…And other dreams
He [God] has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord…for in Him we live and move and have our being.
Global community: is it a good thing or is it something to be avoided? Some on the planet are passionately nationalistic, resisting the unionization of nations under a common government which sells the promise of open borders and open trade with a unifying currency and communal privileges and benefits. Others on the planet are drawn to the concept of a global community and its dream of melting the iron barriers of ethnic and racial and political distinctions under what I described above.
There is a song entitled, “Nella Fantasia” based on the unforgettable theme of “Gabriel’s Oboe” written by Ennio Morricone for the film “The Mission.” The lyrics set to this hauntingly beautiful melody speak of a dream of a fair world where everybody lives in peace and honesty. Sweet dreams…
I am not opposed to a global community living in shared and cooperative industry and commerce and care. I am opposed to man’s means of contriving it. Do not hear me saying that I believe our technological achievements to bring good things and mercies for humanity on this planet are evil. The way ambitious men use them is another matter. The extent to which they use them as tools to manipulate people and nations is evil. Fallen human history is strewn with the dead bodies and bitter legacies littering the planet in the wake of the big ideas of fallen human intentions to engineer what only God can accomplish perfectly in His way and in His timing…
Seriously. Does anybody remember the Tower of Babel? The outcome of that fallen human enterprise was the result of egomaniacal human appetite to make a name and a kingdom for itself on this planet in direct opposition to God’s intention for man to make His Name and His Kingdom great upon the earth (Genesis 1.26-31)…
The apostle Paul tells the philosophers in Athens that God has made from one blood every nation to dwell on the face of the earth (Acts 17.26). Before we get all warm and fuzzy about this, let us remember that the common heredity we share on this planet is not only blood but also a radically fallen sin nature. Paul goes on to say that
God has determined the times and boundaries of nations and dwellings of nations on this planet. God sovereignly scattered humankind at Babel lest every contrivance of their fallen imaginings bring another occasion for another judgment upon mankind (Genesis 6.5-14; 10.1-11.4)…
Then Paul explains the key to open borders on the planet even with boundaries between nations: “So that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being…” (Acts 17.27-28).
Nations are most united in perfect unity when their God is the Lord who made their peoples for Himself and for His goodness and glory, the God whom Paul explains to the Athenian Epicureans and Stoics who worshipped everything but the God who redeems men out of their corrupted condition by One Blood–the blood of His Righteous One, Jesus the Christ: “whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17.31).
SWEET DREAM? A genuine and true reality to come at the return of the Lord Jesus Christ…
Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.’ Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’ And He said to me, ‘Write, for these words are true and faithful’.”
The Lord Jesus is the One who will make all wars to cease. The warfare against God ends in every heart which turns to Christ Jesus in full surrender to His sovereignty as the Victor by His blood over all that ends in corruption and decay and death. By contrast, in every heart which persists in rebellion, the warfare against God and humanity as He meant for it to be will be crushed under the weight of His revealed glory. God’s way of recreating the global community is to work in the hearts of nations, tribes and peoples everywhere on this planet. God works for the coming global renewal in hearts of human beings to end the power of sin and corruption: person by person, tribe by tribe, nation by nation; He draws them by His grace to awaken them to the truth that no one but the Lord Jesus Christ–the Second Adam–came in the flesh for all who believe in His blood–One Blood, the pure sacrificial blood atoning for sin once for all time. By faith in His lifeblood and resurrection and sovereign kingship, redemption and deliverance from a dead conscience is the outcome. The iron borders of a hardened heart and hostility toward the God of the entire cosmos are laid waste under the glory of His indwelling grace. The foolishness of the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ is the perfect wisdom for all who believe in Him. Faith in Christ Jesus vanquishes the darkened mind and understanding so that all who believe Him may know Him in truth instead of an illusion of man’s contrivance.
For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.”
The fallen human mission to strategize and manipulate economies and populations for global community and sustainability of the planet and ecological preservation, as well intentioned as it may be, is too small; and it will fail and disappoint and bring global disillusionment. Without a world view which is quickened by the knowledge of God’s will for His created kingdom, the human mission is myopic and insipid. The God who created us for the uninterrupted experience of His glory and saw us rebel against Him has not cast away His heart’s desire. He is at work and His agenda is to draw people from every generation in every age out of every nation, every tribe and every language on this planet, to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ’s sovereign redemptive work; and through that gift of grace, He raises up for His glory multitudes who are new and incorruptible. And He prepares for His new community of redeemed mankind the new heavens and new earth for eternal peace and global community and perfect sustainability and ecological preservation. Under His righteous and glorious government, there are no iron barriers of the heart between people and no geographical borders and no incomprehensible tongues; and the second law of thermodynamics for all creation is cast into the lake of fire forever…
And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever. Then he said to me, ‘These words are faithful and true’.”
Until the time of God’s fulfillment of His perfecting work, in an imperfect world, we must remember that we are but men and not gods. In our zeal for one world, in an imperfect world, we must not overstep what is reasonable to work for in cooperation between people and nations. God has been using and will continue to sovereignly use the secondary causes in this fallen world and on this fallen planet to work out His perfect, glorious mission. We who know His Name must trust Him, working and striving at respecting the distinctives among nations without exalting those distinctives above the truth of our shared humanity in all its imperfections and needs for God’s providential grace.
Until the time of God’s fulfillment of His perfecting work, in an imperfect world, we who know His name must trust Him and must allow for the sovereign “pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings” (Acts 17.26-27) ordained by the wisdom of God to protect us from ourselves. Sweet dream… “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19.26).
O Lord my God, in You I put my trust…Oh, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end, but establish the just; for the righteous God tests the hearts and minds. My defense is of God, Who saves the upright in heart…
O Lord, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth, Who have set Your glory above the heavens!
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen—even the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea that pass through the paths of the seas…
I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works. I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High…O enemy, destructions are finished forever! And you have destroyed cities; even their memory has perished. But the Lord shall endure forever; He has prepared His throne for judgment. He shall judge the world in righteousness, and He shall administer judgment for the peoples in uprightness. The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You…
The Lord is known by the judgment He executes; the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands...The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. For the needy shall not always be forgotten; the expectation of the poor shall not perish forever. Arise, O Lord, do not let man prevail; let the nations be judged in Your sight. Put them in fear, O Lord, that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah
—Psalms 7.1, 9-10; 8.1, 3-8; 9.1-2, 6-10, 16-20
“Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!”