Which Servant of the King Will You Be?

Faithful servants of Christ must guard against attitudes that oppose God’s desire for all to repent.

God’s plan for the nations includes not only his provision for their redemption but also his just judgment and righteous rule.

We know “that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow” (Philippians 2:10). Therefore, our proclamation of the good news of Christ’s kingdom includes both a warning to repent because of the judgment to come and a promise of eternal life through the sacrificial death of Jesus for those who believe.

What will happen to those who do not believe the good news of the gospel? What will happen to individuals among the nations who fall under God’s condemnation? The book of Revelation describes how those who refuse to repent will undergo God’s cataclysmic judgment of the earth.

The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk, nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts. (Revelation 9:20-21, emphasis added)

. . . and cursed the God of heaven for their pain and sores. They did not repent of their deeds. (Revelation 16:11, emphasis added)

We could rightly say that there are two kinds of people on the earth: those who repent and those who do not repent—the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25:32). So, we can see the vital necessity of spreading the good news across the earth in preparation for Christ’s kingdom so that all will hear the gospel and have an opportunity to respond, whether with acceptance or rejection.

Interestingly, there is a third group of people who Jesus mentioned in his teachings. We don’t know if individuals from this third group ultimately repent in their future; there are likely some who do repent and others who don’t. This third group is composed of those who are jealous of sinners who come to repentance.

And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’ But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him[.] (Luke 15:27-28, emphasis added)

And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius. Now when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more, but each of them also received a denarius. And on receiving it they grumbled at the master of the house, saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ (Matthew 20:9-12, emphasis added)

Because of their jealousy, some individuals within this third group may oppose certain aspects of the kingdom of God. In Jesus’ day, Pharisees attempted to hinder his ministry among the repentant sinners who belonged to social classes looked down upon in society—and Jesus reserved his most severe verbal judgments for them. Even today, there can be groups of religious, self-righteous individuals whose attitude is contrary to the spread of the gospel. This mindset can unfortunately exist among both those who have trusted Christ and those who have not. Like the Pharisees in Judea, they can become so concerned with personal holiness according to man-made laws that they become uninterested in welcoming repentant sinners into believing congregations. We need to guard against an attitude that is in opposition to God’s plan for the nations.

To be a faithful servant of Christ amid his plan for the nations begins with a love for God and repentance of our own sins and extends to include a love for others who need grace for repentance (just as all of us do). Without these foundational elements, any missions-like behavior would be empty and meaningless (I Corinthians 13:1-3). We should all look forward to the day when we can see the fulfillment of John’s vision together with our brothers and sisters in Christ:

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:3-4)


Lord, you are the rightful judge of all the earth. Help us to have a heart of repentance and faith. Help us to love others in both grace and truth.
In Jesus’ name, amen.

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray that you would follow the example of Jesus in extending love and grace to all those in need of repentance, without bias or prejudice.
  • Pray that many will hear the gospel and have an opportunity to respond through the faithful work of missionaries spreading the gospel across the earth.
  • Pray for the ministry of specific missionaries you know and for the people they are serving, including those who have accepted Christ and those who have not yet done so.

Andrew Paul Ward

Andrew Paul Ward is an ABWE missionary to Togo, West Africa, sent from Grace Baptist Church in Chattanooga, TN. Andrew is the husband of Mary, father to Emmanuel, Cyrus, and Alethia. He holds a B.S. from Bob Jones University, an M.Div. from Temple Baptist Seminary, and an Ed.D. from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Support Andrew’s ministry.