Pentecost (02): The Glory of the Kingdom in All Nations

Date: 6/19/2011
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Type: Sunday Sermon
Organization: All Saints
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Pentecost (2): The Glory of the Kingdom in All Nations
Against Pessimism, Ethnocentrism, and Gnosticism;
For Trinitarian Optimism, Miscegenation, and Good Earthly-ism.

Matthew 28:18-20: Then Jesus ascended up and said to them, “All the [Kingly Power and] Will in heaven and over the earth has been given to Me. Therefore, go and disciple all nations, cleansing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. teaching them to guard everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, into the ends of the ages.” (gsv)

1) Pentecost Empowers the Church in Hope to the Redeem the Nations. Consider the last earthly-given command of Jesus. Does it sound like pessimillennial hopelessnessism? Does it sound limited to one (supreme) race (Aryan or otherwise)?  Jesus is not giving a new commandment at all; rather He is empowered to confer up us exactly what the OT predicts, namely, that the Covenant to Abraham would transform the world - “All the ends of the earth may fear Him (Psa. 67:7); “All nations serve him” (Psa. 72:11); “All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations will worship before Thee” (Psa. 22:7). “... in order that all the peoples of the earth may know Thy name, and fear Thee, as do Thy people Israel, and that they may know that this house which I have built is called by Thy name” (2Ch. 6:33). “And to Him was given dominion, glory and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations, and men of every language might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not pass away; and His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed” (Dan. 7:14).

2) Pentecost Empowers the Church in Hope to Restore Creation. This Trinitarian Optimistic command is a restatement of the Abrahamic Covenant which was to restore the world into the righteous rule of a Man (the Last A’dam). “And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Gen. 12:3). “In your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed” (Gen. 28:14). St. Paul authoritatively interprets the Land Promise as: “Abraham  . . . would be heir of the world” (Rom. 4:13). Hence, there has never been nor can there be any divorce of the Spiritual from the Creational or the Gospel from the Cultural! This is precisely because the Fall was manifestly both (earthly and “spiritual”) and the Covenant was to Restore the creation of fallen creatures. When we obey the Great Commission we are simultaneously engaged in “soulish” redemption and cultural transformation. God has made it so that you cannot (actually) do one without the other, regardless of men’s warped theology about it. But if we understand this then we are getting with God’s purpose and plan and not cutting against the grain.

Gregg Strawbridge Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more