• Matt Beaney

#231 – AFTER THIS I LOOKED (9/11/20)


Jesus wants us to have a vision for reaching all nations with the gospel. We need to see this with the eyes of faith. The gospel will go to all people groups and this requires that we are all involved in different ways.


Readings and reflections

1. God wants to give us a vision of a church that is populated by all people-groups.

‘After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”’ (Revelation 7:9-10)

Who will be included in God’s Kingdom?

What are they dressed in and what does this represent?

What are they crying and what does this say about the content of the gospel message?

God’s Kingdom will include people from ‘every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages’. This means that the message of the gospel will be taken to these people. In this age of travel and digital communications, we can see how God is building ‘highways’ for this to be achieved.


2. In order to realise God’s vision, Jesus commands us to go and make disciples of all people groups,

‘Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

Of whom is the church to ‘make disciples’?

How are you currently involved in reaching different people-groups?

How does Jesus want you to ‘Go’ to the nations? Spend some time praying about this.

The word of ‘nations’ here (and in Revelation 7:9) is ‘Ethnos’. This is more than all the countries of the world. It’s the various people-groups of which there are many more than nations.


Chris Galanos has written,

‘According to the 1982 Lausanne Committee Chicago meeting, “For evangelisation purposes, a people group is the largest group within which the Gospel can spread as a church planting movement without encountering barriers of understanding or acceptance.” Based on that definition you could see how a country could have many, even hundreds, of different people groups. According to the Joshua Project, the United States has 488 people groups among the more than 325 million people who live there.’

To memorise this week

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14)


To consider this week

How will you expand your awareness, heart and involvement in reaching the nations?

Downloading the ‘Operation World’ App. is a good place to start.


Here is the vlog that Jem mentioned on Sunday by Sam Hēnare (New Zealand) as he speaks about contextualising the gospel to reach the Māori community.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vb68ashJXUo&t=253s&ab_channel=Unreached%3ARepresenting.Resourcing.Releasing.

COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY - GO TO THE NATIONS


Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.


Suggested opener/Ice-breaker

Where would you most like to visit in the world and why?


Introduction - please share in your group

On Sunday, we continued in our series on discipleship.

We saw how Jesus, in His Great Commission, commanded all Christians to be involved in reaching all the people groups of the world.


Let's remind ourselves of Jesus' words,

‘Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

Of course, we will be involved in differing ways; for some, it will involve actually going to a different nation, for others, it will mean giving, prayer, support...

We all have a part to play and it's important that we take the time to prayerfully seek God's guidance in this regard.


Jesus made the promise,

‘He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”’ (Acts 1:7-8)

A church and any individual Christian who is filled with the Spirit will be involved in reaching the nations. As we ask for and receive the Spirit, He will lead us into ever greater involvement with the nations of the world.


Discussion questions

1. Would you like to share anything that struck you or something that God spoke to you about from Sunday's message or the devotionals this week?


2. Please read Matthew 28:18-20 and discuss:

i) How much do you pray and think about your involvement in reaching other people groups for Jesus?

ii) What are the things that distract or diminish our faith for international mission?


2. Read read Revelation 7:9-10 and discuss:

i) Jesus wants us to have a vision for reaching all nations with the gospel. We need to see this with the eyes of faith. Who, according to this vision, will be included in God’s Kingdom?

ii) What are they crying and what does this say about the content of the gospel message?


God’s Kingdom will include people from ‘every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages’. This means that the message of the gospel will be taken to these people. In this age of travel and digital communications, we can see how God is building ‘highways’ for this to be achieved.


3. Is there anything that you want to pray about?


4. How can we pray for you as you seek to reach out to your community for Jesus?

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