We are living in an unusual period of rapid, radical change throughout the world, especially in the West. We dare not ignore what God is doing in the world around us.
Islamic people groups are surging out of their countries into Europe and other western nations–nations formerly shaped by the Gospel of Jesus, but now adrift in post-Christian decadence. In the US, peoples from around the world are streaming into our land. Whether their entry is through legal or illegal means is not the primary concern for the follower of Christ. This global seismic shift of people offers an unprecedented opportunity for God’s people to “Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples.” We must be careful and diligent to think like God’s redeemed people–ambassadors–who are joyfully responsible for making known the glories of the Lord Jesus, and calling all people to repentance and faith in Christ. As pilgrims who are passing through a passing nation, our first assignment is to our eternal King. Our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Our first and most passionate loyalties are to our Savior, alone. Any goal other than seeing his Kingdom come is idolatry.
In response to this seismic shift of people and cultures, at least two very different views can be taken:
1. A political view as a citizen of a passing nation who places preeminent value on maintaining cultural heritage and comforts, and,
2. A spiritual view as a pilgrim passing through a world that is not home, placing ultimate value in making Jesus known for the joy of all people.
God, who has “made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him,” has assigned us this time, and this watch. We are to abide in him and be responsive and obedient to him in a hostile, transient world. It has always been thus, and it is certainly no less now. There is a place for politicians and governments to establish and enforce order for the good and flourishing of humankind. God sovereignly sets up and brings down governments and rulers as it suits his purposes in accomplishing the flourishing of humankind. But political positions are rooted in a decaying world, making them intrinsically inferior to eternal spiritual values.
We must set our hearts to seek the Lord and feel what he feels for the nations.
We must pray for spiritual power and stamina to first serve our King.
We must place our minds under the authority of Scripture to be transformed by God’s wisdom, understanding the weight of glory and the surpassing joy of seeing Jesus worshipped by every tribe, language, people and nation.
We have routinely prayed that the nations may come to know Christ. We give money to send the Gospel via missionaries to difficult places in the world who need to know Christ. Now the difficult places are coming here. The unreached are arriving at places where they can be reached. The unengaged are coming to the lands of God’s people where we can engage them. Is this one way God has answered our prayer for the nations? His thoughts are not our thoughts, nor our ways his ways. We dare not ignore what God is doing.
2 Corinthians 5:20