Continuing with a third reason we need missionaries, based on Paul’s writing in Romans 1, he says in verses 20-25, “20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man–and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen” (NKJV).
Paul explains that God has revealed Himself, His “invisible attributes,” His “eternal power” and His divine nature through “the things that are made.” People are “without excuse” regarding knowledge of God because His existence and character “are clearly seen” through what He has created, what we often call “nature.” Creation – the flora and fauna, the animate and the inanimate, the microcosm and macrocosm, the earthly and the heavenly – reveal God the Creator. Despite this fact, Paul says, people “did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened” (Rom 1:21).
This is why we need missionaries. Some think that the many religions of the world, even the ones that worship images “made like corruptible man–and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things” (Rom 1:23), are mankind’s attempt to find God. While people try to make themselves acceptable to God or gods through their own efforts, adherents of these false religions have “exchanged the truth of God for the lie.” Rather than seeking God, they are trying to escape from the true God and worship the creation instead of the Creator (Rom 1:25).
People cannot escape the guilt of sin, but don’t want to give up their sin. Denying God’s truth in the darkness of their hearts, they think they are wise. God says they are fools because they don’t honor Him; they worship false gods and refuse to give up their sins. If they acknowledge the righteous, holy God, then that means they are guilty of the sins in which they continue. They fear having to account to God for their sins in the future.
All people have an inherent need and desire to worship, but also have sinful desires. To fulfill the need to worship, they make gods, idols (meaning anything worshiped other than the true God) they can worship, yet allow them to keep their sins.
Why do we need missionaries? To go to people without Christ, show them the revelation of the true God in Jesus Christ (who said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.” John 14:7-11). Missionaries can help them see the danger to their souls. They can tell people how Christ can free them from slavery to sin and Satan and give them an eternal relationship with the one and only God, whom they can know and worship.
Siloam Missionary Homes is thankful to have a part in providing for the needs of missionaries to help them fulfill their ministry.
H. Milton Wilder
Missionary Pastoral Care