Welcome to Missions On Point, the Propempo perspective on church and missions. Thanks for joining us on episode 47 of Missions On Point.
We're in part two of a five part series about discovering missions throughout the Bible. This episode will deal with seeing Christ, the gospel and missions throughout the Bible. It's actually a joy and exciting to discover in the Bible as we're reading just through the books of the Bible in our normal Bible reading to discover elements of Christ and the gospel and salvation through God's great plan, through all the ages. Jesus himself said in Luke 24, speaking of himself to the men he was walking with on the road to Emmaus, "Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?" And beginning with Moses and all the profits, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures, the things concerning himself.
As we read the scripture, sometimes even without realizing it, we stumble on some nugget of truth that points to Christ, points to the gospel, points us to God's heart for the nations that is missions. It's like a brand new thing we're seeing as the words lift off the page and we go, "Oh wow, that is not expected in this part of the Bible." We've talked about this before in some other episodes, but if you understand the trajectory of the storyline of the Bible and you see the overarching purpose of God in his glory to all the nations, it becomes more and more apparent how these things leap off the page and into our consciousness, into our hearts to understand God's plan better through all of the history, the law, the prophets, the Psalms.
The New Testament, obviously, the pieces fit together in a coherent hole. How God has planned from before time to redeem people through the person and work of Jesus Christ for himself and for his glory. It's pretty much universally accepted that Genesis 3:15 is the first sort of hint of the gospel. When the Lord God pronounces this curse that says to the serpent, "He shall bruise your head and you shall bruise his heel," which refers to Satan's plan to injure and kill Christ the Messiah, but ultimately through the death and resurrection of Christ to vanquish Satan. It's clear that those early Old Testament, Genesis, patriarchs knew of the Lord, some knew the Lord, and Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
Leading up to the great story of Abraham and Abraham's promise or covenant with God in which he says, "In you, all the families of the earth shall be blessed." In fact, Paul refers to that promise in Galatians three and says, "That particular in you, the seed through which all the families of the earth would be blessed is Jesus Christ." So, even as we see the history of the families of Abraham and the Jewish people unfold through the Old Testament, God has ordained that they be used to see that all the nations of the earth would be blessed. It is a missions thread all throughout the Old Testament, and we are reminded of those clues throughout the New Testament.
This Abrahamic covenant is repeated several times in the Book of Genesis and referred to throughout the Old Testament, that all the nations of the earth would be blessed in him. God is referred to as the judge of all the earth. It is actually amazing how many times this part of the Abrahamic promise is repeated that in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And remember that the big, universal purpose of God in all of these things is that he would get glory, that God would be glorified in judgment, in holiness, in salvation and grace. When we come to Moses and the time of the Exodus and his interaction with Pharaoh, it says that, "the Egyptian shall know that I am the Lord," repeatedly, over and over again.
It is that, "You may know that there is no one like the Lord our God," even through all the plagues, it is that you may know that there is none like me in all the earth. And it is for this purpose," it says in Exodus 9:16, "That I have raised you up, Pharaoh to show my power so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth." That is a missional statement. So we begin to pick up on some patterns as we read the text. God's knowledge extended to all the earth is part of his missional purpose to get glory among all the nations of the earth. As they cross the Red Sea, in Exodus 14, God says, "I will harden Pharaoh's heart and he will pursue them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his hosts, and the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord."
This is amazing because this is not just a two-dimensional story from history. It's not just a chronology. It is a three-dimensional purpose of God that he gets glory among all nations, and this great story of Israel's deliverance from Egypt becomes part of the main proof that God is to be glorified. He is the only true God in all the earth. As the laws are given to Israel, it's repeated over and over again that God is the Lord, God is their God, and he makes place for foreigners, or aliens, or people outside of the commonwealth and progeny of Israel to become his people, to worship him, to come to worship in their place, eventually in the temple in Jerusalem, ultimately in the temple in heaven.
The word begins saying over and over again as it is through all the prophets, that all the earth shall be filled with the glory of God. As Joshua leads the people of Israel into the promised land, god says that they will conquer the nations so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, and that you may fear the Lord your God forever. The history books of the Old Testament show us how God interacts with men in mercy and in judgment. The appeal to the judgment of surrounding nations is to invite them to repent and to come and worship God as the one true God. Even the story of David and Goliath, which we mentioned in a previous episode is in one Samuel 17:46, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. Through this sometimes glorious and sometimes humble history, we see the pathway and lineage of the Messiah to come, the great Savior, the coming prophet, the shepherd of Israel, the one who would provide a way of salvation for people to come to God.
