Motivation Behind The HOPE

Before Jesus ascended to the Father, He told His followers to take His truth and love and forgiveness to the whole world. This mandate, known as the Great Commission, however, is not the ultimate goal of the Church. The glory of God is the ultimate goal of the Church, because it is the ultimate goal of God. In the words of John Piper, "The final goal of all things is that God might be worshipped with white hot affection by a redeemed company of countless persons from every tongue, tribe, and nation (Rev.5:9; 7:9)." To grasp this is to understand that worship will not be complete until the Great Commission is completed…but when will that day come?

The breadth of the Great Commission is found in Matthew 24:14, “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come.”  The word “nations” refers to people groups who are separated from other people by virtue of language, culture, religion, etc. This verse makes it clear that Jesus will not return until every nation has received a witness of His Gospel. Even in today’s world, there are nations that have not yet been reached with the Gospel.

The depth of the Great Commission is found in 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slow about His promise {to return}, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance.” From this verse we learn that Jesus has not yet returned because someone has yet to turn to Him. It could be someone in an unreached nation, or it could be your next door neighbor.

A few verses later, in 2 Peter 3:12, we are told to “look forward to the day of God and speed (or hasten in some translations) its coming.” At Mars Hill, we believe that we participate in the process of hastening “that day” by participating in the fulfillment of the Great Commission. This is the motivation behind The HOPE: to participate in the fulfillment of the Great Commission, to hasten the coming of that day, so that worship might be complete, and our God might be blessed and glorified.