After all, is God the God of the Jews only?
Isn’t He also the God of the Gentiles? Of course He is.
- Romans 3:29
It was Easter Sunday in 2009 and I was in Guaimaca, Honduras on a mission trip. That morning I was asked to help work the PowerPoint for the songs. As I sat in the back, changing the slides for the lyrics, I witnessed something remarkable. Here were over 400 orphaned children, several adults, and a team of about twenty from America, all worshiping God with the same song, just in two different languages.
As I listened, even though I only understood English, the thought crossed my mind that "God understands all of it, He understands both languages" and just how beautiful that must sound to Him. I couldn't then and still now can't speak Spanish, but there was something so powerful about visiting another country, unfamiliar to my own, sharing the Gospel, and hearing them praise Him in their own tongue.
In scripture, especially the Old Testament, we find a people group by the name of the Israelites, later also called the Jews. God chose the Israelites as His treasured possession, a special people (Deuteronomy 7:6, 14:2. 26:18). This does not mean that all of mankind is not important to God, but it was through this people group that came the lineage of Christ. We typically only find in the Old Testament that the Israelites were who worshiped God while all other people groups mentioned worshipped pagan gods, but when Christ came, His life, death, and resurrection shattered that.
For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing His riches on all who call on Him. - Romans 10:12 ESV
When we become believers, we are welcomed into the family of God. In fact, Romans 8:17 tells us that as believers we are heirs of God and coheirs with Christ. Ephesians 3:6 beautifully explains "And this is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good News share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children. Both are part of the same body, and both enjoy the promise of blessings because they belong to Christ Jesus."
God's desire is for all of mankind, not just Jews, not just men or women, not just adults or children, but for all of us to have a relationship with Him through the salvation provided to us by Christ's death and resurrection. Romans 8:15 and Galatians 4:5 provide the perfect word to describe this: adoption. I have several friends who have adopted, some from the US and some from other countries, and to see a family that is diverse is an amazing depiction of the Gospel. The Good News is for all people from all races and ethnicities, and when we come to accept Christ into our hearts, we are born again spiritually and have been adopted into this global family of believers (Galatians 3:28, 1 Corinthians 12:13).
I’ve heard people say, "Christianity has become Americanized. Christ has become the God of America, of the white man, and not of the nations." This saddens me because the truth that is so clearly stated in Scripture is that God is the God of all. God desires to have relationship with all of mankind. He purposefully made us so we can have relationship with Him. We are called in Mark 16:15 and Matthew 28:19 to bring the Good News of the Gospel to all peoples of all nations. The gift of salvation is for everyone because Christ died for everyone.
God does not love one race or ethnicity above another; He equally loves us all unconditionally. That is part of our call in the Great Commission: to love the world as God does and this is done in many ways, including by sharing His Truth with everyone. It is not up to us to decide if someone is worthy or not of salvation - because on our own, none of us are perfect. It’s by grace we are saved.
Our duty as heirs of God is to proclaim His Gospel, allowing His Spirit to work in people’s hearts, and in doing so, we are being obedient to Scripture. Colossians 3:11 says, "In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and He lives in all of us." Christ is all that matters, and the world - every single person that has ever breathed - matters to Him.
Whether we are obedient to the Great Commission or disobedient, it is prophesied in Revelation 7:9-10 that "a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, 'Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!'" Someday, there will be a multitude of mankind in Heaven, declaring praises to Him in every language, and I cannot imagine how beautiful that sound will be.
1. How can I share the Gospel with people of all nations, furthering the Great Commission right in my own neighborhood/school/job?
2. How am I showing Christlike love to those from other nations?
Abba Father, I praise You for being a God who loves us all unconditionally; that You, who looks at the heart, have purposefully made us with the intention of having a relationship with us. Help me to look beyond physical appearance, stereotypes, language barriers, and whatever else could deter me from sharing Your Good News with the world. Give me eyes to see the world as You do, to desire for them to know You personally. Give me the courage to be bold with Your Truth and to reach the world with it, starting with my own community.
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