5 Bible Verses Revealing God’s Heart to Reach the Nations

God has wanted to reach the nations – all the nations – since the very beginning. It’s easy to forget that sometimes when we get too consumed with our own lives and problems. But the great missionaries in the Bible as well as throughout history also had problems, yet they continued to devote their lives to the mission of reaching the nations with the gospel of Jesus.

Here are five Bible verses that reveal God’s heart to reach the nations. And take note that they span all of scripture, from the beginning of the Old Testament to the end of the New Testament.

Genesis 17:5 – Blessing of Abraham for All Nations

No longer shall your name be called Abram. But your name shall be Abraham, for I will make you the father of a multitude of nations.

Abraham receives multiple callings from God. This one happens at the age of 99, after Ishmael was born, and around the time Sarah is laughing at the silliness of having a baby at age 90. God changes his name to Abraham, which means ‘exalted father,’ more or less the same meaning as Abram. 

It’s likely that Abraham always thought it quite ironic that his own name called him a father, even though he had no children.

But the point here isn’t that he was going to be a father. The point is, he would be a father of many nations. God blessed Abraham for the specific purpose that he would become a blessing to many nations. Not just one.

From the beginning, before Moses, before the Law, before David, before Jesus – God’s great desire and plan was that the knowledge of him would spread to all the nations.

I Kings 8:60 – Solomon Dedicates the Temple

So that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no one else.

After Solomon completes the majestic temple that God blessed him to build, he speaks a lengthy prayer as part of its dedication. This verse appears near the end of the prayer.

What you see here is that Solomon – the wisest man who ever lived – knew very well that God never intended this temple to be just for Israel, but for all the peoples of the earth. This temple represented God’s presence in Israel, but it was for everyone.

In the years after this, we see a glimpse of this desire of God to reach the nations come about when people such as the Queen of Sheba come from far away just to see and hear of Solomon’s wisdom.

Jesus references this in Luke 11:31, declaring that the Queen of Sheba who “came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon” would judge the people who didn’t repent at the coming of Jesus.

Jesus makes similar statements on other occasions, commending the people of Nineveh for repenting, and observing that a non-Israelite woman was blessed by Elisha and sustained during a famine, even though there were many hungry and poor people within Israel at that same time.

God has always wanted all nations to come to him, gain the knowledge of him, and repent and turn to him for salvation.

Isaiah 56:7 – A House of Prayer for All Nations

Even those I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples.

Jesus famously quotes the last part of this verse after smashing the money changer tables in the temple.

But don’t miss the underlying point. God’s house – the same temple that Solomon built and that Isaiah was referring to when this verse was written – was meant to be a place where all nations could come to seek God in prayer.

Today, where is the temple of God?

It’s the church. We are God’s temple, as it says in I Cor 6:19 and in other places. And we are meant to take the gospel to all the nations. Rather than asking them to all come to one temple, now we go to them on mission for Jesus.

iBAM’s mission is to forge disciple making movements in people groups and nations all over the world, because this is God’s heart – to invite all people to his house in prayer, repentance, forgiveness, discipleship, the bearing of fruit, and expanding the kingdom of God on earth.

Acts 1:8 – Being Missionaries to the Ends of the Earth

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.

Why did Jesus come? Because he wanted to send his followers, his disciples, to the remotest parts of the earth to be his witnesses. This is what global missions and disciple making movements are all about. Jesus came so that we could be saved from our sin. But it’s not supposed to stop there.

You are saved so that the Holy Spirit can empower you to be his witness. Every Christian has this mandate. Whether you actually go to other nations yourself, or give to missions and help send other missionaries to those nations, the call is the same.

There are different kinds of missions. iBAM – International Business as Mission – seeks to spark disciple making movements by empowering local believers to gain influence in their communities and support their local churches through business entrepreneurship.

We believe, and have seen it happen over and over, that when local Christians acquire the ability to generate their own income and livelihood and stop being dependent on outsiders for constant support, that they can dramatically scale up their missions and outreaches into their communities because they are freed from financial limitations.

See 5 ways business as mission sparks disciple making and church growth

Other international mission groups use different approaches, and God uses everyone to accomplish his will.

We have found that using business as mission works extremely well because it brings stability of leadership, a foundation on which a local church can be established.

Revelation 7:9-10 – Every Nation, Tribe, and Tongue

After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands. And they cry out with a loud voice saying, “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.

This is a picture of the future moment when God greets all the people who have been saved, throughout all of history.

It’s uncountable. And the people come from everywhere. No people group, tribe, or nation is left out. This is God’s ultimate plan and desire, and has been since the beginning – to save people from every place on earth.

The question is, do you want to be part of God’s plan to reach the nations?

If so, and if you love the idea of using business entrepreneurship training to empower local Christians to fund their own missions work, we have a great story to share that shows how iBAM does it.

Read this powerful story of Sahid, From Refugee to Cornerstone, and see how iBAM’s approach combining business with missions leads to Christians becoming influential leaders and disciple makers in their local communities in nations all across the world.

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