The Missiological Imperative In Revelation

arm-wrestleReaching the nations with the salvific gospel of Jesus Christ is at the heart of Scripture. Our Messiah came to earth not simply to save the lost, but to crush the enemy and march his disciples toward a glorious homecoming and resounding triumph.

It is clear how the story ends. God reigns forever and ever in the new heaven and new earth. Revelation pulls back the curtain and allows all to see the spiritual battle ragging all around us. As the warfare continues, people from every nation must participate before the glorious conclusion takes place. The great deceiver of nations will ultimately be bound. But, first the church must reach and convert people from all nations until the earth is filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord (Hab. 2:14).

The word “nations” appears 23 times in the 22 chapters of the Book of Revelation, more than any other book in the New Testament. Revelation also has much to say about people, languages and tribes. By God’s great design he has called his disciples to go into all the nations (Acts 1:8) and make disciples and teach his way (Mat. 28:18-20). There is still much work to be done.

Heart For All Nations
Revelation makes clear God’s passion for all the nations and the lengths to which he will go to ensure people from all tongues and cultures will worship him. Christ has authority over the nations (2:26, 13:7) and died for all the nations (5:9). Revelation informs us Christ will rule over the nations (12:5, 19:15) and he is the king of all the nations (15:3). God has a great plan to protect all the nations (20:3).

Our Father is an equal opportunity lover of sinners. He does not favor any one tongue or geography, but loves his elect who come from all races, cultures and tribes. Our Creator desires to be worshiped and will succeed in having himself glorified in prayer and song from around the globe.

we-winWe Win
The beautiful thing about reading Revelation is we know how the story ends. God’s disciples are victorious. Scripture leaves no doubt. People from every nation will be present at the end (7:9). The gospel will be proclaimed to all the nations (14:6) and all nations will worship (15:4) our Father. All cultures have sinned and are in need of Christ (18:3). Satan, the deceiver of the nations (20:8), has succeeded in turning man toward the things of the world. But, soon, the trappings of the world will no longer deceive all nations (18:23). The nations will be guided (21:24), and the nations will be healed (22:2).

All the cultures of the world will believe, but they must first hear and in order to hear someone must be sent to preach (Rom. 10:14-15). The victory march to our real home must first begin with missionaries marching away from their earthly homes. Indeed, our side wins in the end. But, the same book which informs us of our victory also tells us that victory is not secured until every nation is reached and representatives from every nation are worshiping Christ. As we move closer to the conclusion of the Book of Revelation, what we know for certain is our churches still have much work to do.

Not Over
fat-lady-singingGod’s Great Commission is not over. There are still many nations to be reached. Christian missionaries have not been sent into the world to serve as an occupying force, but a divinely commissioned army (Joel 2:11) sent to liberate those imprisoned by Satan. Until all God’s elect have been freed, the church’s Special Forces must continue to be trained, dispatched and their ranks replenished.

Today, over 6,000 of the world’s 16,000 known people groups are still considered unreached. Over 40% of the seven billion people living today are unreached. The Bible has only been translated into 550 languages, yet there are over 4,500 known language which have more than 1,000 speakers. An estimated three billion people have never heard the gospel of Christ. And, over 80% of non-Christians in the world say they do not personally know a Christian.

If Revelation is so very clear the victory will come only when all nations are worshiping our Lord, and there are still so many people who do not even know his name, the Bride of Christ must act with greater urgency. Jesus does not need his disciples to reach the unreached, but in his great wisdom and for his great glory he has chosen to use our sinful vessels as a means to take his name to every tribe and every tongue.

The Book of Revelation is about a ragging battle and a resounding victory. God’s triumph and our joy are inevitable. Revelation reminds the corporate body of Christ we still have much work ahead of us. Christ has called his churches to reach out to the nations and has promised us this broken world will continue until we have brought him greater glory by reaching the nations with his perfect word.

One thought on “The Missiological Imperative In Revelation”

  1. Thank you Mike and Erin for all you do. I am so glad the Triune God placed you both in my life for such a time as this.

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