Tuesday, November 10, 2009


A friend asked: "Does God still judge nations?" I thought, "That's a good question!" so here are some thoughts.

I do not believe God judges nations now in the same manner as before The Cross.
The Cross revealed The Great Commandment and released The Great Commission!
The Lord of the Harvest is raising up and sending forth sons and daughters to labour in the harvest field, to make disciples of all nations, not judge them.
Furthermore, He's not making just individual disciples, but discipling whole nations, transforming entire people groups (ethnos). The gospel calls whole nations to know Him as Saviour!
Unfortunately there is still a tendency for some 'believers' to hold on to Old Testament types while not realizing New Testament fulfillment in Christ. Some continue viewing the kingdom of God through political, nationalistic glasses, whereas God has given us new gospel-glasses, or...SONglasses!!! to view things as He sees them through Christ!
'For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.' (2Cor 1:20)
The old natural mindset diminishes the full work of His Cross and obscures the present authority of His Throne in ruling and reigning NOW! But SONglasses magnify Christ and His Work! Put them on and you will see Jesus revealed everywhere... in the Scriptures: Old and New, in your circumstances, in your friends, even in your enemies! With His perspective on life, your enemies can even become your friends!
Look at Matt 25:31-46 where the Son of Man separates the nations one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats: sheep on the right + goats on the left. I have heard some preach this means there are 'goat nations' + 'sheep nations'
ie. unbelieving/evil/damned/condemned-to-hell people groups vs. so-called 'Christian nations'. However, I believe the divisions are really within the nations themselves, ie. individual sheep + goats from every nation are separated either to or from Christ. This does not refer to the entire population of a natural nation: ie. Canada is a 'sheep-Christian nation' so its citizens are saved/blessed, while Russia is a doomed 'goat nation'. In other words, some are not idolized while others are demonized! Such vision is far from the truth! It smacks of the remnants of Medieval 'Christendom' thinking. Such interpretations are gross misinterpretations and misrepresentations of God's heart, nothing more than continuations of a 'nationalistic, legalistic Old Covenant' stereotype/mindset that misses the 'kingdom New Covenant' heart of what Christ's work on the Cross accomplished.
Isa 2:2 prophesied 'all nations shall flow to the mountain of the Lord's house'
and Rev 21:24 shows its fulfillment in 'the nations (of those whose who are saved --some translations omit this phrase?) shall walk in its light'....
v26 'they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.'

Typically, natural Israel was called to showcase God's kingdom to the Gentiles and all the world.
Ex 19:5-6 describes how God brought them out of Egypt to be
'a special treasure to Me above all people
And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.'
But that 'nation' never fulfilled its call, never realized its true identity or destiny. The Court of the Gentiles in the 2nd Temple had become a money-changers' den of thieves when Jesus turned its tables upside/down-right side up. He made this abundantly clear when He admonished the Pharisees, the Jewish religious national leaders: 'the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it.' (Matt 21:43)
They had been chosen to bring forth God's glory, His Messiah, into the earth, but they rejected what they'd been chosen for.
'He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the power to become children of God,
to those who believe in His name:
who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man,
but of God.' (John 1:11-13)
This is no so-called Replacement Theology. There has only ever been 1 true spiritual nation: 'the Israel of God'. (Gal 6:16)
Seed of Abraham was both natural and spiritual: sand and stars. (Gen 22:17)and The Seed is Christ. (Gal 3:16) Jacob (supplanter/manipulator) only became Israel (prince who prevailed with God) when he surrendered to God and was virtually 'born again' at Penuel. (Gen 33:22-32) His walk changed forever. The true people of God have never been merely a natural race, ie. Israel after the flesh (1Cor 10:18), but those who, like David, have looked to the Messiah and His Salvation! (Ps 118:22-24) Jesus exposed legalistic Pharisees and their ilk as 'of your father the devil' (Jn 8:44), not Father Abraham nor Father God.
Peter reveals God's purpose fulfilled even more clearly when he writes of the church, the Bride of Christ:
'But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special
people that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into
His marvelous light;
who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained
mercy, but now have obtained mercy.' (1Pet 2:9-10)
Rev 1:6 & 5:10 proclaim: Jesus 'has made us (= the Church) a kingdom of priests to God.'
The original calling of Ex 19:5-6 is clearly fulfilled today in the Church, the body + temple of the risen Christ!
True Israel has ever only been a spiritual people who worship and look for their Messiah in spirit and truth, not according to their own self-centred righteousness by keeping God's laws.
Romans clarifies this even more:
'He is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in
the flesh;
but he is a Jew who is one inwardly: and circumcision is that of the heart, in the
Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.' (Rom 2:28-29)
'They are not all Israel who are of Israel....but the children of the promise are
counted as the seed.' (Rom 9:6-8)
The law was never given to make a nation, let alone make it 'righteous', for no individual or nation has ever been able to keep it. But the law was given to convict of sin (individual and national), convince us of our need for salvation and bring us to The Messiah, Jesus! (Gal 3:19-24)
Now that Christ has paid the full price for our redemption, we must not go back to that former old mindset in any form. He has made it obsolete and in Christ, it has vanished away. Hebrews exhorts us,
'You have not come to ...Sinai, but to Mount Zion ...the city of the living God,
heavenly Jerusalem, to the Judge of all.... to Jesus the Mediator of the new
covenant.' (Heb 12:18-24)

God has moved on from judging natural nations to His kingdom, manifesting His glory through His spiritual nation, His own special people bought by the Blood of Jesus. Our citizenship is now in heaven (Phil 3:20) and as His ambassadors, we represent a kingdom which is neither mixed nor tainted with the religious politics of that old former worldview. His is a kingdom that cannot be moved or shaken and will ultimately fill the earth 'as it is in heaven'.
Nationhood is no longer defined by race, but by grace.
God has moved on.... in Christ... let's move with Him!