Once upon a time God discipled a nation. He took a group of bedraggled slaves and changed them into such a glorious nation that foreign dignitaries were left speechless. When Jesus told us to “make disciples of all nations” he was thoughtful enough to give us the stellar example of Israel to demonstrate what he had in mind.
Consider: When Moses led the Jewish slaves out of Egypt,
And yet in the space of four centuries God had so transformed this ragamuffin people that the Queen of Sheba was dazzled by the glory of Israel. (1 Kings 10:4) Such is the power of God’s transforming Truth for any nation from broken Bosnia to impoverished Haiti to floundering America. And it is God’s dream for the nations.
The Gospel of the kingdom begins with the promise of redeemed hearts (Ezekiel 36:26), and goes beyond to the transformation of nations. There’s not a hint of heaven or eternal life in this promise: “If you indeed obey the LORD your God and are careful to observe all his commandments I am giving you today, the LORD your God will elevate you above all the nations of the earth.” (Deuteronomy 28:1). The commandments God is referring to here have nothing to do with heaven and the hereafter, but about the everyday truth of living together in peace, ensuring justice, conducting business, educating children, caring for strangers and the environment, growing crops, practicing good health, and a host of other “how-tos” that will produce blessing and life.
The gospel of the Kingdom bids us pick up the dream of God for every person, every nation, and every sphere of life. Check back soon for some pieces of God’s dream for government.