August 13, 2023

To the Nations and Neighbors

To the Nations and Neighbors

To the Nations and the Neighbors (2023)

  • After Jesus finished His work on earth, right before he departed, He gave His disciples the Great Commission. A command to take this Gospel message to the whole world.
  • We see this basic command in all three synoptic Gospels Matt, Mark, & Luke
  • Matt 28:18,; Mark 16:15 ; Luke 24:46 Jesus makes a clear and emphatic call to His Disciples to take the mission of God to the nations and to our neighbors.
    • All three of these passages say “to the nations or world”
    • But the passage in Luke ends with “beginning in Jerusalem” in other word start with your neighbors.
    • This is “both and,” our neighbors and around the world. Around the world and across the street.

Acts 2:5 This scene is of course taking place on the day of Pentecost, when God sent the Holy spirit.

  • God saw fit to have every nation under heaven in Jerusalem on the day the Holy Spirit was sent.
    • This was confirmation that the Gospel and mission was to go to every nation.
    • All these people, from all these nations, would now leave Jerusalem and carry the Gospel message back home to their nations and their neighbors. Filled with the Holy Spirit.
    • Back in Genesis the curse of babel was meant to confuse and prevent knowledge of God from spreading across the earth. Now Jesus has overcome that, so that knowledge of God can spread.

Rev 5:8 The Elders are presenting our prayers to the lamb, who is Jesus.

Verse 9 Because Jesus taking the scroll to open it represents a new era in God’s redemptive history – a new song.

  • The scroll contains the names of those who have trusted Jesus.
  • But what else is new about this era?
  • The Lamb’s death on the cross has never happened before, nor will it happen again.
    • Jesus’s death on the cross is what is new, and what is worthy of this worship, this new song.
  • But there is more that is new here. The imagery behind ransomed or purchased is that of slaves being freed.
    • Jesus paid the price to set all slaves free once and for all.
  • The Jews had to bring an animal sacrifice to the Temple for temporary forgiveness of their sin.
    • Jesus allowed His own blood to become that sacrifice one and for all.
  • Jesus’ redemptive work also applies to all people, and all nations.
    • In the past only the Jewish nation Israel was included in God’s redemptive work.
  • First it says every
  • This is reminiscent of the 12 tribes of Israel. But now includes people of every tribe throughout the world.
  • Then it says
    • There are approximately 6909 living languages in the world. (Not to mention dead languages)
      • Let’s say there are 6000 dead languages, there could be 12,000 languages in heaven.
    • Then it says people
    • The Greek word used here could also mean nation.
    • Then it ends with nation
      • This world could also mean race or peoples
    • The redundancies in the song are really driving home the point the Kingdom is for all people groups.

Verse 10 All of those people just mentioned are to be a kingdom.

  • A kingdom united under one king, …King Jesus.
    • There are not many kingdoms, there is one kingdom and one King!
  • And, that kingdom is the church on earth, now!! Not heaven!!!
  • Because it says that they have been made priests.
    • We won’t need persist in heaven. Jesus is our only Priest.
    • Priests are to minister before the Lord now, while we are on earth.

Our response:

  • We must evangelize and love every people group. Nationality, ethnicity.
  • We must learn and appreciate worshipping together.
  • We must learn to appreciate and gain from the richness diversity brings to the church.
  • To be on mission with God, we must fight for it.
  • This cannot be a ministry of simple tolerance.
  • The Kingdom of God and the church doesn’t look like me, they look like us.