God’s Plan for the Nations (Part 4)

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Psalm 2

1 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?

2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying,

3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.

4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.

5 Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.

6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.

7 I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.

8 Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.

9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.

10 Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.

11 Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.

12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

God’s Plan for the Nations (Part 4)

Down through the centuries, Christianity has had many enemies. Many people have thought that they could contain, control and crush, the movement begun by the humble Preacher from Nazareth who is actually the Son of God. One of the most famous examples of such an opponent was the Roman Emperor Diocletian. He was such a determined foe of the Christians of his day that he persecuted the church mercilessly, and truly believed that he had eradicated the Christian phenomenon.

He had a medal made in his honor with this inscription: “The name of Christianity [is] being extinguished.” He later set up two monuments on the frontier of the Roman Empire. One monument was inscribed with the words, ‘[In honor of] Diocletian Jovian Maximian Herculeus Caesar Augustus for having extended the Roman Empire in the east and the west and for having extinguished the name of Christians who brought the Republic to ruin.’ The other monument read, ‘[in honor of Diocletian Caesar Augustus for having everywhere abolished the superstition of Christ for having extended the worship of the [pagan] gods.’

This man really thought he had accomplished that task. But, today, Diocletian is dead, Rome proper is destroyed, and Christianity is marching on.

Over the past few weeks, we have been looking at God’s dealings with the nations through the lens of the Old Testament prophetic and messianic passage of Psalm 2. Through this passage, we have asked and answered three questions.

1. We asked, why is the world the way it is? Why do we see so much pain, suffering, war, and grief in the world? The answer to that question is simply that the heathen (the nations, the Gentiles) rage against God. They have rejected God’s laws and are living in sin. Billy Graham said this past week that America is ‘worse than Sodom and Gomorrah’, and that, my friend, is the reason why the world is in the awful state that it is in.

2. We asked, what will man do about his condition? The answer is that man’s solution is to band together and stand in opposition to God. Not only has the world turned its back on God, but it opposes the work that God is doing in the world.

3. We asked, what is God’s response to the rebellious nations? The answer to that question is two-fold. First, Scripture informs us that God laughs. God looks down on puny rebellious men and their pompous attempts to stand in opposition to Him, and He laughs. It is that absurd. Second, God sends judgment on the nations for their rebellion. He vexes them because of their sins.

Today, we are continuing our discussion of God’s response to the rebellious nations. In Psalm 2, we find three assurances from God that give us as Christians hope as we live in this sin-cursed world.

We have the assurance that God’s Son will rule. Verse 7 reads, “I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.” As I explained previously, this passage has a two-fold implication. First, this is one of the coronation psalms, in that it was recited as one of the Jewish kings from the line of David was ascending the throne of Israel. However, it is also a messianic psalm, in that it looks to the future reign of Jesus Christ, who is not only God’s Son, but David’s descendant.

God assures us that despite the raging of the heathen and the rebelliousness of the Gentile nations, Jesus Christ will sit on the throne of David in Jerusalem one day.

Right now, the world is engaged in a struggle between the forces of good and evil that began in the Garden of Eden. The devil was cast out of Heaven for trying to dethrone God. Since he was unsuccessful in that first attempted rebellion, he is now trying to prevent the rule of God in the earth. When he introduced sin into humanity’s bloodstream, he did so to get man to choose self over God, and by choosing self, man chooses Satan. The devil is working hard to keep billions of people enslaved in the muck and mire of sin and false religion. He does not want Jesus Christ to rule in our hearts or in the earth.

This struggle will culminate during the seven-year tribulation period in which Satan will present his antichrist to the world. He will gather the nations together under his control in order to crush all those who refuse to worship him and to oppose the return of Jesus Christ. But, no matter how many troops Satan can muster against the armies of Heaven, God gives us the assurance that His Son will rule over the earth.

Albert Barnes notes in his commentary that there is a change in the person speaking in verse 7 of our passage. He says, this “statement of the purpose of Yahweh is introduced by the declaration of the Messiah himself. The change of the persons speaking gives a dramatic interest to the whole psalm. There can be no doubt that the word ‘I’ here refers to the Messiah.” So, all the way back here in the Old Testament, we find Jesus speaking to us through David as he was inspired by the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ simply assures us that, as the Son of God, as the descendant of David, He will rule in the earth.

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If you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to share with you how you can trust Him for salvation so that you can be ready for His return.

First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Please understand that because of your sins, you deserve eternal punishment in hell. Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death…This is both physical death and spiritual death in hell. That is the bad news.

But here is the good news. John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and right now I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! I want to congratulate you on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door.” Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.



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