Psalm 117… Shortest chapter in the Bible… But O, what a grand, world encompassing vision!
“Praise the LORD, all nations! Extol him, all peoples! For great is his steadfast love toward us! And the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever! Praise the LORD!”
We live in a culture that urges us, as Christians, to leave those from other religions alone. “Don’t try to ‘convert’ them!” they say. “They’re entitled to believe whatever they want! One belief is as good as another – each ‘faith’ has equal value! The important thing is that they have a belief in a God of some kind. And if they choose not to believe in a ‘god’ at all – if they are atheists – leave them alone! That is their choice.”
The problem is, that is not “the Lord’s” view of things! His vision is “all nations – all peoples” praising Him and extoling him for His “steadfast love” (Hebrew ,“hesed” or covenant keeping love) and his “forever enduring faithfulness!”
The sad reality is, without the redemptive love and provision of the Lord embraced by faith, the eternal consequences of “everyone doing their own thing” is tragic and terrible. The Lord has made a provision to deal with the eternally destructive consequences of sin, however! That provision is the Lord Jesus Christ… His sacrificial death for our sin on the cross and His resurrection and ascension into heaven, where he pleads our case before the Heavenly Father… Here’s the “good news” – the “gospel” – of all of that in a couple of verses… “God SO LOVED the WORLD that he gave His only Son (Jesus) that WHOEVER believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life! God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that THE WORLD might be save through Him!” (John 3:16-17)
So, I guess I’m going to have to say, “Sorry, I’m not willing to stand idly by and let everyone go on ‘doing their own thing!’ I’m going to do my best to reach them with the gospel so that God’s grand vision in Psalm 117 can be one day fulfilled… “all nations – all peoples” of the world praising the Lord and extolling Him for all eternity!