Symington on Christ's commission of missionaries to restricted territories

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RPEphesian

Puritan Board Junior
Matthew 28:18–20: All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

For encouragement and to brighten our zeal:

@JTB.SDG @Pergamum

From "Messiah the Prince", Ch. 8.

Sixthly. The Prince of the kings of the earth opens up a way for the universal dissemination and success of his Gospel among the nations. The religion of the Cross is to be universally diffused. This supposes that the ministers of Christ are to circulate throughout the nations, making overtures of reconciliation to their inhabitants, and urging upon them the claims of their divine Sovereign. ‘Go ye and teach all nations, baptizing them,’ &c., is the command of the Redeemer to his ministering servants. But it is only in virtue of his sovereignty over the nations, that he could issue such a mandate: and in this way only could those invested with his commission be warranted to demand admission for themselves and reception for their message by the nations of the earth. When the ambassadors of Jesus visit foreign lands to disseminate the knowledge of the Gospel, however exclusive the laws and strict the prohibitions of these lands against foreign intrusion, they are not to be regarded as lawless aggressors. Jealous potentates may refuse to acknowledge the King in whose name they come; the subservient functionaries of these potentates may use all means to shut them out from their dominions: but they have a right to enter, and as faithful and authorised ambassadors, have a right to negotiate with the inhabitants of all lands in behalf of their Sovereign Lord. It may be their duty to use caution, and exercise prudence, in introducing themselves into heathen kingdoms; but still they are to regard themselves as fully entitled to be heard, in the name of him by whom they are sent. The sovereignty of their Lord spares them the moral degradation of feeling that they are doing what is illegal,—that they are violating the principles of international law,—that they are acting the part of contraband traders. What they are doing may be unauthorised by man, may be contrary even to the will and command of the rulers of those regions of the earth into which they have gone: but they proceed in the name of One whose authority extends over all nations, who claims all the kings of the earth as his subjects, and whose commands cannot, without rebellion, be disputed. He has said to them, ‘Go and teach all nations:’ and, when the jealousy of heathen princes interferes to impede them in the execution of this commission, by arresting them on the confines of their territory, and commanding them to ‘depart from their coasts,’ they are entitled to refuse, and to plead as an excuse for so doing the obligation to obey God rather than man. Without the supremacy of Christ over the nations, however, the missionaries of the Cross could have no right thus to penetrate into all lands;—the apostolic commission could not, indeed, be lawfully executed. In consequence of this supremacy, however, they may circumnavigate the globe, may touch at every island that studs the ocean, may make a descent on every coast, may pass every boundary, may knock at the gates of every palace, may address every crowned head, may pervade the length and breadth of every kingdom, and ask admission, in name of the King of kings, for themselves and for their message.

Nor is the right of his ambassadors to proceed, the only thing that is secured by the Messiah’s headship over the nations. Provision is thus made for the opening up of a way, for the success of their cause, and the protection of their persons. There may be much in the prejudices, the opinions, the habits, and the manners of the inhabitants, much in their legal institutions and superstitious rites, to present barriers to the introduction of the pure and self-denying religion of Jesus: but, notwithstanding all, the Prince of the kings of the earth can open a way for his own cause in the midst of all obstructions. Nothing can baffle his counsel; nothing withstand his might. Difficulties disappear at his approach: before him mountains become a plain. ‘He hath the key of David; he openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth. Behold,’ says he, ‘I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it.’[27] Yes; the herald of salvation in foreign lands may have numerous discouragements, and may often find reason to say with the great apostle of the Gentiles, ‘there are many adversaries;’ but, believing in the dominion of Christ over the nations, he need not despair of being enabled to add, ‘a great door and effectual is opened unto me.’[28]

Taken from covenanter.org (not an endorsement of all that is on the website)
 
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Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Matthew 28:18–20: All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

For encouragement and to brighten our zeal:

@JTB.SDG @Pergamum

From "Messiah the Prince", Ch. 8.

