Book Notes by
THROUGH GOD’S EYES
A Bible Study of God’s Motivations for Missions
Patrick O. Cate
Dr. Pat Cate is the President of Christar, www.christar.org, (formerly International Missions, Inc.) a mission sending organization that plants churches among the least reached of the world. This Bible study is designed to “help the next generation catch a glimpse of God’s passion for all peoples and to better help them understand God’s direction for their lives.”
It is a major in-depth study for the serious inquirer about missions. This would be a good study prior to embarking on a mission trip. It can be used in a small group or on your own. Because of the postmodern bent of the younger generation, some may want to begin with chapter 9, “What About Those Who are Not Reached with the Gospel?”
A number of maps and charts show where the needs are the greatest. Each chapter concludes with reflection questions. There are several pages of biographical sketches and an excellent annotated bibliography at the end.
The study begins with chapters on the Old Testament (He draws principles from the call of Moses, Joshua, and Isaiah.), Christ’s perspective, and the early Church. It then goes into a number of specific theological issues (The Second Coming, The Gospel) and practical issues (Who Must be Reached, What is Required, etc.).
God has a passion for this world. He gives us a variety of motivations for missions in Scripture. Through this Bible study you may gain a better sense of His direction for your own life. (ix)
“Missions begins with God Himself. God has a passion that He be glorified and honored by all people groups on earth. But Satan and his forces have stolen some of the glory which belongs to God alone. God wants to restore His creation to His original purposes.” (1)
“A dictionary may use ‘radiant splendor’ as a definition of glory. The root meaning comes from ‘weight’ or the weight of importance. It clearly includes ‘reputation.’ Part of glorifying God is to lift up His reputation.” (4)
“God is a God of missions. He wills missions. He commands missions. He demands missions. He made missions possible through His Son. He made missions actual in sending the Holy Spirit. Biblical Christianity and missions are organically interrelated.” (7, quoting George W. Peters, A Biblical Theology of Missions, p. 346)
“Missions did not begin after the resurrection through the Great Commission.” “The Great Commission began in the heart of God in eternity past.” (11, 12)
On page 30, Cate lists 25 categories of people groups and asks which ones Christ wants us to reach “exclusively or primarily.” They range from one’s home country to secure nations to kind, nice peoples. Then he asks which ones the church has excelled in reaching. The obvious point is that we have done pretty well with the easy ones and he presses us to consider going as a missionary to the difficult ones.
“When Christ said to go to all people groups and make disciples of all peoples, were there still major needs and problems at the home base in Jerusalem?” (31)
“The early church, recorded in Acts and the Epistles, is saturated with motivation and life style examples of missions.” (37)
“The second coming of Christ is one of the strongest motivations for sharing the good news.” (45)
“The world to come at the end of history will be a world without the national barriers that divide people today, a glorious and rich mosaic of peoples, languages, and cultures around the Lamb of God. Missionary internationalization is a clear step in that direction.” (47, quoting Samuel Escobar)
“Matthew 5:15 tells us clearly that we must demonstrate some of the love of God or our word will lose power. Evangelism cannot be separated from the need to demonstrate God’s glory. Christ clearly merged the two. But the good can become the enemy of the best if it squeezes out our motivation, resources, time and energy. We do not have the energy, finances, time, creativity and resources to do every good thing. If we do things in the order of their importance, we can avoid ending up accomplishing just good things at the expense of the best.” (51)
“If the church waited until all in Jerusalem were saved and all its social problems were solved before it moved out with the gospel, the church would still exist only in Jerusalem.” (59)
About 80% of Christian workers minister to the 7.6% of the world population who speak English. Yet many people groups and areas have no workers.” (60)
“The least-reached are people who do not have access to a church where the gospel is preached in their own language and culture.” (60)
“To know the will of God we need an open Bible and n open map.” (60, attributed to William Carey)
“More than 95% of the graduates of most U.S. and Canadian colleges and seminaries minister to the 5% of the world who live in the U.S. and Canada.” (61)
What about those who are not reached with the Gospel? “If we believe in heaven because the Bible and Christ taught it, then we have to accept the existence of hell for the same reason.” (73)
The politically-correct value of “tolerance” in the West teaches us to be tolerant even of evil, sin and things repulsive to God. (79)
What is absolutely required to bring the Gospel to all of the world? (chap. 10)
The sine qua non include prayer, mobilizing new missionaries, and giving and receiving. (85-89)
“The history of missions is the history of answered prayer. ... It is the key to the whole mission problem. All human means are secondary.” (86, attributed to Samuel Zwemer)
Chap 12. Yes, But... Issues and struggles which can side track us from missions.
Chap 13. Here Am I. What part should I play?
“A driving purpose of all of the Word of God is that He be glorified by all peoples.” (115)
“Every man gives his life for what he believes: every woman gives her life for what she believes. Sometimes people believe in little or nothing. One life is all we have, and we live it, and thus it’s gone.” “What specifically do you want to try to become and to get done?” (118)
“One hundred years after you die, what difference do you hope your life will have made?” (119)
“Three things are eternal: God, the Word of God, and the souls of men.” (119)
“What primary values and passions for your life do you believe God wants you to have?” (120)
“It is to be kept in mind that the ‘generations of men do not wait for the convenience of the church in respect to their evangelization.’ Men are born and die whether or not Christians are ready to give them the gospel. And hence, if the church of any generation does not evangelize the heathen of that generation, those heathen will never be evangelized at all.” (120, quoting J. Oswald Sanders)
“The one aim of us all in doing our particular job for the Lord must be the evangelization of the whole world.” (121, attributed to G. Allen Fleece)
Good wrap up questions on p. 145 ff.
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