God's Heart For The Nations
Pastor John began by sharing that God created us out of love. He did not make us to suffer pain, misery, illnesses or death. Most of all, He does not want us to be separated from Him. All these grieved Him. 2 Peter 3:9 tells us that the Lord does not want anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. As the consequence of sin is death, God offered His Son to die on the cross in our place. In John 11:51, the high priest Caiaphas unknowingly prophesied that Jesus was to die on the cross for everyone. Death therefore has no dominion over us when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
There are more than 2, 000 verses in the Bible indicating that the plan of Salvation was meant for ALL nations. Genesis 12:3 very clearly referred that God’s plan of Salvation is for ALL nations. God told Abraham that “all peoples on earth will be blessed through you (Abraham).” The word NATION here is depicted as “tribes, tongues, families, ethnic groups and all kinds of people”.
Acts 17:26 indicated that “From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.” In other words, you are placed in a certain country, at an appointed time and around certain group of people to bring them to the saving knowledge of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Genesis 12:1-3 talks about Abraham being blessed to bring blessings to the nations. Sequentially, Genesis 26:4 also talks about Isaac being blessed as well to be a blessing to all nations. In Genesis 28:14, the blessings also fell upon Jacob and he too was prophesied to be a blessing to all nations. As we come under the saving grace of Jesus, we too are blessed so that you and I might become blessing to everybody around us. All our blessings are bestowed upon us as a testimony for the sole purpose of bringing everybody to the saving grace of our Lord and Savior.
Pastor John Koe shared about giving up his career and moving his family to China as a missionary. Life was dangerous and tough. Many well-meaning Christians sympathized with him and some even discouraged him. However, through this experience, their spiritual perspective changed. They saw how God performed miracles. They saw how God provided for them. They began to understand God’s love for themselves and the people they reached out to. Ps John shared that even though their life was hard and sometimes dangerous, God had never let them down but He protected and provided for them. If God calls you, you can be assured that His Grace is always sufficient for you. He shared that ALL of us, in the end, will have to stand before God to give an account of what we have or have not done to bring others to Salvation. All blessings, may it be wealth or health, are given to us for a purpose: that we will draw people to Christ so that His name may be glorified.
Pastor John shared Revelation 7:9 :”After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.” This is the goal of God: that in the end, ALL people of different tongues and tribes will be given a chance to come to the Gospel and He wants us to be instruments of His redemptive plan.
1) Share any insight you have on evangelism lately or any interesting point that caught your attention as you listen to Ps John Koe’s sermon on Sunday. [10 min]
2) Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were all richly blessed by God. Why did God choose to bless them and along with these blessings, what were the responsibilities bestowed upon them? [10 min]
3a) What are the things that hold you back from sharing the Gospel with your office colleagues, close friends or relatives? Read Acts 1:8 and discuss what Jesus meant when He called us to be his “WITNESS”.
3b) Read Luke 14:28 to 33. How do these examples of building a tower or leading an army into battle relate to our resistance to witness for God? How would you respond differently? [10 min]