This was a Q&A session in which Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert answered many questions regarding missions and the church. Here are some various notes from the session.
“The point of Jesus’s miracles was to turn people to Himself.” They said this in light of the many people that want the church to focus on the help for temporary suffering (clean water, food, etc.) to the detriment of sharing the gospel, and claiming Jesus as the example.
“We proclaim [the kingdom], we don’t build it or extend its boundaries.” Greg Gilbert, clarifying our job in “building the kingdom” They also explained that the verses in Scripture talking about the kingdom use phrases like “enter in” or “receive”. We never build it. God builds His kingdom.
Matthew 25:31-42—the “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink” passage. Many people use this passage as an argument for Christians to feed the poor. To clarify, Kevin DeYoung said that “None of you need an excuse to love those in need.” But feeding the poor is not the mission of the church given in the Great Commission. This passage “is talking about caring for the brothers.” Kevin DeYoung
Matthew 10:40-42 helps us understand Matthew 25: “And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.” (verse 42) Jesus is speaking of those bearing the gospel of Christ and helping our brothers.
Will you be willing to associate with Christians even if it means persecution? We should give and help our persecuted brothers. Kevin DeYoung describes that this is what Matthew 25 declares.
2 Corinthians 5:20: We’re ambassadors; we’re here to advance the interests of our Father.
We need to be about the work of establishing churches, not just sharing the gospel with individuals.
Trying to feed the poor isn’t the church’s purpose—its primary purpose is the gospel.
“You don’t have the kingdom if you don’t have obedience and worship to the King.”
"If what your Christian group is doing is ultimately indistinguishable from what the United Nations or Oprah would have you do, then we have to look at 'are we doing what the mission of the church is?'" Kevin DeYoung
Listen to the session here.