Last weekend’s Dwell conference was kicked off by Steve Timmis. He entitled his talk “To boldly go,” basing it on Romans 15.13
This verse is not just a benedictory prayer. This approach to it fails to take account of it’s true place in this sometimes overlooked chapter. Rather Paul is praying these great themes into the hearts of believers so he can take them to where he wants them to be. Biblical hope is a firm confidence in the ability and willingness of God to keep his promises. God has eternal purposes to catch people up as trophies of his grace. To achieve his expansive aim he chooses one man. Our hope is that we might be numbered among Gods people, through God keeping his promises to one man Abraham.
Hope is huge and God centered. Believe in this expansive purpose of God with joy and peace. That hope drives us to boldly go where no man has gone before. There is no final frontier. There are multiple frontiers. Beyond the frontier is wilderness.
Gospel wildernesses. There are many areas even in the UK that are bereft of true vibrant gospel witness. Especially in the cities. Especially in the UPAs (Urban Priority Areas). Economic decline, physical decay and social disintegration. Reputation is also a problem, they are no-go areas. People who live in those places feel that everyone have abandoned them. We must make them gospel priority areas.
Verse 19. He has planted in major areas. He had fulfilled the gospel in the sense that this is what the gospel is for!
What are we meant to believe? The gospel itself is that God will bless the nations through the people of Abraham. It compels us to the ends of the earth.
In this sense mission is the gospel!
It’s not just about me going to heaven. Its not just about getting people like me into heaven.