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God’s Eternal Plan and Passion for all the Peoples He Created in the New Testament

In preparation for our Missions Sunday this Sunday I’ve spent some hours this week reviewing God’s heart for and pursuit of the Gentiles in both the Old and New Testaments. Below are some of the pertinent passages that speak to this. May we all increasingly have God’s heart for all peoples and His resolve to see a thriving church in their midst.

Matt. 24:14 Jesus to His disciples – “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.”

Matt. 28:19,20 Jesus to His disciples - “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Mark 16: 15 Jesus to His disciples - “And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”

Luke 24:46, 47 Jesus to His disciples - “And He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.”

John 1:29 John the Baptist re: Jesus to his disciples - “The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

John 3:16 John the apostle re: Jesus - “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

Acts 1:8 Jesus to His disciples - “but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

Romans 15:20, 21 Paul re: his own passion to reach the unreached - “And thus I aspired to preach the gospel, not where Christ was already named, so that I would not build on another man’s foundation; but as it is written, “THEY WHO HAD NO NEWS OF HIM SHALL SEE, AND THEY WHO HAVE NOT HEARD SHALL UNDERSTAND.”

Revelation 5:9,10 The apostle John’s prophetic declaration that Jesus died for all peoples - “And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.”

Revelation 7:9, 10 - A picture of heaven from the apostle John - “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”

· Sometimes believers stumble over Jesus’s statement to his disciples in the presence of the Syrophoenician woman in Matthew 15:24 where He said, “…I was set only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” It seems from this statement that He only cared for and possibly only came to die for the Israelites. But this is clearly not the case as seen in the scriptures above. It is also important to note that He went on and healed /delivered this Gentile lady’s daughter in response to her great faith (vs. 28).

Earlier in Matthew’s gospel we see Him healing the Roman Centurion’s servant and stating in front of everyone that his faith was greater than anyone in Israel (see Matthew 8:5-10). Matthew (8:28-34) and Mark’s (5:1-20) gospels describe the amazing deliverance of the Gadarene or Gerasene demoniacs, both of whom were Gentiles.

So clearly both from Jesus’s practice and from His commands to His disciples as seen above He always had a heart for the Gentiles and expected His church (and Israel) to be His instruments to bring salvation and wholeness to them.

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