We see Christ and the gospel even in this poetic wisdom book of Job where he says, in an unexpected place in Job 19 versus 25 and 26, where Job says, "For I know that my redeemer lives and at the last he will stand upon the earth, and after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God." This amazing statement and promise that Job counted on has to do with salvation and his redeemer and life after death. It is a piece of the gospel in this Old Testament wisdom literature. We're going to refer to the Psalms quite a bit in understanding the nation's in the next episode. However, I must say it here, that christological passages, that is passages about Christ and foreshadowing and foretelling of the Messiah are rich throughout the Psalms and throughout the prophets. We see God's grace and mercy, his loving kindness, his faithfulness, his holiness, his judgment throughout the Psalms, which is our understanding of seeing Christ and the gospel and missions, even in the expression of the songbook of Israel.
As we begin looking into the major prophets, we see this premium prophet of Isaiah and his amazing poetic descriptions throughout 66 chapters of prophecy and teachings about God's judgment on the nations for their sin and the coming Messiah. He says in Isaiah two, verses two and three, "At all the nation shall flow to them and many people shall come and say, come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord and to the house of God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths."
There is so much in Isaiah of Messianic importance about Christ. It is the content of so many of our Christian hymns historically. Isaiah repeatedly gives insight into this message of the gospel and of God's salvation extending to all the nations. Listen to Isaiah 12 verses three, and following. "With joy, you will draw water from the wells of salvation and you will say in that day. Give thanks to the Lord. Call upon his name, make known his deeds among the peoples, proclaim that his name is exalted. Sing praises to the Lord for he has done gloriously. Let this be made known in all the earth."
Isaiah 45, 22. "Turn to me and be saved all the ends of the earth for I am God and there is no other." Isaiah speaks of Christ in chapter 49 verse six. "It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tries of Jacob and to bring back the preserved of Israel. I will make you as a light for the nations that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth." I love this little insight from Ezekiel, where Ezekiel uses this one phrase repeatedly over and over again, and it has a salvific and missions element to it. "When God says that you, the nations will know that I am the Lord," or equivalent phrase. It says it 62 times in Ezekiel. "The judgments of God, the pronouncements of God, the prophecies regarding the nations in Israel are that you, the nations will know that I am the Lord."
Then we move to the minor prophets and we read things like in Zacharia that many people in strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the favor of the Lord. In those days, 10 men from the nations of every tongue shall take hold of the robe of a Jew saying, "Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you." The last book of the Old Testament, Malachi says in chapter one, verse 11, "For from the rising of the sun to its setting, my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name and a pure offering for my name, which will be great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts."
We get even more clues when we read the New Testament and see how the New Testament authors referred to the Old Testament and pull out some of those clues to shine a light on them and say, "See, this is a clue about Christ. This is a clue about salvation. This is a clue about the cross and the resurrection, and the gospel to all the nations." When Jesus appeared to his disciples after the resurrection, he says again, from Luke 24, "Thus, it is written that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead and that repentance and forgiveness of sin should be proclaimed in his name to all nations beginning from Jerusalem, and you are witnesses of these things."
Then we see in the Book of Acts, the unfolding of the history of the church in fulfillment of Christ's great commission and this whole broad sweep of promises and information of Christ and the gospel and missions to all nations from Genesis all the way through. And then finally in Revelation, we see the train tracks of all the themes of all of scripture coming together to show us that it is fulfilled, salvation in Christ to all nations is fulfilled so that people from every tongue and tribe and people and nation are around the throne worshiping the Lord Jesus Christ, who alone is worthy of all worship and glory and fulfilling God's overarching purposes through all the scriptures and all of history.
It should give us a great sense of anticipation and even excitement to read a little bit of scripture day by day, and pick up on these clues and see how they connect together to show the plan of God and his great glory through all of human history, and to see the elements of Christ and the gospel and missions woven throughout. May we be faithful students of the scriptures and not just hearers only, but doers of the word of God. Thanks for joining us today on missions on Point, the Propempo perspective on church and missions. I trust that you'll find more help and resources on the website, Propempo.com. Please preferably consider supporting this ministry. Now, to God be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever. Amen.
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