World Vision


God is concerned for all mankind on an individual basis. With the billions of people in the world today, you might wonder how it is possible to have an effective part in communicating God’s love to so many. We can do this by advancing the gospel so that spiritual generations will be planted and become fruitful all over the world.

World vision is getting on your heart what is on God’s heart—the world. Dawson Trotman, Founder of The Navigators

God’s Concern for the World

The breadth of God’s concern for mankind is revealed in the verses below.

16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” John 3:16-17 LSB

9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some consider slowness, but is patient toward you, not willing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9 LSB

A wonderful glimpse of heaven is described in Revelation 7:9-10.

9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” Revelation 7:9-10 NKJV

Who is present with God, and how do you think they got there?

For the future envisioned in Revelation 7:9-10 to occur, God’s plan through people must be fulfilled. Jesus invested deeply in a few people in order to see multiplication, and He explained what would become our role in God’s plan. The ways Jesus stated His Great Commission are in the verses below.

19 “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20 CSB

15 Then he said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” Mark 16:15 CSB

47 … “and repentance for forgiveness of sins will be proclaimed in his name to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” Luke 24:47 CSB

18 “As you sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.” John 17:18 CSB

20 “I pray not only for these, but also for those who believe in me through their word. 21 May they all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us, so that the world may believe you sent me.” John 17:20-21 CSB

8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8 CSB

Based on the Scriptures above, how does God want to use us to influence others spiritually?

It is certainly commendable to have the vision for reaching an individual, a campus, a military base, a workplace, a neighborhood, a community—even an entire nation—for Christ. But the Lord’s concern is for the whole world, and this should be our concern as well. In the Great Commission Jesus gives believers the responsibility and privilege of reaching every person of every nation in every generation with the gospel. All our major decisions in life should be made with the whole world in mind.

The World Today

The Bible describes what world conditions will be in the last days. There are many more passages in the New Testament about the last days.

1 BUT THE [Holy] Spirit distinctly and expressly declares that in latter times some will turn away from the faith, giving attention to deluding and seducing spirits and doctrines that demons teach, 2 Through the hypocrisy and pretensions of liars whose consciences are seared (cauterized), 3 Who forbid people to marry and [teach them] to abstain from [certain kinds of] foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and have [an increasingly clear] knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 4:1-3 AMPC

1 BUT UNDERSTAND this, that in the last days will come (set in) perilous times of great stress and trouble [hard to deal with and hard to bear]. 2 For people will be lovers of self and [utterly] self-centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate [greedy] desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters. They will be abusive (blasphemous, scoffing), disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane. 3 [They will be] without natural [human] affection (callous and inhuman), relentless (admitting of no truce or appeasement); [they will be] slanderers (false accusers, troublemakers), intemperate and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good. 4 [They will be] treacherous [betrayers], rash, [and] inflated with self-conceit. [They will be] lovers of sensual pleasures and vain amusements more than and rather than lovers of God. 5 For [although] they hold a form of piety (true religion), they deny and reject and are strangers to the power of it [their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession]. Avoid [all] such people [turn away from them]. 2 Timothy 3:1-5 AMPC

3 To begin with, you must know and understand this, that scoffers (mockers) will come in the last days with scoffing, [people who] walk after their own fleshly desires 4 And say, Where is the promise of His coming? For since the forefathers fell asleep, all things have continued exactly as they did from the beginning of creation. 5 For they willfully overlook and forget this [fact], that the heavens [came into] existence long ago by the word of God, and the earth also which was formed out of water and by means of water, 2 Peter 3:3-5 AMPC

What of these conditions do you see today?

The certainty of what awaits those who reject the Gospel of Christ is found in the passages below.

8… dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, … 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 NASB95

12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Revelation 20:12-13 NASB95

15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:15 NASB95

As Jesus saw the needs around Him, He asked His disciples to pray for workers for the harvest.

36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Matthew 9:36-38 NIV

35 “Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” John 4:35 NIV

The total world population is estimated to be over 8 billion souls and is growing every second.

18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:18-21 NIV

Look at the Fields

Here are some practical ways to “look at the fields”:

  • Use a world map to pray for countries around the world—that the people living there would come to trust Christ and grow in their walks with Him.
  • Pray for persecuted believers and church leaders around the world.
  • Correspond with missionaries. Learn about various mission fields and agencies.
  • Read missionary biographies, books on missions, and missionary periodicals.
  • Pray for your own daily contact with nonbelievers—that you will demonstrate the love of Jesus to them.
  • Give financially to support believers and missionaries in another country.

