Hope for All Nations

SYNOPSIS:  The Gospel of the Kingdom of God announced by Jesus is a message of hope and gladness for men and women of all nations.

Photo by NASA on Unsplash
Photo by NASA on Unsplash
After his Resurrection, Jesus declared: “All authority in heaven and on earth is given to me; go therefore and make disciples of all nations.” Installed as the Lord over all things, his disciples were commanded to proclaim his sovereignty and salvation to men and women from every nation, whether Jew or Gentile, Greek or barbarian, rich or poor, male or female (Psalm 2:6-10Matthew 28:18-20Acts 1:7-9).

By his self-sacrificial death, Jesus established a “priestly kingdom” of men and women called out from every nation. It is for this very reason that the entire creation declares him “worthy” to receive all power, rule, honor and glory. In the Death and Resurrection of His Son, the God Who created all things has “spoken” His definitive and complete word (Revelation 5:5-12).

(Hebrews 1:1-4) – “Whereas, in many parts and in many ways of old, God spake unto the fathers, in the prophets, At the end of these days, He hath spoken unto us in his Son — whom he hath appointed heir of all things, through whom also he hath made the ages; Who, being an eradiated brightness of his glory and an exact representation of his very being, also bearing up all things by the utterance of his power, purification of sins having achieved, sat down on the right hand of the majesty in high places: By so much becoming superior to the messengers, by as much as, going beyond them, he hath inherited a more distinguished name.” – (The Emphasized Bible).

The Apostle Paul wrote that God’s righteousness is “through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe, for there is no distinction.” Sin is the Great Leveler; it condemns every man and woman to bondage, despair, decay and, eventually, death. A person’s ethnicity, gender, social or economic status makes no difference; all die in the end.  But now, through Jesus, all may receive right-standing before God on the same basis, whether Jew or Gentile, male or female, poor or rich – Faith in Jesus Christ:

(Romans 3:22-30) – “A righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, unto all that have faith; for there is no distinction — For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; Being declared righteous freely by his favour through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: — Whom God hath set forth as a propitiatory covering, through faith in his blood, for a showing forth of his righteousness, by reason of the passing-by of the previously committed sins, In the forbearance of God — with a view to a showing forth of his righteousness in the present season, that he might be righteous even when declaring righteous him that hath faith in Jesus. Where, then, the boasting! It is excluded. Through what kind of law? Of works? Nay! but through a law of faith: For we reckon that a man is to be declared righteous by faith, apart from works of law. Or is God the God of Jews only, and not of the nations also? Yea! of the nations also: — If at all events God is one, who will declare righteous — the circumcision by faith and the uncircumcision through their faith.” – (The Emphasized Bible).

Courtesy clipart.christiansunite.com
clipart.christiansunite.com
Paul used his radical monotheism to make the point.  “Is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since God is one and he will justify the circumcised through faith and the uncircumcised through faith.” No one is advantaged or disadvantaged before Him because of biological descent, national origin, culture or social status.

The believer “has put on the new self that is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him, in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all and in all” (Colossians 3:11).
God in Christ is creating a new humanity with members drawn from every nation. Regardless of national origin, each person who places his or her faith in Jesus is being shaped into the image of His Son. Any distinction based on race, gender, culture or economic status is wholly inappropriate among the followers of Jesus Christ.
No nation, race, society or culture can claim Jesus as its possession. The announcement of the salvation of God and the enthronement of Jesus as Lord over the Cosmos is a message of hope and life for all humanity.

Unfortunately, the institutional Church has a long history of linking the Gospel to specific nations, cultures, political ideologies and economic systems. This is the destructive lie promoted under the term “Christendom,” the identification of Christianity with specific races, nations, and societies.

But “Christendom” is a counterfeit of the true and universal Kingdom of God over which Christ reigns supreme. Sad to say, but the churches of my own country are especially guilty of this egregious sin.

This and similar lies occur when men try to hijack Jesus into service to their political and economic agendas.  Such ideas contradict the teachings of Jesus; they are counterproductive to the mission he gave to his true followers to proclaim his message to all nations. The Gospel message transcends all national, ethnic, social and economic boundaries, and any attempt to limit it by such categories violates the very heart of the Gospel of the kingdom of God (Matthew 24:14 – “And this glad message of the kingdom will be proclaimed in all the inhabited earth, for a witness unto all the nations — and then will have come the end”).

Scripture declares all believers to be the “sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female:  for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, heirs according to promise” (Galatians 3:28).
The mission of the Church is to proclaim this Good News throughout the habitable earth. The completion of this task is necessary before this Age can be concluded and Jesus returns in glory for all to behold. Nonetheless, neither national borders, racial biases nor societal demands will prevent this mission from reaching God’s intended goal - His word will not return to Him void.
A day is coming when Satan’s destructive works will vanish from the earth; sin and death will be no more. Creation itself will be liberated when Jesus appears to be glorified in his people and raises them from the dead to populate the Kingdom of God in the “new heaven and the new earth.” In the interim, his disciples are to proclaim this Good News to all men and women who will receive it (Romans 8:19-231 Corinthians 15:20-28).

This Good News of the Kingdom of God is for every man, woman, and child, wherever he or she may live, whatever his or her nationality or societal status.  All have sinned; all need God’s salvation; none deserve it, but God has graciously made it available to all on the same basis:   faith in Jesus Christ.  In the truest sense, the Gospel of Jesus is a universal and “inclusive” faith.

As disciples of this same Jesus, we ought to reject any attempt to associate, link or identify Christianity with specific nations, races or civilizations, thereby, excluding some from the glorious salvation and everlasting life available freely in Christ Jesus.

Comments

Popular Posts

Age of Fulfillment