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FIRST-PERSON: All-inclusive vision demands we ‘go!’


EDITOR’S NOTE: Paul Chitwood is president of the International Mission Board.

RICHMOND, Va. (BP) — IMB’s vision: A multitude from every language, people, tribe and nation knowing and worshiping our Lord Jesus Christ (Revelation 7:9).

The Revelation 7:9-10 vision that we steward at the IMB is literally the culmination of human history. But it’s not our vision. This is the vision the Lord has given for His Church. This vision is what drives the ministry and mission of the Church to this very day and will continue to drive the ministry and mission of the Church until the Lord Jesus comes to claim His Church. That vision is what we must look toward to, what we give our lives to, and — if called upon — what we give our lives for.

What could be more exciting than investing two years of your life in the role God has for you in His vision? At the IMB, we are looking for team members who are recent college graduates under the age of 30, sent by their church as missionaries for a two-year term on the international mission field. We call these team members “journeymen,” and they are a vital part of IMB missionary teams all over the world. Serving as a journeyman allows young adults to be on mission and explore the possibility of lifelong service as a missionary.

What an incredible privilege you and I have to be a part of the most important work in the universe! The omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent God of the universe, who is merciful, loving and kind, is deserving of praise in every language He has placed on the tongues of men and women. He is worthy to be worshiped by all peoples, tribes and nations.

When we look closer at Revelation 7:9, we see that the multitude worshiping God will not be composed of a crowd from some nations, many tribes, most peoples and several languages. Rather, God promises in His Word that the multitude worshiping Him will include representatives from every nation, all tribes, all peoples and all languages.

That’s a big difference, and that’s where you and I come in.

For you see, the great, innumerable multitude could already be comprised of representatives from some nations, many tribes, most peoples and several languages. If that’s the vision, we can all stay home and wait for heaven.

But the Lord’s vision is all-inclusive of every nation. All tribes. All peoples. All languages. His vision — the vision of heaven where all the tears have been wiped away, and there is no more death or sorrow or pain –is one where the Father is being praised in every language He has placed on the tongues of men, and His beloved Son is being worshiped by those who owe Him everything.

Praise the Lord we will be there, alongside those, in far reaches of the world, who have heard His Good News. But not everyone has heard — yet.

How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” (Romans 10:14-15, ESV).

Consider this:

— We have around 200 journeyman job requests on the books at the IMB. These are significant, strategic requests made by full-time missionary teams around the world who are eager and excited to receive journeymen to join with them in reaching the lost.

— The journeyman program is fully supported! This is unique to the IMB and involves not only financial support, but also the prayer and community support of Southern Baptist churches.

— The journeyman program offers an excellent opportunity for international service and work experience directly after college or graduate school. Not only are journeymen serving as members of missionary teams, but they also are gaining unique and valuable international work experience along the way.

Are you willing to ask the Lord how He might use two years of your life in fulfilling the Revelation 7:9 vision? You and I know that the vision will be fulfilled. The great privilege we have is to be part of it.

Students and leaders, I ask that you join Pastors J.D. Greear and Dhati Lewis, the IMB and NAMB on July 23rd at 7:30 pm for “Beyond this Moment,” a special virtual event where you will hear how you can join with those who are committing to GO 2 Years after graduation to share the Gospel, help plant churches and meet human needs around the world.

Register yourself or your student group watch party for free at live.go2years.net/.

To learn more about the IMB journeyman program visit www.imb.org/journeyman.

    About the Author

  • Paul Chitwood