Message and Mission
The Gospel proclaimed by Jesus is NOT about reforming society or fixing governments. His message summons all men and women to repent and join an entirely new social order and political reality, namely, the Kingdom of God, and his message contradicts the political ideologies of the present “evil age.” Responding positively to his invitation is vital considering the approaching end of the existing world order and its disappearance from the Earth.
Jesus of Nazareth dispatched his disciples to proclaim his teachings and lordship to all nations. After his resurrection, he declared, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me, therefore, go and make disciples of all nations.” This is a life-changing message for all men without exception.
|[Prayer Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash]
Just before his ascension, he commanded his followers to wait in Jerusalem until they “received power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.” Thereafter, they would be “his witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and TO THE UTTERMOST PART OF THE EARTH” - (Acts 1:7-9).
This last clause is from the Second Psalm and its vision of the Anointed Son of God governing the Earth. This Messianic reign began following the Death, Resurrection, and Ascension of Jesus:
- “I will tell of the decree: Yahweh said to me: You are my son. This day, have I begotten you. Ask of me, and I will give you the nations for your inheritance, and the UTTERMOST PARTS OF THE EARTH for your possession” – (Psalm 2:7-8 – Emphasis added).
As the Messiah and heir of Abraham, Jesus inherited the Earth, including all its nations, therefore, he now sends his heralds to announce salvation and his lordship to the furthest regions of the planet, wherever men are found. Every nation, people, tribe, and linguistic group must hear his message.
The Apostle Paul wrote a lengthy letter to the assemblies of Rome in which he called himself the “Apostle to the Gentiles.” The former persecutor of the “way” had become the chief envoy to the Gentiles of the Kingdom of God - (Romans 1:14-17).
He wrote that the “righteousness of God” is received through faith in Jesus by all who believe, both Jews and Gentiles, for, with God, “there is no distinction” or “respect of person.” It is not ethnicity or social position that acquits anyone before Him.
Every man stands or falls before God on the same basis. Sin is the Great Leveler that places everyone in the same awful predicament - both Jews and Gentiles alike.
Because “God is one” and the Creator of all humanity, He offers salvation to every man, woman, and child regardless of his or her ethnicity, nationality, or social status, and on the same basis – to both Jews and Gentiles alike.
FROM THE FAITH OF JESUS
Because of Christ’s redemptive act, everyone who responds to the Gospel with faith is put in right standing with God and acquitted of the well-deserved penalties of sin, and on the same basis for all, namely, FROM THE FAITH OF JESUS. There is no basis for boasting or self-confidence “since all have sinned and lack the glory of God.” For that matter, Jesus died for all men when we were “yet enemies of God” - (Romans 3:22-30).
Paul appeals to his monotheistic faith to support the proposition that everyone stands or falls before God on the same basis: “Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since God is one and will justify the circumcised from faith and the uncircumcised through faith.”
No man is advantaged or disadvantaged before Him because of nationality, economic status, or gender. As Paul wrote to the Colossians, “There cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bondman, freeman, but Christ is all and in all.” – (Colossians 3:9-11).
Through Jesus, God is creating a new humanity and a different political reality that are radically different from the nations and governments of this fallen world, a covenant community, singular, composed of men and women of every country who have been redeemed by the blood of His Son, the one who “gave his life as a ransom for many.”
In his domain, every human relationship is redefined and reoriented by and around its absolute Lord.
The “God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” is shaping redeemed men and women collectively and individually into the image of His Son, and therefore, the traditional distinctions of race, and social or economic status are wholly inappropriate in his covenant community. What each believer regardless of national origin has in common is the “faith of Jesus.”
The announcement of this salvation is one message, and it is intended for all men. The Good News announced by the Nazarene transcends man-made divisions, be they social, racial, economic, national, or political - (Galatians 3:28).
The assigned task of his Assembly is to proclaim this message in every inhabited corner of the Earth, and its completion is necessary before the return of Jesus “on the clouds of heaven.” National borders, cultural imperatives, and ethnic barriers will not prevent the “Kingdom of God” from reaching its consummation - (Matthew 24:14).
|[Photo by Joseph Sintum on Unsplash]
The day is coming when the destructive works of the Devil will vanish from the Earth, and sin, disease, and death will be eliminated forevermore. This grand victory will coincide with the “arrival” of Jesus in power when he will resurrect the righteous dead, vanquish “Death” itself, reward his faithful followers, judge the wicked, and usher in the reign of God in all its grandeur - (1 Corinthians 15:20-28, 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10).
In the interim, his people are called to proclaim his Good News “to the uttermost parts of the Earth.” Everyone who hears and responds to it with faith will receive the forgiveness of sin and salvation, and everlasting life in the “age to come.”
- As many as He Calls - (The Gift of the Spirit is for every man who repents, even to those afar off, and in fulfillment of the promise of the Father - Acts 2:37-41)
- The Final Harvest - (The outpouring of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost fulfilled what the feast symbolized and marked the start of the Final Harvest)
- We are Witnesses - (The Gift of the Spirit equips the Assembly to bear witness of Jesus, especially concerning his Resurrection from the dead)