To All the Nations
Bill Kittrell delivered the following remarks on Sunday, August 20th during our Sunday morning service.
God is at work today perfecting a family of worshipers to fill the coming new earth. He is drawing more and more people to Himself to form a worshipping family from across all centuries and cultures that is called the church, the “bride of Christ”. The preparation of a bride for the Son of God was God’s plan from the beginning of creation which is why there is a connection made in the New Testament between Christ’s relation to the church and the marriage of Adam and Eve. Christ’s saving work on the cross was designed to create a beautiful bride (Eph. 5:26).
Christ is at work transforming his people by his Spirit through his word for this reason. When God designed marriage for Adam and Eve as a covenant with each other, he was modeling marriage on this divine marriage he had in mind for Christ.
In the Old Testament we learn he began by choosing a single ethnic group to make the focus of his saving work: the nation of Israel, the Jewish people. But this focus on Israel was designed to eventually include all the nations of the world which is clear in this promise to Abraham (Gen. 12:3).
Overall, though there was always a remnant in Israel who were faithful to God, the Jews were not obedient to God. God has now turned His attention and special focus of His saving work away from Israel and on the creation of a family from all the nations (Gal. 3:26-29).
We live in the period of history that God designed for the ingathering of his ransomed people from all the peoples of the world. The Great Commission we live under says this:“And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has beengiven to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age’’’ (Matt. 28:18-20).
This defines our time. All authority. All nations. No nation and no race is supreme. All things he commanded to every tribe and tongue. With His authority we preach to all nations and seek an ingathering and transformation of a people for His glory. Jesus bought his bride by his own blood and he is gathering her from all peoples. This is what he was talking about when he said “I will build my church” (Matt. 16). This is what he was talking about in John: “And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd” (John 10:16).
This redeemed people from all the nations of the world is the bride of the Lamb, Jesus Christ.
Let us rejoice and exult
and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and his Bride has made herself ready;
it was granted her to clothe herself
with fine linen, bright and pure”—
for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.