"Now to him who is able to establish you in accordance with my gospel, the message I proclaim about Jesus Christ, in keeping with the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all the Gentiles might come to the obedience that comes from faith— to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen." Romans 16:25-27
In these final words of Paul in his letter to the Roman church he summarizes his message in an exultation of praise to God that the mystery of Christ has been made known to the nations and that this mystery foretold in the Old Testament prophetic writings results in their faith and obedience and “… glory to the only wise God.” It is evident throughout the Scriptures that God desires worship and praise from all nations and desires to lavish his mercy upon peoples from every corner of the earth. The nations are mentioned hundreds of times and in over 40 books of both the Old and New Testaments. God chooses Abram to found Israel and tells him “…I will make you a great nation and I will bless you and make your name great so that you will be a blessing…and all the peoples of the earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:2-3).
Through the Psalms and the Prophets we see God’s desire to have mercy on the nations and bring them into his family. “Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples” (Psalm 96:2-3). “All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; they will bring glory to your name” (Psalm 86:9). “I will perpetuate your memory through all generations; therefore the nations will praise you for ever and ever” (Psalm 45:17). Through Isaiah, God proclaims, “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light to the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 49:6); “…I am coming to gather all nations and tongues; and they will come and see my glory” (Isaiah 66:18).
In the New Testament we see the revelation of the mystery and Jesus as the light proclaimed in Isaiah. Jesus quotes Isaiah when clearing the temple, “My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations” (Isaiah 56:7, Mark 11:17). Jesus also, in his final instructions to his disciples, tells them to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19), to “preach the good news to all creation” (Mark 16:15), to be witnesses of his death and resurrection that “…repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations…” (Luke 24:47), and that “…you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Finally, John tells us what he saw in his vision of the culmination of all things “…a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people, and language standing before the throne…and they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Revelation 7:9-10).
Let us pray that God continues to lavish his mercy on the nations and reveal the mystery of the gospel of his son Jesus Christ through his church!
Lord, we ask that you guide and move Mercy Hill church to bring the gospel of your Son, Jesus Christ, to the nations of this world for your ultimate glory!