bits from bob....
Heaven will be delightful. The worship will be excellent and the fellowship intimate. No divisions. No tears. Perfection! Why arenít we there yet? Why doesnít God take his faithful people directly to heaven? One reason is because we still have a mission to accomplish here on earth. Christ's Great Commission to make disciples of all nations is not complete (Matthew 28:18-20). Speaking of the second coming, Peter writes, "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9). God wants all men to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth (1Timothy 2:4). God continues to wait patiently for people to come to know Him and join the heavenly company. God is waiting for people like our families, our neighbors, our coworkers, our acquaintances, our friends to come to know him.
Today missionaries are going to the ends of the earth to preach the gospel. The gospel still needs to be preached and people still need to be saved. It is estimated that as much as one-third of the world's population of more than seven billion people are not within reach of any local Christian church able to effectively communicate the gospel to them (using the word Christian in the broadest sense). Evangelistic mission must be the motivating force of the church until Jesus comes again. Evangelistic mission is not another church program but the very air the church breathes. Missions, evangelism, and prayer concerning Godís eternal purpose go beyond being mere church programs; they are the church's oxygen. The church lives and grows and prospers in the rare air of evangelism and caring outreach.
The church must continue to explore and understand more fully how mission is linked to fulfilling the Great Commission.