The Gospel of the Kingdom announced by Jesus is a message of hope and joy for men and women of every nation.
After his resurrection, Jesus declared that “all authority in heaven and on earth is given to me, therefore, go and make disciples of all nations.” As the Lord over all things, he dispatched his disciples to proclaim his sovereignty and salvation to men and women in every nation, whether Jew or Gentile, rich or poor, male or female.
By his self-sacrificial death, he established a “priestly kingdom” of men and women called out of every nation. It is for this very reason that in the book of Revelation the entire creation declares him “worthy” to receive all power, honor, and glory. And in the death and resurrection of His Son, the God who created all things has “spoken” His definitive and complete “word”:
- “In many parts and in many ways of old, God spoke to the fathers in the prophets, at the end of these days, He has spoken to us in his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the ages, who being an eradiated brightness of his glory and an exact representation of his very being, also bearing up all things by the utterance of his power, purification of sins having achieved, sat down on the right hand of the majesty in high places.” – (Hebrews 1:1-3).
According to the Apostle Paul, the righteousness of God is available to all men “through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe, for there is no distinction.” Sin was the Great Leveler that condemned every man to bondage, despair, decay, and death. In the end, one’s ethnicity, gender, social or economic status makes no difference, for we all die.
But now, through Jesus, anyone may receive right-standing before God, and on the same basis, whether Jew or Gentile, male or female, poor or rich; that is, by faith in Jesus Christ – “A righteousness of God through the faith of Jesus Christ for all that have faith, for there is no distinction… Or is God the God of Jews only, and not of the nations also? Yea! of the nations also, if at all events God is one, who will declare righteous the circumcision by faith, and the uncircumcision through their faith” – (Romans 3:22-30).
Paul employed his radical monotheism to make the point. The one God of Israel is the God of both Jews and Gentiles. No one is advantaged or disadvantaged before Him because of biological descent, national origin, culture, economic or social status. And if the God who created all things is truly one, then He is as much the God of the Gentiles as He is of the Jews – (Colossians 3:11).
“In Jesus,” God is creating a new humanity with members drawn from every social and ethnic group. Regardless of national origin, each person who places his or her faith in Christ begins to come into conformity to his image. Any distinction based on race, gender, culture, or economic status is wholly inappropriate in this covenant community.
No nation, society, or culture can claim Jesus as its possession. The announcement of the salvation of God and the enthronement of Jesus as Lord over ALL THINGS is a message of hope and life for all humanity, indeed, for the entire creation.
Unfortunately, the institutional church has a long history of linking Jesus and his gospel to specific nations, cultures, ideologies, and even economic theories, which are attempts to hijack and domesticate Jesus to advance the political and economic agendas of sinful men. But such efforts and ideas are incompatible with the universal Kingdom of God over which Christ NOW reigns supreme.
The gospel preached by Jesus transcends all national, social, and economic boundaries, and any attempt to limit it by such distinctions violates the very heart of his message. And he tasked his disciples with proclaiming this Good News throughout the habitable earth, and free of charge.
Moreover, this task must be completed before this fallen age will be concluded, indeed, before Jesus will return in glory for all to behold. The day is coming when the destructive works of sin and Satan will vanish from the earth, and death will be no more. Creation itself will be liberated when Jesus appears in glory, at which time he will raise the dead and transform those believers still alive, and thus populate the Kingdom of God in the “New Heaven and the New Earth.”
This Good News of the Kingdom of God is for every man, woman, and child on the planet. In the truest sense of the term, this is a universal faith. All men have sinned, and therefore, everyone needs the salvation that is now available through Jesus. No one deserves it, but God has graciously made it available to all, and on the same basis – by Faith in Jesus Christ.