Only Some Nations?

Is the Good News of the Kingdom of God a message of hope for only SOME nations, or is it for all? 

Too often in church history, the gospel has been perverted into good news for some nations, but bad news for many others. This occurs when representatives of the “church” of Jesus associate his message with specific nations, races, cultures, and ideologies. Unfortunately, this is an all-too-common practice in the church.

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 Lord over all the entire Creation, he commanded his disciples to proclaim his sovereignty and salvation to all men in every nation, whether Jew or Gentile, rich or poor, male or female - (Psalm 2:6-10, Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 1:7-9).

By his sacrificial death, he has established the promised “priestly kingdom” comprised of men from every nation who are separated for his exclusive use. In the book of Revelation, for that very reason, the entire creation declares him “worthy” to receive all power and glory – (Revelation 5:5-14).

In his death and resurrection, the God Who created all things has “spoken” definitively and with great finality in His Son - (Hebrews 1:1-4).

ONE GOD OF ALL MEN


Paul writes 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.

One’s ethnicity, gender, or social status makes no difference. But now, through Jesus, all may receive right standing before God, and all on the same basis – 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 because of biological descent or national origin - (Colossians 3:11).

In Christ, God is creating a new humanity with members drawn from every nation. Regardless of one’s nation of origin, everyone who places faith in Jesus is being reconfigured into his image.

No nation, race, culture, or political ideology can claim Jesus as its possession. The announcement of the good news of salvation and his enthronement is a message of hope and life for all men and women.

PERVERTING THE FAITH


Sadly, too many church organizations have long histories of linking the biblical faith to specific nations, ideologies, and even economic systems. This is the destructive lie promoted as “Christendom,” the attempt to identify the faith of Jesus with specific races, nations, cultures, and political agendas.

If anything, “Christendom” is the counterfeit of the true and universal Kingdom of God, an idolatrous presumption by deceivers both within and without the church.

Christ’s announcement of God's kingdom transcends all national, ethnic, social, and economic boundaries, and any attempt to limit it by such categories violates the very essence of the gospel of Jesus Christ- (Matthew 24:14, Galatians 3:28).

The mission of the Church is to proclaim this good news to the “uttermost parts of the earth.” The completion of this task is necessary before the return of Jesus in glory. Neither national borders, racial biases nor societal demands will prevent it from reaching God’s intended goal, though enemies of the Cross of Christ continually attempt to divert the church from its Christ-given task.

This message is for every man, woman, and child on the earth regardless of his or her ethnicity or nationality.  All men have sinned, and all, therefore, need God’s saving grace. No one deserves it, but God has graciously made it available to everyone, and on the same basis - 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 will be left standing. As his disciples, we must resist every attempt to link or identify Christianity with specific nations, cultures, or civilizations. If we do not, intentionally or not, we may exclude others from the salvation that is freely available to everyone who exercises faith in Jesus.


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