Only SOME Nations?

Is the Gospel of the Kingdom of God a message of hope for only SOME nations, or is it Good News for all nations and peoples? Too often in church history, the Gospel has been perverted into Good News for some nations, but apparently bad news for others, or at least for the latter, a less appealing message. And this occurs whenever representatives of the church of the same Jesus who gave his life for the entire world associate and even identify his name and Gospel with certain nations, races, cultures, and political ideologies.

After his resurrection, Jesus declared that “All authority in heaven and on Earth is given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of ALL nations.” Installed as the Sovereign over the entire Cosmos, he commanded his envoys to proclaim his sovereignty and salvation to all men in every nation, whether Jew or Gentile, rich or poor, or male and female - (Psalm 2:6-10, Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 1:7-9).

Glass Globe at Dawn - Photo by Joshua Woroniecki on Unsplash
[Photo by Joshua Woroniecki on Unsplash]

By his sacrificial death, the Nazarene established the promised “
priestly kingdom” of men from every nation, a body of believers dedicated exclusively to his service, and mediating the light of his Gospel to the world.

In the Book of Revelation, for example, the entire universe declares the slain Lamb “worthy” to receive all power and glory BECAUSE he redeemed men and women “by his shed blood” from every nation, tribe, and people – (Revelation 5:5-14).

ONE GOD OF ALL MEN


The Apostle Paul writes in Romans that God’s righteousness is actualized “through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe, for THERE IS NO DISTINCTION.” Sin is the Great Leveler that has condemned all men to bondage, despair, decay, and death. In the end, death awaits every man regardless of his rank, wealth, gender, or ethnicity. There is no escape.

However, through Jesus, every man and woman may receive right standing before God, the forgiveness of sin, and everlasting life, and on the same basis for one and all – the FAITH OF JESUS CHRIST - (Romans 3:22-30).

And Paul uses 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!” No one is advantaged or disadvantaged before Him due to biological descent or national origin - (Colossians 3:11).

In Christ, God is creating a new humanity, one covenant community, and its members are drawn from every nation. Regardless of one’s place of origin, everyone who places faith in Jesus is being made new and reconfigured into his image and likeness.

No nation, race, culture, or political ideology can claim Jesus as its possession. According to the Psalmist, God has given His Son the nations for an inheritance, “even the uttermost parts of the earth.”

Indeed, because of his death and resurrection, he is the “Ruler of the kings of the earth.” They serve him, not vice versa - (Psalm 2:8, Revelation 1:4-6). Thus, the announcement of the Good News of Salvation is a message of hope, salvation, and life for all men and women regardless of their nationality or ethnicity.

PERVERTING THE FAITH


Sadly, many churches and ministries link the biblical faith to specific nations, ideologies, cultures, civilizations, and even economic systems. This is the destructive political myth promoted under the name ‘Christendom,’ which is the attempt to associate and even identify Jesus and his teachings with specific races and nations.

If anything, ‘Christendom’ is an abominable COUNTERFEIT of the true and universal Kingdom of God proclaimed by Jesus and his apostles, an IDOLATROUS conceit propagated by deceivers and political operatives both from within and from without the church.

Jesus of Nazareth announced a kingdom that transcends all national, ethnic, social, and economic boundaries, and any attempt to limit it by such categories violates the very essence of his message, life, death, and resurrection - (Matthew 24:14, Galatians 3:28).

The mission of the Church is to proclaim His Good News to the “uttermost parts of the earth.” And the completion of this task is necessary before Jesus returns at the end of the age to consummate all things.

Neither national borders nor political aspirations will prevent HIS Gospel from reaching God’s intended goal, though enemies of Jesus will continue their attempts to divert the church from its God-given mission.

His life-giving message is for every man, woman, and child on the Earth regardless of ethnicity.  All men have sinned,” and everyone needs God’s saving grace. No one deserves it, but God has graciously made it available to everyone through the faith of Jesus Christ.

Thus, in the truest sense of the word, the Good News of the Kingdom of God is a universal and inclusive faith.

When Jesus returns, only one Kingdom and one nation will be left standing. As his disciples, we must resist every attempt to link and identify the apostolic faith with specific nations, cultures, or civilizations. If we do not, we may exclude others from the salvation that is freely available to everyone who chooses to place faith in Jesus and what God accomplished in him at great cost.


POPULAR POSTS

Ekklésia - Assembly of God

Mercy and Enemies