Spiritual Generations

Keeping informed, praying, and giving are three important ways to help reach the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Even more directly, we can be involved through our personal focus and outreach. In all these things, we should continue to trust that God will multiply generations of Jesus followers around the world, whether we live to see this happen or not. This includes both spiritual and physical generations. Look at God’s promise to Abraham.

17 “I will indeed bless you and make your offspring as numerous as the stars of the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your offspring will possess the city gates of their enemies. 18 And all the nations of the earth will be blessed by your offspring because you have obeyed my command.” Genesis 22:17-18 CSB

Jesus lived in an agricultural context. He used metaphors of farming and seeds and organic growth to illustrate spiritual generations.

31 He presented another parable to them: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. 32 It’s the smallest of all the seeds, but when grown, it’s taller than the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the sky come and nest in its branches.” Matthew 13:31-32 CSB

Other passages related to this include Mark 4:1-20, Mark 4:26-29, and John 12:23-26.

During His last meal with His disciples, Jesus prayed specifically for them—both then and now. He asked God to continue ministering through His disciples to the lost people in the world. Jesus had planted seed for the future and was asking God to multiply it!

Carefully and thoughtfully read through Jesus’ prayer in John 17:5-26. If you are a disciple of Jesus, then He was praying for you! Observe:

  • Jesus’ vision that the world will be reached with God’s love through generations of His disciples.
  • Jesus’ prayer requests for us as we fulfill His vision.
  • How Jesus equips and prepares us to fulfill His vision.

How Do You Fit In?

Jesus loved the world and helped thousands, but He closely trained only twelve men. He saw spiritual generations multiplying through these disciples.

Pursuing a divine vision is really an act of worship. It is a declaration of our confidence in God. It is a proclamation of how important we believe his agenda to be. And God is honored. Andy Stanley, Visioneering

As you reflect back over John 17:5-26, how do you see yourself in this prayer? What will you ask for regarding the ministry God wants to have through you?

2 What you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, commit to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. 2 Timothy 2:2 CSB

Have you asked God to give you one person with whom you can put this verse into action? You can help change the world for Jesus Christ by allowing God to reproduce His life through you in the life of another. Specifically, how will you allow God to use you in His plan for spiritual generations?

If you have children, how will you trust Him to pass on your spiritual legacy through them? Are there other children you can minister to?

Are you investing your life, time, and money with the world in mind? What can you do to become more involved in reaching the world with the good news of Jesus Christ?

Remember to pray. Many of us cannot reach other nations on our feet, but we can reach them on our knees. And God hears!

16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
1 I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus, who is going to judge the living and the dead, and because of his appearing and his kingdom: 2 Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage with great patience and teaching. 3 For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear what they want to hear. 4 They will turn away from hearing the truth and will turn aside to myths. 5 But as for you, exercise self-control in everything, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time for my departure is close. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 There is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me, but to all those who have loved his appearing. 2 Timothy 3:16 - 4:8 CSB

Relate what Paul says here in regard to your life and to world vision.

Memory Verse

19 “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20 CSB

How have you been impacted by Jesus’ Great Commission to you? Do you accept this commission? Express how you hope to live it out.

Things to Ponder

To deepen your involvement in the Great Commission, consider these steps:

  • Look through God’s Word for His promises. Choose a few to pray over. Ask God to fulfill these promises. Imitate those who “through faith and patience inherit what God has promised” (Hebrews 6:12).
  • Pray over John 17 and other outreach passages. As you pray ask God to give you significant ministry influence.
  • Think about one or two individuals in whom you can invest God’s riches. Have an attitude of expectation that in time, God will multiply that investment into the world.
  • If you have children, intentionally disciple them. Pass on to them the spiritual heritage you have been given. If you do not have children, consider investing in others’ children.
  • Pray about, talk about, and hope for spiritual generations.
  • Realize that salvation is personal but never isolated. It is for family and friends and the ministry context God gives. They all join God and us in His mission for the nations.
  • Partner with others in Jesus’ Great Commission. None of us can stand alone. Ask God to guide you to others who are committed followers of Jesus and then serve God together with them.

Which of these would you like to focus on? How will you begin?