I then started thinking about how awesome and incredible this is – not just for me his son, who already is in the family, but looking at the world, it’s His resurrection that actually sustains the promise that “in him shall all of the nations be blessed”. Without the resurrection, not only would I still be in my sins, but the nations as well. So if we reverse that thinking, now with the resurrection, we can thus fulfill the “Great Commission”, and tell those who have never heard that Jesus died for their sins, and was raised for their justification (Rom. 4:25) !
Anyway, here is my main point in all of this, and what I started to think about today. In Isaiah 53 talking about Jesus’ death, verse 11 says “He will see it and be satisfied.” But what is the Son satisfied with? Verse 11 says, literally “He will see [it and] be satisfied.” here is what I wa thinking though. Verse 10 says, “He will see his offspring.” I truly believe that part of Jesus’ satisfaction in the resurrection is looking out on a great assembly of people from every tribe and language and people (s) who have trusted Him and been forgiven and justified, and are now part of the family of God enjoying Him forever !
Therefore I write that the hope of Resurrection sustains the promise to the nations. Let us be praying for them this Resurrection day, that this next year whether through us, or through someone else (Lord let it be through us), those who haven’t heard of Him, who have never experienced true faith in Christ, and forgivness of sins throught Christ’s death and resurrection, will hear and put their complete trust in Him.
Hello everyone. Let me start by apologizing for the lack of posts recently. I had the flu, and was in bed for about a week. When I got back to church, I had allot on my plate with regards to finalizing our Missions Conference on May 17th, and then also with finishing up some details on the Sr. Highs missions trip to Brazil. Anyway, my goal is to update this site at least twice a week so I’m back on track now, and will be updating some more later this week.
Before I go into the missions conference, let me finish my thoughts on people groups. I hope that you have enjoyed thinking about these verses, and exploring this topic together with me. I want to just mention a couple verses in the gospels that shed some light on “people groups” and God’s desire for them to hear the Truth, and for a representation from “every tribe and tongue” to be in heaven giving glory to Him. The first is in Mark 11:17 (which is actually a quote from Isaiah 56:7). When Jesus cleanses the temple he says,
“Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations'”.
This is a great verse because I believe it sheds some light on how Jesus interpreted the O.T. regarding the worldwide purposes of His Father. In Isaiah, that word nations “pasin tois ethnesin” is the Hebrew word for “peoples”. Isaiah says that there will be converts from “all peoples” that will enter the temple to worship! Jesus uses this verse when going to the temple, and cleansing it from what was a misrepresentation of His Father. It was a place that was going to be for “all nations”, but instead became a “den of thieves”.
There are many more verses that have this type of language : John 11:51-52, John 10:16, John 17:20, but I want to end with this one. Luke 24:45-47.
“Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning in Jerusalem.'”
We see here that Jesus opens their minds to understand the scriptures, He then teaches from the O.T. three specific truths – 1. That Christ is to suffer, 2. that He is to rise on the third day, and 3. that repentance and forgiveness of sins are to be preached in His name to “all nations”. So Jesus is saying that His commission is to take the message of repentance and forgiveness to all nations – and that the O.T. teaches that. When he opened their minds to the scriptures, he was showing them the truths of the O.T. where this “all peoples” Theology is clearly seen. (Go to my post on 2/29/08 for more O.T. verses)
Therefore, going back to this “Great Commission” that we looked at in Matt 28:18-20 in my post on 2/29/08 – the term “of all nations” panta ta ethne can be clearly seen (by looking at O.T and N.T. references) as meaning to make disciples not just from as many gentile individuals as possible, but rather reaching and making disciples in all the people groups of the world. One would have to go totally against the flow of all the evidence on translation of that phrase to suggest that it would simply mean “all gentile individuals”. So I believe that there is a distinct calling on the church to do this frontier missionary work among all the remaining unreached peoples of the world. I believe that we should be praying about our part in this “Great Comission” and if the Lord would indeed want to use us to bring the light of the glorious gospel to those who have NEVER heard. This Pauline type of ministry is greatly needed – Lord, I pray that You would reveal Your heart regarding these things to us, and that You would burden our hearts for the nations.
