the Gospel to the world so God allowed persecution in Jerusalem that scattered the disciples everywhere preaching the Gospel.

Acts 8:4 

“Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.”

The Apostle Paul became the prototypical missionary.  He was relentless in his pursuit of sinners.  His zeal was unparalleled.  He traveled over 10,000 miles before the creation of automobiles or airplanes.  His ministry covered over 50 cities on at least two continents.

His goal was to preach Christ where there had been no preacher.  He had a missionary spirit.

Romans 15:20–21

“Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation: But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand.”

Persecution could not stop him.  Distress did not dissuade him.  Criticism did not phase him.  Jail could not hold him.  Torture did not detour him.  Death could not scare him.  

Oh, yes!  Here is the missionary spirit in action!  An unyielding commitment to reach sinners regardless of personal cost!

Comfort is the enemy of the Gospel.  Luxury is a prison without walls for the people of God.  It's impossible to take up your cross and follow Christ if you refuse to get uncomfortable.   Click To Tweet

A synonym of the missionary spirit we are discussing is the “pioneer spirit.” The pioneer spirit has been defined as “a willingness to endure hardship in order to explore new places or try out new things.” It is a willingness to leave the comforts of the known to explore the opportunities of the unknown.  

Earthly pioneers were motivated by exploration, opportunity, fame, fortune, or freedom.  While others sat in comfort, they struck out in faith, knowing they might not return.

The missionary, or pioneer, spirit of our spiritual ancestors dwarfs that of historical explorers.  The exploits of Lewis and Clark dim in comparison to great missionaries like Adoniram Judson and Hudson Taylor. The commitment of early pioneers moving to the Wild West pales in the light of men like David Brainard being spent in prayer for lost souls.  

May God restore unto His people the missionary spirit!  

Never has there been a generation with more tools to win the lost, yet has there never been a Christian people so shackled by worldly comforts.  Luxury has done what tyrants could not do.  Toys, tech, and opportunity have paralyzed the army of God!  

Instead of turning the world upside down, we strain at gnats and swallow camels!  Debate, strife, sin, and worldliness rule the Christian community as the world marches blindly toward Hell.  

Where are the potential preachers?  Sitting in La-Z-Boys with their feet propped up watching tv.  

Where are the prospective missionaries?  Building careers, buying toys, and growing 401ks.  

Where are the soulwinners?  Caught in the quicksand of earthly things that won’t matter a second after they die.

Is there not a cause??  Do you not hear the Macedonian call?  Wake up, brethren!  Our salvation is nearer than when we believed!  Are you ready for the Judgment Seat of Christ?  Soon the time will come when our earthly work is over.  

Where are the men excited by challenge? Inspired by the impossible?  Committed regardless of personal cost?

Where are those willing to sacrifice their lives for the glory of God and the souls of men?

The missionary spirit is not only for foreign missionaries or church planters.  It is for every Christian.

Consider how a missionary spirit would change churches in America…

Today, many preachers of the Gospel have bowed to the idol of comfort.  Too many pastors are at ease in Zion enjoying the comforts of life rather than laboring for souls.

Other preachers are shipwrecked on the shoals of discouragement.  They have given up in their hearts, yet they continue in ministry only because they don’t know what else to do.

Too many would-be pastors seek a position instead of a calling. They value a nice office, competitive salary, hefty benefits package, and beautiful buildings over the work of the ministry.  While nothing is wrong with these on the surface, together they create an unrealistic view of God’s work.

Why not start a church from scratch?  Why not take a small church and build it for God’s glory?  Why not take a rural church and be faithful for 50 years?  Why not go to an area with no true witness and make inroads with the Gospel?  Why not claim a city for Christ?

The missionary spirit is an unyielding commitment to reach sinners regardless of personal cost! Click To Tweet

Make no mistake, my friend. The ministry is work.  In fact, it is the most important work in the world. 

I fear that pretenders and imposters clutter the clergy.  So many pastors attempt so little while faithful men of God are overworked and wearing thin.  We need a harvest of Spirit-filled men of God who are full of faith and energized by a pioneer spirit.

The missionary spirit isn’t just for those in ministry.  The missionary spirit is for every believer.  Every church needs members with a missionary spirit.  Who will back the pastor in ministry efforts?  Who will show up to soulwinning or drive the bus?  Who will vote to support missionaries and church planters when the church has its own financial needs?  Who will support a new church plant even though the current church is small?

The missionary spirit is for every Christian! 

Effeminate men in soft clothing with no drive accomplish little that matters.

Good men with small dreams don’t change the world. 

Carnal men with worldly goals of fame and fortune won’t make an eternal impact no matter how driven they are to succeed. 

Ladies prioritizing security over God’s plan will hold their husbands back from greatness. 

What is the answer?  

We must reclaim the missionary spirit.  These tips will help.

1. Spend time with Jesus.

Acts 4:13 

“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.”

Jesus changes people.  If you spend time with Him, you will be like Him.

If you aren’t investing enough time with God in personal prayer and Bible study, you will not have His heart, passion, or resolve.

2. Visit the Cross daily.

Galatians 6:14 

“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”

Calvary makes God’s priorities clear.  If you don’t spend time at the Cross, you will mistake busyness for making a difference.

3.  Consider Hell weekly.

Luke 16:28 

“For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.”

The reality of Hell will shake us to our core.  We have the only way to escape the fiery torment. How can we keep it to ourselves?

4.  Ask God for tears for the souls of men.

Psalm 126:5–6 

“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”

Jesus wept for sinners.  When is the last time you cried for a lost soul?  If you are not moved to tears, how could you be moved to sacrifice?

5.  Find the will of God and do it.

Ephesians 6:6 

“Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;”

Don’t spend your life doing what you want or what others want for you.  Do that for which God created you.  Fulfill your destiny and accomplish the will of God.  Only then can you find meaning in this life and reward in the next.

6.  Never make a spiritual decision based on the following:

a. Money

If your first question is “how much?”, you are missing the point.  God will sustain you in His will.

b. Comfort

No one makes a mark in this life by pursuing comfort.  God is more concerned with His glory than your pleasure.  Satan promises pleasure and rewards pain.  If your goal is comfort, you are serving the wrong master.

c. Fear

Fear of the circumstances.  Fear of the future.  Fear of man.  

Never make a decision based on fear.  Choose the will of God and leave the unknowns up to Him.  You trusted Him with your eternal soul.  Certainly, you can trust Him with your life.

7. Fight laziness and comfort as the enemies of the Gospel.

Mark 8:34 

“And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”

The life of a disciple is a life of self-denial and carrying a cross.  This doesn’t mean that you can’t have any pleasure.  It means that pleasure cannot rule you.

Today, many preachers of the Gospel have bowed to the idol of comfort.  Too many pastors are at ease in Zion enjoying the comforts of life rather than laboring for souls. Click To Tweet

Keep your body in subjection and keep your will strong.  If you pamper your flesh, it will become your ruler.  Live by principle and the leadership of the Holy Spirit instead of feeling and fancy.

We can fulfill the will of the Lord.  God did not call us to fail.  

Conclusion – Reclaim A Missionary Spirit

While there is room among the brethren for different administrations and callings, there is only one acceptable attitude toward our Lord – total surrender.  

A committed Christian will go when God wants, where He wants, why He wants, doing what He wants, no matter the cost.

The example of Christ is our template.  The life of Paul is a guide.  Do you have a missionary spirit?  You can.  

Only God knows what could be accomplished if His people were to reclaim the missionary spirit.

Ask God for a missionary spirit today!