God selected a chosen man, to birth a chosen people, who be ruled by a chosen Messiah.
The Gospel was preached to Abraham, who was to build a holy nation, who would be temporally and eternally blessed by submitting to the gracious rule of the Son of God.
However, this “Israelite Emphasis” was never the end of God’s divine plan. From the beginning, God intended Father Abraham, the Jewish people, and the Israelite Christ to work together to build one multi-colored, multi-national, non-denominational, church.
Such a lofty goal was communicated to and through Abraham.
Genesis 12:2-3 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Genesis 18:17-18 The LORD said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?
Such a lofty goal was communicated to and through Isaiah.
Isaiah 19:19-25 In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the LORD at its border. It will be a sign and a witness to the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt. When they cry to the LORD because of oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and deliver them. And the LORD will make himself known to the Egyptians, and the Egyptians will know the LORD in that day and worship with sacrifice and offering, and they will make vows to the LORD and perform them. And the LORD will strike Egypt, striking and healing, and they will return to the LORD, and he will listen to their pleas for mercy and heal them. In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and Assyria will come into Egypt, and Egypt into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians. In that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the LORD of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance.”
One needs to understand how offensive such a sermon was in Isaiah’s day. Egypt was the great oppressor of God’s church in the past. Assyria was the great oppressor of God’s church in the present. Yet, despite their past and present idolatry and wickedness, the prophet Isaiah foresaw a day when Egypt, Assyria and Israel would worship arm-in-arm.
Oh, Orthodox Jews would have despised such non-denominational rhetoric. Pure-blooded Hebrews would have questioned Isaiah’s commitment to holiness and separation. Zionists would have declared the preacher a “Replacement Theologian.” And conspiracy theorists would have concluded that Isaiah was part of the “New World Order.” However, God was pleased with Isaiah’s boldness in expressing his missional intent.
Friends, the Kingdom of God on earth and in heaven is neither Jewish, Greek, or American. There is one body, one temple, one people, one flock, and one bride. A person is either “in” or “out”; individuals are either “with Jesus” or “against Jesus.” The elect are comprised of every tribe, nation, denomination, and language. Gender, ethnicity, skin color, class, caste, and national boundaries have no meaning in the realm of Christ Jesus. Such is the goal of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Such is the commission which has been given to Christ’s church.
Therefore, let us be ambitious in bringing Christ to the nations. And let us be ambitious in ministering to the nations that Christ is bringing to us. May we not be like Jonah who loved his own people while hating the surrounding nations. May we enjoy our ethnic heritage and denominational preferences, while at the same time realizing it is only a matter of time until Christ takes away all such categories.