I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. (John 10:16)
Jesus Christ is hard at work gathering the rest of his sheep that he “bought with his own blood” (Acts 20:28) and that are “scattered abroad” (John 11:52). This is the main thing that is happening in the world. All the great geopolitical shifts in the world are connected to this mission. The world doesn’t know it.
But the church on earth, the sheep that are in the fold already, must remember this. It’s what history is all about and it’s why they are still here. It’s why God installs and removes rulers. It’s why economies surge and crash. It’s why church planting and missionary doors open and close. It’s why gospel awakening breaks out in one place and persecution breaks out in another.
We can be at peace despite major cultural shifts, political upheaval, war, natural disasters, disease, and persecutions (Romans 8:35) because we know that “we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37) to the point of death on a cross (Philippians 2:8). And we know that all these things “must take place” (Matthew 24:6) and that the “gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14).
God wants us to stir up our minds by way of reminder (2 Peter 3:1) so that we don’t lose sight of the gospel and the real purpose of history. Remembering is what keeps us from losing heart and hope and retreating into our private escapes.
Remembering is why we keep recommending the short but very potent book, Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die, and why we keep making it available by the case for a very low amount. We want to aid churches and groups and mission agencies in helping Christians clearly remember what’s at the core of the Bible and of all reality: Jesus died to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15) and he is relentlessly seeking each one he’s determined to save (Luke 19:10) until the full number has come in (Romans 11:25).
Jesus must bring in all his sheep and they will listen to his voice. It is so hopeful to remember that this is what all of human history is all about.