Missions: the Hope of all Nations
The global plan of the gospel of Jesus Christ has always been at the forefront of God’s heart and mind. Yes, the Israelites where God’s chosen people, but it must be distinctly understood that it was through His chosen people that God planned to send His Son – the hope of Nations.
For centuries, there have been prejudices that have characterized man and, unfortunately, Christians have been the biggest perpetrators of such thinking. However, nothing could be more unbiblical or un-Christ-like than failing to realize God’s plan includes His chosen from all nations.
Furthermore, for those of us who are “American Christians”, our patriotism has created a pitfall. [Don’t misunderstand me. There is nothing wrong with being a patriot.] However, we have generally created an atmosphere that somehow we have a corner on the market when it comes to God and missions – we act as though we have some special dispensation. This kind of thinking is faulty, and its fault lies in unbiblical thinking that has crept into our hearts and minds over the years. This thinking – whether it is American, South American, European, etc. – is unbiblical because it fails to understand God’s plan of redemption for His chosen people from every tribe, tongue, and nation. It fails to see that God’s kingdom is made up of all nations.
1. The Foundation
To address these bold statements, we need to go to the foundation of the above concept, which is found the book of Genesis. God gave Abraham a foundational promise that, “In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.”[Genesis 22:18] This single promise alone is packed with meaning. Yes, we know from the narrative of Abraham that God promised to give his offspring great and vast amounts of land. The promise of physical blessing is very evident. But, the real significance of what God promised Abraham is found in the phrase “in thy seed”. Through the seed of Abraham, God sent His Son to die a sinner’s death on a cross so that all nations might be blessed [see Matthew 1].
2. The Focus
Though clearer through our current 20/20 hindsight as we look back and see all of God’s promises from the Old Testament fulfilled in the New Testament, we only need to read through the Old Testament with an observant eye to see God moving towards this plan. God made provision in the law for the stranger that dwelt among Israel [see Deut. 10:9; 23:7; 24:14, Lev. 23:22; 25:6]. Sure, God commanded the Israelites to destroy the nations of the land He had promised Abraham and his seed. Yet, don’t forget that He held Israel accountable for their wickedness and multiple times brought judgment upon them. In our previous post, we saw the Psalmist declare a blessing to Israel for the purpose of God’s ways being known on earth – His “saving power among all nations”. The Psalmist then declares: “Let the nations be glad and sing for joy [See Psalm 67].” God’s ultimate plan that runs through the whole of the Old Testament is that through His chosen people, He would bring the Hope of nations – the Messiah. Israel, by their identity and blessing, was to declare to the nations God’s “saving power”.
3. The Follow Through
Then we come to the New Testament. Paul gives us clear thinking when it comes to what people groups Christ’s salvation included – all who come to Him in repentance. He give a broad statement that “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus [Gal. 3].” Christ commanded His disciples to go unto all of the world and make disciples [Mt. 28]. So, let us do it. Don’t waste time. Give your life to spreading the gospel to the entire world in whatever you do. Make it your driving motivation. Reach your neighborhood. Reach your community. Reach you country. Reach your world. If you can’t go to another country be faithful in the one you are in. Give your resources for the furtherance of the gospel. Expend your energy. GO! Reach your world with the gospel! And you will hear in the end: “Well done thou good and faithful servant”.
Be not moved away,