A Christian may have a certain job or responsibility in this life that takes one to another country for business, political purposes, or simply for pleasure, but when a Christian goes to another nation representing the cause of Christ to preach the gospel and live among brethren in other nations then all are brethren of the same nation (1 Peter 2:5). Paul wrote; “Now therefore you are no longer strangers and aliens, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:19). The message of the gospel, the power of the gospel, and the household of God, or the nation of God, the church transcends all nations. Christians from all nations may come together and have different languages, customs, traditions, laws, foods, etc., but united together in Christ through faith and being a part of the same church. A Christian that desires to go to another country to preach that gospel and at the same time promote one’s own country over another is not truly viewing the transcending nature of the Lord’s church. Are there some better systems of governments than others? Certainly there are because some nations extend more freedom to worship and assemble openly than others. Are there better economic systems than others? Certainly there are because some nations have great physical suffering because of their poorer economic systems and others have wealth. The fact still remains that the Lord’s church transcends all nations.
For the Christians that go and work side by side with brethren of other nations in the preaching of the gospel it is no vacation. It is work that begins early in the morning and goes until late at night, non-stop, and for days without a break. One that goes is often eating food that they are not accustomed to, living in conditions that often are far inferior to home, and under various stresses much of the time. However, it is the powerful message of the gospel that motivates and knowing that souls are brought closer to God (Romans 1:16). It is a great blessing to live in this country and enjoy all of the benefits of it, but if you are a Christian it is an even greater blessing to be part of a nation that transcends all nations.
As one watches the cable network news stations it is easy for the Christian to think of self as being an American first and often even to the extent of before being a Christian. It is true that God established the nations and governments and that a nation has the God given responsibility to promote that which is right and punish that which is wrong (Romans 13). Along with this would be the right of a nation to protect itself from evil through physical, moral, or economic aggression. However a Christian has the responsibility not to just blindly defend one’s native land, but also try to view it through the eyes of Jesus. The reality is that a Christian is part of a greater kingdom, a spiritual kingdom that Jesus established, and a kingdom or nation that transcends all nations (Matthew 16:18-19, 28, John 18:36-38, Acts 2:38, 41, 47, Colossians 1:13, Hebrews 12:28, 1 Peter 2:5). Jesus said; “My kingdom is not of this world.” The Lord’s kingdom or church is the nation that transcends all nations.
by Wayne Brewer