Last week I wrote you a letter (assuming you’re a Christian). It was about the vision that captured your affections at the time in life when you were most in love with Christ. It was about the vision for the Lord to receive all glory and honor and power because He is worthy. It was about the vision to see people from every nation purchased for God.
I’m confident that this “every-nation” vision is grounded in God’s Word. Here are four authoritative places we find it:
Place #1: Two thousand years ago
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
-Matthew 28:18-20 (emphasis mine)
We could discuss this highly esteemed “Great Commission” in more detail. In a post I read on The Rebelution, the author dives into Jesus’ three commands and a couple of other components of these verses.
Today I just want you to note Jesus’ clarifying words, “of all nations.” Using His departing words, our Lord passed on the “every-nation” vision to His disciples and commanded them to be part of seeing it realized.
Place #2: Before the end times
In the book named after himself, Matthew records Jesus telling how we would recognize the approach of the end times. I was familiar with the parts about false Messiahs and famines and earthquakes and persecutions, but I was surprised recently to learn something I had previously overlooked:
“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
-Matthew 24:9-14 (emphasis mine)
Jesus says it in two different ways.
- First, He implies it. How can His disciples be hated by all nations because of Jesus if not all nations have heard of Jesus?
- Second, he says it explicitly. The gospel will be preached to all nations and then the end will come.
Place #3: A peek at eternity
The book of Revelation is the account of a vision in the sense of a divinely enabled visual-audio experience. But it also secures the fulfillment of the vision (ie. the hope and the drive) that people from every nation would be purchased by Him:
And they sang a new song, saying:
“You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
because you were slain,
and with your blood you purchased for God
persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.
You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
and they will reign on the earth.”
Place #4: Here and now; the Spirit’s testimony
This “place #4” isn’t of biblical origin in the sense that the others are. Instead, the authority of it comes from the Holy Spirit living in you as a child of God. This is one way you experience the unshakable assurance of salvation (think Romans 8:14-16 and Ephesians 1:13-14).
The Holy Spirit living in you molds your heart after God’s own. He aligns your dreams with His, your desires with His and your visions with His – including the “every-nation” vision. If you’ve been a genuine born-again believer long enough, chances are He’s imparted to you the vision to see worshipers of every tribe.
So there you have four authoritative places in which we find the “every-nation” vision. These all testify to God’s heart for seeing the gospel reach ears in every “tribe and language and people and nation.” May we have hearts like His.
Let’s continue the conversation
- Which of these four “places” resonates most powerfully with you?
- Do you see another place that testifies to the biblical “every-nation” vision? (I can think of at least one more that I want to study further and share about separately in the future.)
- How present is the “every-nation” vision in your life? How often do you touch bases with it?