We saw last time that Paul was eager to carry the good news of Christ to those peoples who had not yet heard. This week, we will see how the fulfillment of the Gospel is the glorification of God in all people groups. Let’s take a look at what Paul and John had to say regarding this issue.
The passage says “The scripture foresaw that God would justify the gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: ‘All nations will be blessed through you.’” Now read the passage again, very carefully. How does Paul define the Gospel here? Paul defines the gospel as the blessing of all nations. He doesn’t say that it will be a good thing to get to some nations eventually. He doesn’t say that the blessing of the nations is a good add-on to the real gospel. Instead, he shows the Gospel to be that all nations will receive the blessing through Abraham. This blessing is the glorifying of God through the knowledge and lordship of Jesus Christ. Paul says in this passage that the gospel and the blessing of all the nations are inseparably linked . . . they are the same thing!
John’s visions of heaven in Revelation show this blessing in action. In Rev. 5: 9-10, the 4 living creatures and 24 elders fall down before the Lamb and sing, “with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.” Then, in Rev. 7:9-10, John sees “a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.” These people from every nation then go on to sing praises to God.
Reading these passages together is quite encouraging. We see how God always intended to be glorified among all nations. We see how He shared His plan with Abraham in the form of a promise, and we see how God will indeed fulfill His promise. This is great news!
Since we have seen the ending, and we know God wins, should we just sit back and let Him do His thing without us? The answer is no. We see over and over again in the scriptures how God chooses to work through His obedient servants. Think about it. If we believe that God desires to be glorified among all the nations, that it will be accomplished, that He uses and empowers people to do His will, and that He directly commanded His servants to “make disciples of all nations” (Mt. 28:19), then why wouldn’t we choose to be involved?
BUT WHAT CAN I DO?
One of the most effective things you can do to partner with God in His plan for the nations is to become a mobilizer. This means that you do whatever you can to help others become involved in reaching unreached people groups. This can take many forms. You can teach others what you have learned through simple conversations or through a formal Bible study. You can work with other churches in your area to bring a nations-focused course like Perspectives on the World Christian Movement to your city. You can become your church’s Missions Advocate for the SDB Missionary Society. You can even do something like hosting a missions night and potluck at your church. Being a mobilizer is so effective because you can multiply your labor when others start to work towards the common goal of glorifying God in every people group.
After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:
“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4 I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.” – John 17:1-5
The preceding is the tenth of twelve lessons. We started in Genesis and will be working our way through the Bible. These studies will be available on this website every other week starting July 15th, 2014. You can access them by going to Articles in SDBMissions.org. Or if you would like to receive these by email twice a month, please contact Subscribe by Email and say that you would like to be put on the missions study emails list or use our contact page: Contact Us. To download a powerpoint version follow this LINK.