The ultimate missionary compulsion is not simply that there are people who are dying without knowing Christ, nor is it that God has given us the Great Commission to go out into the world; it is that there are areas of the world, whether here . . . or to the ends of the earth, where God is being robbed of His glory. That why when Paul went to Athens, a missionary situation if there ever was one to him, and found people bowing down before idols (and don’t think for a moment they were old-fashioned, former-generation people; they are modern people), Paul had what in the Greek of the NT seems to mean a paroxysm—a cardiac arrest is how some people think of it. Why was he so upset? It was because God was being robbed of His glory.
My friends, we need to learn a little of a jealous concern for the glory of God, because this is what puts worship in its true context. And it’s so easy to be worshiping idols. . . . When we begin to have the test of worship what I get out of it, beloved, we are in the world of idol worship, and the idol is ourselves.
O for a passion for the glory of God!
—Eric Alexander, “Worship God!” (sermon on Revelation 19:10)