BlogsThoughts and insights from Jubilee Church Wirral
God’s heart for the Nations
By Jeremy Simpkins, leader, ChristCentral churches
It was such a joy for Ann and me to be with you all last week.
One of the things we so appreciated about Jubilee Church was the number of nations that are represented amongst you! This got me thinking about God’s heart for the nations…
It’s always been God’s plan to fill the whole earth with His glory – to reach into every nation. It all started with God commanding Adam and Eve to “be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth” (Genesis 1:28). Unfortunately following their rebellion the earth was not filled with glory but by an escalating crescendo of sin, jealousy, hatred and even murder. This culminated in Genesis 11 when the united rebellion against God at the tower of Babel resulted in God’s judgement multiplying languages and scattering them even further.
However, in the very next chapter, God re–announces His plan to once again bless every nation – saying to Abraham: “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing… all peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12: 2-3). But once again this is met with failure as the nation of Israel consistently falls into idolatry and runs after other gods!
So God sends his own son Jesus to fulfil His own promise! This week we remember His atoning death – He paid the price for our sins reconciling us to God. So Jesus in His resurrected glory commissions His followers to go into all the world to “make disciples of all nations” (Matt 28:19) “to preach His is name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem… I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”(Luke 24:46-7)
You see, Jesus never imagined the Church fulfilling His mission without the power of His Spirit. The Spirit was for them a propulsion for mission to the nations!
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:9)
The filling of the Holy Spirit turned a bunch of frightened disciples into bold courageous missionaries who eventually “turned the world upside down” – or should we say the right way up!!
So Jesus is fulfilling all the promises made to Abraham, as Paul writes to the Galatians: “The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed… meaning one person, who is Christ.” (Gal 3:16) – but He is fulfilling these promises through His body – His Church – that’s us! As Paul goes onto say we are the inheritors of all these promises “If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Gal 3:29)
So this is still being fulfilled – through churches just like Jubilee as you play your part in reaching the nations – whether it’s “the ends of the earth” or the ends of your street – the nations are being reached!!
What an amazing multi-coloured body Jesus is building – such beauty, diversity, majesty and grace! So together with the global body of Christ you are helping to fulfil the prophetic vision seen by John in Revelation with all nations encircling the throne and singing (like we did so beautifully together on Sunday) “Worthy is the Lamb”.
“I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb… And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb” (Rev 7:9-10)
Jeremy Simpkins, leader, ChristCentral churches, with his wife Ann
In the month of remembrance, Chris on remembering what Jesus sacrificed for us and how we need to act on it.
Helen on the importance of Friends and what God has to say about them in the Bible.
Andrew on evangelism, how we are all evangelists whether we like it or not, and how to evangelise easily.
Dawne on the parable of the lost sheep and the lessons we can take from it as followers of Jesus and members of His flock.
Yvonne on loss and how God has helped her deal with the loss of her mum and the impending departure of her eldest son to his first job
Nicki on serving at Newday and the impact it has had on all three Frodsham children and many, many others
Simon on the frustrations of not being able to get to sleep properly, and the Bible verses that help him stand firm against sleeplessness.
Gerry on how easy it is to be drawn into gossip. “If you can’t say anything positive, don’t say anything at all” isn’t just good advice, it’s Biblical wisdom.
Sylvia on being an encourager: “God knows our troubles. When we open up to Him, He’ll use other people to encourage us through His word.”
Lynne on doing what God wants us to do even when we really don’t want to do it – and why it’s important
Chris on the power of our words and how having a relationship with Jesus can give us the power of the right word at the right time.
Helen on why Psalms have taken the place of Proverbs as her favourite book of the Bible
Andrew Greenhalgh on being much better at giving advice than at taking it – and what happens as a result.
Chantal Robertson on how God and the gospel of Christ has never changed over time – even though the way we package it has.
Nicki on how she was planning to work in the marketing and advertising industry until God led her in a different direction.
Dawne challenges us to look at life with the enthusiasm, joy and exuberance of her Macedonian dog Floki and find joy in the everyday.
Jen on how taking the Alpha Course because she had nothing better to do on a Tuesday afternoon led to a life-changing wheelchair for her daughter Daisy and many others.
Gerry on how her ideas of what love truly is have changed over the years, and how love can be so much more than a feeling.
Matt Wilson on how God is weaving a tapestry – and knows what that looks like. He can see the big picture. Our part is to trust him with the threads he has given us.
Denise Griffiths on resolutions and why she has resolved not to make the usual New Year’s resolutions such as giving up chocolate, eating healthier or doing more exercise!
Vernon on the transience of life, and how, through all suffering, God’s steadfast love has the capacity to satisfy us every morning.
Andrew Greenhalgh on how he ended up going to church on Christmas morning for the first time at the age of 11 – and what it has taught him.
Helen on how preparations for Christmas vary from family to family and country to country. And what happened to Helen’s Lindt advent chocolates?