The Lord’s Great Commission for us was “to make disciples of all nations.” Strangely, practically all those whom I hear preaching this infer rather “making disciples of all people” = saving souls. I believe there is a difference between discipling people – saving souls, and discipling nations – realigning nations to Kingdom qualities. In Psalms 2:8 the Lord clearly states “I shall give the nations for Your inheritance; and the uttermost parts of the earth for Your possession.”
As Albert Barnes’ ‘Notes on the Bible’ says, the better/alternate translation is “to make disciples of all nations” rather than “to disciple” or “to teach all nations.”
All this I understand to mean we are to make disciples of nations so they are under the dominion of the Lord. Bring the discipline of heaven to earth, just as the Lord’s Prayer says, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth, as in heaven” This part seems to have been missing from the evangelical movement recently.
Yes, much of the Church has gone out and made a difference in the world for the Lord over the centuries and the people of the world are being saved – are being brought to Christ. Salvation is being achieved, numbers are being counted. The question is, is there much Discipling of peoples or of Nations?
In the year 1900 the ratio of Christians to world population was 1 in 28
In the year 2000 the ratio was 1 in 4
Certainly someone was doing something right! Statistically, Christians ought to rule all the world in a few more years and rule now in 25% of all countries. But discipleship and making of disciples is not a numbers game. Also, that is not the reality. The tidal flow of Christian control of countries seems still to be on the wane.
Let us compare the year 1900 to that of 2000, looking for the positive results and signs of this global movement toward Christianity:
- Generally, much any which way you look at it, the world is now in worse social and spiritual condition today than in 1900.
- More have died in wars during this 100 year period than all of other human history combined.
- There is more corruption in governments.
- There are more people in slavery.
- In 1900, practically no mothers worked in paid employment. In 2000, practically all mothers must work to raise their family.
- There is less truth in the media.
- The Jezebel spirit controls the arts.
- Drugs, pornography and gambling are universally available to anyone.
- Families are now substantially more broken and children both under-mothered and especially under-fathered.
- Today in the USA, the divorce rates among conservative Christians were significantly higher than for other faith groups, and much higher than Atheists and Agnostics experience.
- Today in the USA, the abortion rate among Christians is just as high as the national average. Among Catholics, the abortion rate is even higher.
- Greed dominates economies.
- Education is humanistic and the Word cannot be taught freely
- Religion, or rather religosity abounds – and ‘decision for Christ’ rules, rather than discipleship.
- There is now more overt and systematic persecution of Christians.
In Haggai 2:7 the Lord says “I will shake all the nations; and the desire of all nations shall come; and I will fill this house with glory, says Jehovah of Hosts.” God was and is planning to hand over functioning nations to Jesus. Not nations under the control of the enemy and devoid of all and any of His Kingdom qualities.
Nations need to be discipled to bring about the Kingdom qualities in them which the Lord requires for His Son. That is, I believe, The Great Commission. The question is, how do we do our part?
I pray that you will open the eyes of all Christians to Your Truth in the discipling of nations; and unleash Your people to conquer the nations for You, bringing about and releasing into these nations, the Kingdom properties which You and Your Son so desire.
Please show me how to do my part, that I bring glory to You in obedience.
In Jesus mighty name I pray. Amen.
This post is based around teachings from the first 2 of the following 3 books which are highly recommend as reflecting the new works which the Lord is doing and the changes to His Church and His nations and communities which he is starting to release upon us.