AN ENDLESSLY EXALTED NATION
“Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a disgrace to any people” (Proverbs 14:34).
We are all born citizens of nations. Citizenship is a contract. We are called by our nation’s name and given benefits and protections under its laws if we offer our aid to defend its interests with our finances, our labor, and our lives. Are nations part of God’s plan?
Paul told the Greeks that God “made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation” (Acts 17:26). But why? So that “they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him” (Acts 17:27a). In His plan for nations, God chose the seed of Abraham—the nation of Israel—to be set apart and consecrated as a witness and light of God’s Holy character to the other nations.
The nations were part of God’s plan to draw people to seek Him. But now He has anointed His Son, and those times have passed: “God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31).
So, God has declared equally to all people everywhere of every nation that they must repent and believe in Jesus regardless of who they are, where they come from, or where they have pledged allegiance, so that “in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him” (Acts 10:35). What does this mean? God is making a new nation from people taken out of every nation on earth— “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession” (1 Pt. 2:9), “who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of a man, but of God” (Jn. 1:13).
This Holy nation of Jesus Christ will rule all nations under His righteous global government for all eternity. God’s Holy nation will be elevated far above all others—a grace (favor) to all people. We who are welcome to Him know we belong to His nation even before it is established here on earth at a future date, for “our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Ph. 3:20). Only Christ’s nation will be righteous because only it will be SINLESS.
The entire human race inherited sin equally from the Fall, and from that sin, all are equally disgraced (out of favor) with God, no matter our political party, ethnicity, language, or tradition, unless we receive “the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 2:1) and citizenship in His Kingdom.
How do the nations react to this promised future nation that will rule them? Jesus told a parable that “His citizens [in this case, the nations of His inheritance] hated Him and sent a delegation after Him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us’” (Lk. 19:14), and that this would occur after He would leave earth until the time appointed for His return when He will rule earth with a rod of iron.
So, “the kings of the earth took their stand, And the rulers were gathered together Against the Lord and against His Christ” (Acts 4:26). Have they not stood against Christ for 2,000 years? The nations of the world reject the promise of Christ’s elevated, righteous, and graceful nation, attempting instead to try elevating themselves from their disgraced state now. But no investment of knowledge, power, or wealth can float a people weighed down by the disgrace of sin. Only righteousness exalts a nation, and only a nation ruled by Jesus Christ is truly righteous.
The nations scheme against the King of kings (Ps. 2). But they cannot change the fact that He is “the ruler of the kings of the earth” (Rev. 1:5b), and “He shall rule them with a rod of iron” (Rev. 2:27a), when “He has abolished all rule and all authority and power” (1 Cor. 15:24b). AMEN.