Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures and said to them, “Thus it is written that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.”
Let that soak again. Just think about it. This is Jesus after he’s risen from the grave, speaking to these disciples, and he says to them, “Thus it’s written that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead.” He’s telling them the essence of the gospel, the good news of God’s grace in Christ. Jesus has died on the cross, risen from the dead, so that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed.
Lord, we ask for grace to see the centrality of the nations in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Use our lives for the spread of the gospel to the ends of the earth.
So that’s, again, the gospel that we’ve seen it ever since the beginning of each of the gospels, repent and believe the gospel, repent and trust in Jesus. Repentance for the forgiveness of sins, this is exactly what Peter will preach in Acts 2, repent and be baptized every single one of you in the name of Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. That’s exactly what Peter is gonna preach. So repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
So here’s the essence of the gospel. Jesus has died on the cross, risen from the dead. Now repentance and forgiveness of sins must be preached, proclaimed in his name to all nations. So hear the global emphasis in the gospel from the very beginning. This was never intended to be good news for certain people. This was always designed by God to be good news for all people in all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
But this is what we’ll read in Acts chapter 1, which is the next chapter, in a sense that Luke writes, Jesus telling his disciples, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. You will be my witnesses. You will proclaim this good news for Jerusalem, and to all Judea and Samaria, to the ends of the earth in all nations.”
So, the very essence of the gospel contains a global emphasis, all the nations. This is why we pray then all the time on this podcast and why we must pray regardless of this podcast, continually in our lives. All who have the gospel, we pray, we plead for the spread of the gospel to all the nations and we give our lives and our families and our churches proclaiming the gospel to all the nations. Why? Because this is the essence of the gospel. Jesus has died for the forgiveness of sins among all the nations.
So God, we pray that you would help us to see the centrality of the nations in the gospel, your global purpose in the gospel, that very essence of the gospel, that Jesus, you didn’t just die for us. Yes, you died for me. You died for the people who are listening to this, who have trusted in you. We praise you for your death for us, but we confess together, based on your Word, we realize you didn’t just die for us. You died so that repentance and forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in all the nations. And God, we pray that you would forgive us as your church for 2,000 years after you said that for living in a world where two to three billion people have never heard this good news.
And so many of us, oh God, in our lives, in our families, in our churches are doing so little to change that, to make sure that repentance for the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed in your name, in the name of Jesus, to all the nations. So, God, we pray in a fresh way right now use our lives, our families, our churches toward this end. God, please send us however you desire for the spread of the gospel to all the nations.
God, we pray today for the Mussali in Pakistan, for all 2.42 million of them, no followers of Jesus among the Mussali people. God, we pray that repentance and forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed among the Mussali of Pakistan, and we pray that you would send out laborers to the Mussali of Pakistan. Send some of us, God, we pray that you would send all of us however you desire, wherever you desire in the world.
Help us to pray, help us to give, help us to go as you lead right around us, wherever you lead us so that all the nations might know this gospel. Lord, please deliver us from a mentality that thinks you just died for us. Give us a mentality and a heartbeat to realize you died for the nations and spends our lives as long as we have them on this earth making this good news known among the nations. Starting right where we are today and wherever you might lead us in the days ahead, spend our lives proclaiming this good news in your name to all nations. We pray this in Jesus’ name, amen.