Revelation 5:9-10 Why Unreached People Groups?


God’s great goal in all of history is to uphold and display the glory of his name for the enjoyment of his people from all the nations. The question now is: Why does God pursue the goal of displaying his glory by focusing the missionary task on all the peoples of the world? How does  this missionary aim serve best to achieve God’s goal?

The first thing we notice in pondering this question is how the ultimate goal of God’s glory is confirmed in the cluster of texts that focus missionary attention on the people groups of the world. For example, Paul said that his apostleship was given “to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of [Christ’s] name among all the nations” (Rom. 1:5). Missions is for the glory of Christ. Its goal is to reestablish the supremacy of Christ among the peoples of the world. Similarly, in Romans 15:9, Paul says that Christ did his own missionary work and inspired Paul’s “in order that the Gentiles [or nations] might glorifyGod for his mercy.” The goal of Christ’s mission and ours is that God might be glorified by the nations as they experience his  mercy. Accordingly, the consummation of missions is described in Revelation 5:9 as person from “every tribe and language and people and nation” worshiping the Lamb and declaring the infinite worth of his glory. All of this is in accord with the repeated Old Testament calls: “Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!” (Ps. 96:3). The goal of missions is the glory of God.

How does God’s focus on the diversity of the peoples advance his purpose to be glorified in his creation? First, there is beauty and power of praise that comes from unity in diversity that is greater than that which comes from unity alone. Second, the fame and greatness and worth of an object of beauty increases in proportion to the diversity of those who recognize its beauty. Third, the strength and wisdom and love of a leader is magnified in proportion of the diversity of people he can inspire to follow him with joy. Fourth, by focusing on all the people groups of the world, God undercuts ethnocentric pride and throws all peoples back upon his free grace rather than any distinctive of their own.

It’s a humbling thing to discover that God does not choose our people group because of any distinctives of worth but rather that we might double our joy in him by being a means of bringing all the other groups into the same joy. In pressing us on to all the peoples, God is pressing us further into the humblest and deepest experience of his grace and weaning us more and more from our ingrained pride. In doing this he is preparing for himself a people – from all the peoples – who will be able to worship him with free and white-hot admiration.

John Piper

Heart Preparation
Read Revelation 5:9-10 or some of the other verses on all the nations. If God is working for his glory among all peoples, how can you be involved in taking his name to them?

Posted on: November 21, 2013 - 7:45PM

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