Sixthly. The Prince of the kings of the earth opens up a way for the universal dissemination and success of his Gospel among the nations. The religion of the Cross is to be universally diffused. This supposes that the ministers of Christ are to circulate throughout the nations, making overtures of reconciliation to their inhabitants, and urging upon them the claims of their divine Sovereign. ‘Go ye and teach all nations, baptizing them,’ &c., is the command of the Redeemer to his ministering servants. But it is only in virtue of his sovereignty over the nations, that he could issue such a mandate: and in this way only could those invested with his commission be warranted to demand admission for themselves and reception for their message by the nations of the earth. When the ambassadors of Jesus visit foreign lands to disseminate the knowledge of the Gospel, however exclusive the laws and strict the prohibitions of these lands against foreign intrusion, they are not to be regarded as lawless aggressors. Jealous potentates may refuse to acknowledge the King in whose name they come; the subservient functionaries of these potentates may use all means to shut them out from their dominions: but they have a right to enter, and as faithful and authorised ambassadors, have a right to negotiate with the inhabitants of all lands in behalf of their Sovereign Lord. It may be their duty to use caution, and exercise prudence, in introducing themselves into heathen kingdoms; but still they are to regard themselves as fully entitled to be heard, in the name of him by whom they are sent. The sovereignty of their Lord spares them the moral degradation of feeling that they are doing what is illegal,—that they are violating the principles of international law,—that they are acting the part of contraband traders. What they are doing may be unauthorised by man, may be contrary even to the will and command of the rulers of those regions of the earth into which they have gone: but they proceed in the name of One whose authority extends over all nations, who claims all the kings of the earth as his subjects, and whose commands cannot, without rebellion, be disputed. He has said to them, ‘Go and teach all nations:’ and, when the jealousy of heathen princes interferes to impede them in the execution of this commission, by arresting them on the confines of their territory, and commanding them to ‘depart from their coasts,’ they are entitled to refuse, and to plead as an excuse for so doing the obligation to obey God rather than man. Without the supremacy of Christ over the nations, however, the missionaries of the Cross could have no right thus to penetrate into all lands;—the apostolic commission could not, indeed, be lawfully executed. In consequence of this supremacy, however, they may circumnavigate the globe, may touch at every island that studs the ocean, may make a descent on every coast, may pass every boundary, may knock at the gates of every palace, may address every crowned head, may pervade the length and breadth of every kingdom, and ask admission, in name of the King of kings, for themselves and for their message.

Nor is the right of his ambassadors to proceed, the only thing that is secured by the Messiah’s headship over the nations. Provision is thus made for the opening up of a way, for the success of their cause, and the protection of their persons. There may be much in the prejudices, the opinions, the habits, and the manners of the inhabitants, much in their legal institutions and superstitious rites, to present barriers to the introduction of the pure and self-denying religion of Jesus: but, notwithstanding all, the Prince of the kings of the earth can open a way for his own cause in the midst of all obstructions. Nothing can baffle his counsel; nothing withstand his might. Difficulties disappear at his approach: before him mountains become a plain. ‘He hath the key of David; he openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth. Behold,’ says he, ‘I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it.’[27] Yes; the herald of salvation in foreign lands may have numerous discouragements, and may often find reason to say with the great apostle of the Gentiles, ‘there are many adversaries;’ but, believing in the dominion of Christ over the nations, he need not despair of being enabled to add, ‘a great door and effectual is opened unto me.’[28]

Taken from covenanter.org (not an endorsement of all that is on the website)

Great quote.

I have actually been told that missionaries should not go into "Closed countries" and that God has ordained the governments of those countries and so if they make missionary work illegal then we not to go elsewhere.
 

RPEphesian

Puritan Board Junior
Great quote.

I have actually been told that missionaries should not go into "Closed countries" and that God has ordained the governments of those countries and so if they make missionary work illegal then we not to go elsewhere.

What do they think then of the apostles? Paul was executed for disobedience to Nero! Wasn't he aware of Romans 13?

Shutting out the Gospel is infinitely tyrannical. No civil law may ban the entry of the Gospel under pretext of Romans 13 or any other passage. Terror to good--especially eternal good--is no lawful power, but the work of the devil, and barring the Gospel is the very worst of disobedience to Christ the King. For which reason I to this day commend John Chau.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
What do they think then of the apostles? Paul was executed for disobedience to Nero! Wasn't he aware of Romans 13?

Shutting out the Gospel is infinitely tyrannical. No civil law may ban the entry of the Gospel under pretext of Romans 13 or any other passage. Terror to good--especially eternal good--is no lawful power, but the work of the devil, and barring the Gospel is the very worst of disobedience to Christ the King. For which reason I to this day commend John Chau.

In Scripture we are given two pictures of government; Romans 13 and Revelation 13. One is a servant and the other a beast. Let's not mix them up. Governments can scare evildoers with the sword, or governments can persecute the true faith. Romans 13 does not apply if the government strays from Scripture and we even have the duty and obligation then to oppose that government (and maybe even overthrow it).

We are to obey God rather than man.

John Chau was a hero. Our age is just not able to recognize true heroes. The great shame is that he has been the first to die in a long time trying to reach these people.
 
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