I’ll talk about our Missions Conference on May 17th in my next post. If you want to download the brochure go to www.ccphilly.org – it’s right on the homepage as a link. It’s all very exciting.
Before I forget – MISSIONS PRAYER IS THIS THURSDAY (3/6) AT 7:00 PM IN THE PRAYER ROOM.
I hope your enjoying these posts regarding unreached peoples, and the places in scripture that point to God’s heart to reach them with the gospel. I know the posts are long, but I think it is a very important topic, and it warrants a healthy, fair, look at these verses. To start with what I left with in the last post…..In Exodus 19:6, the Lord calls Israel a “Kingdom of Priests”, and I think the meaning behind that name gives much insight into what Israel was to be to the nations around them. In a sense I believe that Israel was to be the missionary, representing the True and Living God to the nations around them – after all that is what a priest does, he represents God to man. We see this in the plagues given to Pharaoh in Egypt right before the deliverance of God’s people. Each one of the those plagues had to do with the things that the Egyptians worshipped as gods (ie. The Nile river, cows etc.) The purpose was to show the Egyptians that Jehovah is the True and Living God, and there is none other. And it worked. We read in Exodus 12:38 that as the Israelites we leaving Egypt following the passover, that “a mixed multitude also went up with them”, meaning Egyptians that saw the God of Israel, and all that He had done, and began to follow Him, leaving Egypt with the Israelites. And when Jethro (the father-in-law of Mosses) comes to bring Mosses his wife Zipporah and their sons in Exodus 18, after hearing all that the Lord had done to Egypt, and Pharaoh, he replies by saying “Now I know that the Lord is greater than all gods..” . He then brings a burnt offering and sacrifices to the Lord. What an awesome example of our God being a missionary God – by His mighty acts Egyptians came to know Him, and Jethro a Midianite worships the True, and Living God.
But we were supposed to talk about Paul for this post. I can give you many different references in which Paul points us to his “all nations” theology, but I will only talk about a couple in this post. The first is in Romans 15. This chapter gives us remarkable insight on Paul’s heart, and passion for unreached peoples. In verses 8 and 9, we read that Christ became a servant to the circumcised (his purpose in coming to the world) in order that 1. He would confirm the promises given to the patriarchs (Gen. 12:3), and 2. That the gentiles (ta ethne – NATIONS), might glorify God for His mercy. And to support what he just wrote, Paul gathers four O.T. verses that speak the same type of language regarding the ethne – and God’s plan for them.
“Therefore I will praise you among the nations (ethnesin), and sing to your name.”
10And again it is said, “Rejoice, O nations (ethne), with his people.”
11And again,”Praise the Lord, all you nations (panta te ethne)and let all the peoples extol Him.”
12And again Isaiah says “The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises to rule the nations (ethnen); in him will the nations (ethne) hope.”
If you look up each of these references in their O.T. location the Hebrew word “goyim” is found meaning people groups, not just gentile individuals. Secondly, in the same chapter, Romans 15:18-21, we see another fine example of Paul’s mindset regarding the gospel going out to unreached people groups.
18For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—by word and deed, 19 by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God—so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ; 20and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation, 21but as it is written, “Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand.”
Jerusalem to Illyricum stretches from southern Palestine to northern Italy, and Paul says that he has fulfilled the gospel in that entire area. That is an amazing statement. What did he mean by that? Certainly everyone in that entire area did not hear the gospel in 10 to 15 years of ministry. And we know that Paul still knew that work needed to be done in those areas because he left Timothy in Ephesus, and Titus in Crete. Paul was set on going to people who have never heard ! He saw the O.T promises of the nations being blessed, and he knew that his calling was to go to the gentiles, and more than that, to people groups. In Acts 13:46-47, Paul quotes Isaiah 49:6 as his calling after the Jews received not the gospel. “I have set you to be a light for the gentiles (ethnon – nations) that you may bring salvation to the end of the earth”. In the Isaiah passage that Paul quotes, the word we have in Acts 13:47 as “gentiles” is the word “nations”, in Hebrew the word is again goyim, meaning “people group”. I would encourage you guys to read through Romans 15, and think about some of these things – it also contains a great verse regarding raising support to go out into the field ! In my next post we’ll wrap up all of this with a couple passages in the gospels.