In Old Testament poetry and in the writings of the prophets it is clearly seen that God sovereignly superintends over the nations.  These poets and prophets also declare that God’s glory is being revealed and that it permeates all of the earth and the rest of creation and that all of humanity will ultimately recognize this.  We see in the New Testament that Jesus speaks with absolute authority when He commands His disciples to make disciples of all nations, immersing them into His ever-present and ever-expanding kingdom.  Revelation concludes with the grand pronouncement that the eternal gospel will be proclaimed to all those who live on the earth (presently seven billion) to every nation (presently 196) in every language (6,500 of them, with 2000 of those having fewer than 1000 speakers) and to all tribes and peoples (11,300 people groups).

We find ourselves today between this command of Jesus and the future completion of the ages.  Initially, Jesus recruited twelve volunteers for this mission.  They were a diverse lot.  They traveled from village to village spreading the message of God’s sovereignty and salvation.  Any venue became an opportunity to witness (ninety-eight times in the book of Acts the words used for this communication had “martyr” at its root).  They were constantly interjecting the eternal into their everyday conversations, and they did so with clarity and compassion.  As a result, they changed the world through Christ and for Christ.  We have the opportunity to do the same.