Our Stewardship of Missions

The Midsummer Offering for foreign missions is to be received in all our churches on Sabbath, July 9, 1935. We appeal to all our pastors to emphasize the importance of this offering. Greater effort must be put forth to maintain and advance the ever-expanding work in the foreign mission fields.

H. L. RUDY, General Conference Vice-President

The century of the Sec­ond Advent Movement is today being recognized as one of the "great ages" of Christian faith, ranking in im­portance with the period of the early church or the Refor­mation. This is true because in the nineteenth and early part of the twentieth century’s the geographic exten­sion of the gospel of Christ has reached to the ends of the earth, penetrating every continent and reaching almost every tribe and people. This period is known as the great century, or the age of the expansion of the Christian faith.

One of the major products of the great century is the rise and expansion of the Second Advent Movement. Throughout their history Seventh-day Adventists have considered the whole world as their mis­sion field. They accepted the great com­mission to go "and teach all nations," to witness for Christ "unto the uttermost part of the earth." "The vineyard includes the whole world, and every part of it is to be worked. . . . The whole earth is to be il­luminated with the glory of God's truth. The light is to shine to all lands and all peoples."—Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 24.

The unbroken rhythm of the mission­ary's foot beats has been the impelling inspiration pushing the Advent Movement onward into more and ever-expanding areas of the world field. Moreover, this rhythmic march through open doors has kept the spirit of love and sacrifice alive in the homelands of the foreign missions en­terprise. All along the journey it has been recognized that the surest way to advance God's work at home is to hasten it onward in fields abroad.

"To show a liberal, self-denying spirit for the success of foreign missions is a sure way to advance home missionary work; for the prosperity of the home work depends largely, under God, upon the reflex influence of the evangelical work done in countries afar off. It is in working to supply the necessities of others that we bring our souls into touch with the Source of all power.. . . That which is given to start the work in one field will result in strengthening the work in other places."—Gospel Workers, pp. 465, 466.

John A. Mackay has given very pointed expression to this important consideration in the life of the church:

"The church's place is the frontier. Its destiny is bound up with a frontier life, for that is the life to which God has called it. When the Christian church belongs too completely to any civilization or culture, to any generation or era, it ceases to be its true self and fails to fulfill its destiny."—Christianity on the Frontier, p. 41.

One of the greatest privileges that comes to a Seventh-day Adventist worker is to share in the worldwide mission program of the church. This is a very vital phase of our stewardship in God's work.

"We are to follow where God's providence opens the way; and as we advance, we shall find that Heaven has moved before us, enlarging the field for labor far beyond the proportion of our means and ability to supply. The great want of the field open before us, should appeal to all to whom God has intrusted talents of means or ability, that they may devote themselves and their all to God. We are to be as faithful stewards, not only of our means, but of the grace given unto us, that many souls may be brought under the blood-stained banner of Prince Immanuel."—Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 209.

What does it mean to be faithful stew­ards "of the grace given unto us, that many souls may be brought under the blood-stained banner of Prince Im­manuel"? This is not empty expression. God has given us as a people a message for the whole world. He has given us a plan for carrying this message to the world. This message and this plan become the serious concern of every worker and every church member. It is Just as important for the minister of the gospel to promote the giv­ing of mission offerings, as it is to call for the offering for church expense, or the re­turning of the Lord's tithe. Every grace that has been provided for the advance­ment of the gospel of salvation, both at home and abroad, is to be administered faithfully by the workers in God's cause.

The temptation to place the interests of the church at home above the needs in the great uncultivated areas of the Lord's vineyard, must be met with a resolute course of action that will keep God's peo­ple moving forward along the frontiers of the great Second Advent Movement.

The president of Princeton Theological Seminary, quoted previously, wrote several years ago:

"The end of the Christian Church is not merely that God should be worshipped and that the brethren should be loved. The worshipping com­munity must carry the inspiration of worship be­yond the precincts of the sanctuary, and the spirit of Christian love to the places where men live be­yond the pale of the Church and its privileges. The worship of God must pass into the work of God. .. .

"Bared feet that have stood in the holy ground of the sanctuary must be shod again with 'the preparation of the gospel of peace,' thereafter to tread the wilderness trails and penetrate the haunts of human need."—Theology Today, January, 1949, p. 464.

Surely we are a most favored people. To be stewards of the grace given us should inspire us to the greatest degree of faith­fulness in every endeavor that has been set into operation for the rapid advance­ment of God's last message of mercy to this world.

[The Midsummer Offering for foreign missions is to be received in all our churches on Sabbath, July 9, 1935. We appeal to all our pastors to emphasize the importance of this offering. Greater effort must be put forth to maintain and advance the ever-expanding work in the foreign mission fields.—Editors.]

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H. L. RUDY, General Conference Vice-President

June 1955

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