Nations and Gods Love
The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever. (Revelation 11:15)
We talk about a Christian nationthere never has been such a thing. There are Christians in the nations, but not Christian nations. The constitution of nations is the same as that of a human being. There is a difference between individuality and personality: individuality is all elbows and must stand alone; personality is something that can be merged and blended. Individuality is the husk of the personal life; when personal life is emancipated, individuality goes. So with nations. The kingdoms of this world have become intensely individualistic, with no love for God, or care for one another. The insistence of nations is that they must keep the national peacein the way they have been doing it! In the whirlwind of nations, such as is on just now many men have lostnot their faith in God (I never met a man who lost his faith in God), but their belief in their beliefs, and for a while they think they have lost their faith in God. They have lost the conception which has been presented to them as God, and are coming to God on a new line.
(a) The Origin of Nations (Genesis 11:1-9)
And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. . . . Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth (Genesis 11:1, 9). According to the Bible, nations as we know them are the outcome of what ought never to have been. Civilisation was founded on murder, and the basis of our civilised life is competition. There are grand ingredients in civilisation, it is full of shelter and protection, but its basis is not good. We each belong to a nation, and each nation imagines that God is an Almighty representative of that nation. If nations are right, which is the right one?
(b) The Object of Nations
From whence come wars and fightings among you? . . . Ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not (James 4:1-2). The question is on the lips of people to-day, Is war of the devil or of God? It is of neither, it is of men, though both God and the devil are behind it. War is a conflict of wills, either in individuals or in nations. As sure as there is will versus will, there must be punch versus punch. This is the object of nations. They will assert their rule and independence and refuse to be downtrodden. If we cannot by diplomacy make our wills bear on other people, then the last resort is war, and always will be until Jesus Christ brings in His Kingdom.
There is one thing worse than war and that is sin, the thing that startles us is not the thing that startles God. We are scared and terrorised when our social order is broken, when thousands of men are killed, and well we may be, but how many of us in times of peace and civilisation bother one iota about the state of mens hearts towards God? Yet that is the thing that produces pain in the heart of God, not the wars and devastations that so upset us.
(c) The Obliteration of Nations
And there followed great voices in heaven, and they said [rv], The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever (Revelation 11:15). In these last days there is an idea that we are going to dominate everything by a perfect brotherhood. Any mind that expresses its view of the future says we are heading up into a federation of religions and nations when distinctions will be obliterated and there will be a great and universal Brotherhood. The quarrels of nations make men look forward to the time when nations will be federated out of independent existence. That is a revolt which is a mental safety valve only. Peter says God is longsuffering to us-ward. At present He is giving men opportunity to try every line they like in individual life as well as in the life of the nations at large. Some things have not been tried yet, and if God were to cut us off short we would say, If You had left us a bit longer we could have realised our ideal of society and national life. God is allowing us to prove to the hilt that it cannot be done in any other way than Jesus Christ said, viz., by a personal relationship to God through Jesus Christ Who is God and ManOne. When sooner or later we come to the end of our tether, we hear Jesus Christ say: Blessed are the poor in spiritIf you ask God, He will give you the Holy Spirit, i.e., an unsullied heredity through Jesus Christ.
That is how the love of God comes in, and why it has to be such a long way round is because He is bringing many sons unto glory, not mechanisms, but men, full-orbed and sensible all through. Jesus Christ never used a revivalistic meeting to take a man off his guard and then say, Believe in Me. He always puts the case to a man in cold blood, He even seemed to spurn men when they wanted to follow Him (see Luke 9:57-62). Another convert to My cause. Not a bit. Take time and consider what you are doing, are you ready to hear what I have to say?
The love of God is going to embrace everyone and everything in the sovereign preference of His person, which is for His Son. God purposes that everyone of us shall partake of the very essential nature of Jesus Christ and stand in complete union with Himself, even as Jesus did. Faith in God is a terrific venture in the dark, we have to believe that God is love in spite of all that contradicts it. Every soul represents some kind of battlefield. The great point for the Christian is to remain perfectly confident in God. Paul says that when the sons of God are manifested, and everything is in a right relationship with God and expressed in devotion to Jesus Christ, all the wildness and contradiction in Nature and in nations will cease, and the Love of God will be the great Reality.