Ancient prophets foretold the conversion of non-Jewish people (Gentiles) to a scripturally based faith. Heathen deities, pagan worship, and destructive lifestyles would be toppled by uncompromising submission to, and faith in, Jehovah. Israel’s enemies would stream into Jerusalem begging for admission, thirsting for spiritual knowledge. Israel’s commission was to broadcast God’s universal invitation to the surrounding nations.
Unfortunately, Israel’s missionary passion was derailed by earthly concerns. The grand vision was buried beneath complacency. Christ’s coming resurrected that vision, at least for some.
Israel was to be the light of the nations. Seeing the wonderful advantages that the Israelites had, heathen nations would inquire about the Israelites’ monotheistic faith, and thus many of them would be converted to the true God.
Unfortunately, that’s not how things generally turned out, as Israel became so inwardly focused that it lost sight of its larger purpose and, often, the God who had offered them so much.
Modern Christians face a similar challenge. Will they sacrificially invest in furthering the gospel, or will they become inwardly focused, forgetting their larger purpose? It’s an easier trap to fall into than we realize.
“In the name of the Lord let us lift up our voices in praise and thanksgiving for the results of work abroad.
And still our General, who never makes a mistake, says to us:
Advance. Enter new territory. Lift up the standard in every land. Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.
Our watchword is to be: Onward, ever onward. The angels of God will go before us to prepare the way. Our burden for the -Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, pp. 28, 29.
regions beyond can never be laid down until the whole earth shall be lightened with the glory of the Lord.