The Mission of God
That All the Nations be Blessed
Much mission work finds its impetus in Jesus’ instructions to His disciples to “go and teach all nations” (Matthew), to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark), to preach “repentance and remission of sins” among all nations (Luke), and to be His witnesses “unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts).
Was this a new idea, an addition to God’s plan of ages past?
No, this Great Commission is based soundly in the entire revelation of God even back in Genesis. God called Abraham and set his family apart not so they alone would be blessed, but that all other families could be blessed through Abraham’s family. “And in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:3).
What Does This Mean to You?
languages in the world
languages with the entire Bible
languages with no published Scripture!
As families grew, they became people groups, or nations. The entire theme of the Bible revolves around God’s heart for all the nations.
- Abraham again received the promise after his great test of obedience: “In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 22:18).
- The psalmist prays for God’s mercy and blessing on his people, “that thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations” (Psalm 67:2).
- The prophet of God declared, “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations” (Isaiah 56:7; Mark 11:17).
- Jesus declared that before the end comes, “this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations” (Matthew 24:14).
- Paul believed he had been called to be an apostle “for obedience to the faith among all nations for [Jesus’] name” (Romans 1:5).
- John saw a vision where “a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands,” ascribing salvation to God and the Lamb (Revelation 7:9, 10).
God’s Abrahamic blessing extends to all nations through Jesus Christ. “That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith” (Galatians 3:14).
In our generation many nations, or people groups, remain outside the blessing of Abraham.
Will we let God’s mission—that all the nations be blessed—become our mission?
The Mission of ABT
That God Be Glorified Among the Nations
Recognizing that our Father's heart yearns over the people of all nations,
that His Son Jesus died to bring people of all nations into His eternal Kingdom,
and that He sent His Holy Spirit to guide His followers and unite them from every nation into one,
we intend to fill one small role of assisting His church to do His will,
bringing glory to His name among the nations.
The mission of All-Nations Bible Translation can be stated as follows:
“That God may be glorified among the nations,
ABT exists to assist the church
by providing a platform
to mobilize, train, and equip missionary teams
to evangelize unreached people groups,
translate the Scriptures,
and plant indigenous churches
that follow the teachings of Jesus
and the principles of His Kingdom.”
Several points in this mission statement help to clarify ABT’s purpose.
1. God’s glory among the nations
In Malachi 1:11, the Lord says, “From the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering; for my name shall be great among the heathen.” From the east to the west—throughout the whole earth—God’s holy name is to be declared, and God is to be worshiped.
All-Nations Bible Translation exists so God may be increasingly glorified among all nations of the earth. He is worthy!
2. Indigenous New Testament churches
“Thou art worthy . . . for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation” (Rev. 5:9). Jesus, the Lamb of God, shed his blood for the people of every nation. And it was He who instructed His disciples, “Go . . . and teach all nations . . . teaching them to observe all things, whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:19, 20).
ABT missionary teams will bring the message of redemption and discipleship to those who have not heard. Those who respond in faith to this message will become the local church. As they learn to follow and depend on Jesus Himself rather than missionaries, their church becomes truly indigenous. ABT intends to partner with sending churches that share this vision and can work with the missionaries in this kind of church planting.
3. Bible translation
Romans 1:20 tells us that the invisible realities of God can be “understood by the things that are made . . . so that they are without excuse.” So if people can know about God through the creation, do they really need the Bible?
But creation doesn’t tell the rest of the story. It doesn’t explain man’s sinful condition and God’s redemption. The mountains, trees, sky, and water do not explain that the Creator became a man, died for our sins, and now lives as our High Priest and King. “The heavens declare the glory of God” (Psalm 19:1), but they don’t proclaim the Gospel of Jesus.
The witness of creation leaves mankind condemned before God and lost in sin. Romans 10:17 explains that the message of the Gospel comes through the Word of God. “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” This is why it is important that every person have access to the written Word in his own language—it leads to Jesus, who alone is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
We translate the Bible so God’s written Word can guide people to believe in Jesus and follow Him as members of His body.
ABT's Purpose and Goals
Facilitating Bible Translation and Church Planting
To facilitate Bible translation and church planting among unreached people groups,
ABT has adopted the following goals:
- Increase awareness of the need and opportunities for Bible translation and church planting around the world.
- Provide members-in-training with direction and resources.
- Provide translators and other team members with financial, technical, and logistic support.
- Equip each team member’s home church to serve as his primary support team.
- Connect each church planting team with a church (or mission agency) who will provide direction and oversight for the church planting process.
- Produce quality Bible translations through careful preparation of translators, occasional specialized workshops, and thorough examination of completed translation work.
- Establish indigenous churches. We view the translation process as a means to the end of disciple-making and church planting.