He’s Their God, Too, Even Now
Psalm 117 Praise the LORD, all you Gentiles! Laud Him, all you peoples! For His merciful kindness is great toward us, and the truth of the LORD endures forever.
Romans 3:29 Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also.
Acts 17:30-31a Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent….
In Old Testament times, most people worshiped their local gods. They might have been gods of natural phenomena (fire, wind, sun, stars, earthquake, fertility, etc.), or they could have been the ruling god of the area. When other nations looked upon Israel, most of them assumed that Yahweh (the Lord) was simply the name of their particular local god.
God continually worked to remind Israel that while He was their God, He was also Lord of the whole earth. He wasn’t their tribal god, or their local god, or the god of their religion. He was the One who created the universe and everything (and everyone) in it. The Israelites failed to model that message and to spread it. Yes, the Lord worked especially with Israel, gave His law to them and brought the Messiah through those people. Yet throughout the Old Testament, especially in the psalms, we see the bubbling up of the larger truth that He is the Lord of the whole earth.
We find ourselves in a similar situation. Sometimes when we evangelize, we come from a place where we are asking people to take our local/personal/religious God as their God. That’s true to some extent, but that is nowhere near enough. We are not asking them to simply move from one god to another (though we know spiritually that there is a reality to that). Nor are we asking that they make a preference for our God over whatever they had before. We are not even asking that they simply make our God their God.
The point is this: God is already their God. They may not have “personalized” that, or acknowledged it. But because He is the Lord of the whole earth, He is their God. Their personal relationship with Him—either nonexistent or vibrant—has nothing to do with that fact. When they come to Christ, they are making everyone’s God their own personal Lord. But He has always been and will always be their God.
This is something we need to “personalize” deeply in our hearts when we pray for others and share the saving love of God with them. We need—to use a wonderful old word—to “reckon” it to ourselves that the Almighty God of the universe, the One who created them and everything else is their God, even before you utter a single word about Jesus. This is truth, and truth should only empower and enrich our message.
As we let that sink in, we see that He is Lord over all, He is calling everyone to repent, He who could do anything did the supreme act of sacrifice for those who choose to receive it. But He is not just our God. He is their God, and everyone’s God.
Prayer: Lord, help me to remember as I share your gospel message that You are everyone’s God, even before You become their personal Lord. Let that change the way I share Your incredible love, and the way I view the unsaved in general.