Is It Acceptable To Delight In The Downfall of the Wicked?

Schadenfreude — pleasure derived by someone from another person’s misfortune.

Actually, schadenfreude is a perfectly normal emotion and is
a dangerous emotion only when injustice is celebrated, not when justice is served. As Christians, we should experience schadenfreude when the wicked fall.

The Scriptures drip with biblical schadenfreude.

See …

Israel’s songs in Pharaoh’s defeat (Exodus 15)

Pharaoh’s chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red Sea. The depths have covered them: they sank into the bottom as a stone. Thy right hand, O Lord, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O Lord, hath dashed in pieces the enemy. And in the greatness of thine excellency, thou hast overthrown them that rose up against thee: thou sentest forth thy wrath, which consumed them as stubble.

Woman Wisdom’s sermon at the city gate (Proverbs 1:20-33)

24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; 25 But ye have set at naught all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: 26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;

Elijah’s raking of the Prophets of Baal

26 And they (the false prophets) took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made. 2And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked

This schadenfreude in Scripture reveals again that as the Church in the West finds practicing this kind of schadenfreude to be unacceptable, it is following the PC codes, and is attempting to be nicer than God.  Indeed, we might go so far as to say that where Christians to not experience schadenfreude where the wicked are caught in their own trap and so destroyed, there we find an example of sub-biblical Christianity.  Indeed a lack of biblical schadenfreude could be a case  where “Even the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.”

John Portmann, a professor of religious studies at the University of Virginia, set forth his own schadenfreude theory three years ago in his book, ‘When Bad Things Happen to Other People.’ Portman offers that we all consider justice a virtue and feel pleasure when we see lawbreakers brought low.

In response to Professor Portmann, we might say that it’s all to the good that Christians experience biblical schadenfreude because this pleasure reflects our reverence for God’s law and God’s justice. If Portmann is correct there is such a possibility as Biblical schadenfreude and to experience Biblical schadenfreude would be a corollary of justice rendered to the guilty and so God’s law being upheld.

It is schadenfreude that the saints will experience in the judgment of the wicked when the wicked are brought low.

18 And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!  19 And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate. 20 Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.

Certainly, schadenfreude, over the ruination of the wicked has been held by the Church Fathers throughout history;

Peter Lombard, the Master of Sentences

“Therefore the elect shall go forth…to see the torments of the impious, seeing which they will not be grieved, but will be satiated with joy at the sight of the unutterable calamity of the impious .” Sent. Iv 50, ad fin

Martin Luther

When questioned whether the Blessed will not be saddened by seeing their nearest and dearest tortured answers, “Not in the least.”


“…the Blessed will see their friends and relations among the damned as often as they like but without the least of compassion.”


“They who shall enter into [the] joy [of the Lord] shall know what is going on outside in the outer darkness. . .The saints’. . . knowledge, which shall be great, shall keep them acquainted. . .with the eternal sufferings of the lost.” [The City of God, Book 20, Chapter 22, “What is Meant by the Good Going Out to See the Punishment of the Wicked” & Book 22, Chapter 30, “Of the Eternal Felicity of the City of God, and of the Perpetual Sabbath”]



1st John’s Indicators Concerning The Holy Spirit

In his first Epistle St. John gives three indicators that we have the Spirit and so abide in Him and He in us. The first is that we keep the commandments of Jesus. The second is that we confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. The third is that we “love one another.”

Notice there is nothing there about the charismatic gifts.  Notice there is nothing there about the subjective inward look for the Spirit’s footprints that so many Pietists love. Really, the inward look, to one who is sensitive to God’s absolute standard of perfection is a recipe for despair. “I know that in me no good thing dwells.”

Note also how the Westminster Confession corresponds so well with St. John when it talks about the necessity of deed, word, and thought; or if you prefer, action, belief, attitude.

Keep in mind here that love (in the necessity to “Love one another”) can only be identified and defined by God’s law. The appeal here isn’t to a warm fuzzy feeling. The appeal here is to love as a verb… love shows action and the action it shows is treating our neighbors consistent with God’s revelation of Himself in his law.

Mary’s Magnificat and the Liberation Theology Narrative

he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
    and exalted those of humble estate;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
    and the rich he has sent away empty.

Luke 1:52f

The position of Mary (or Zechariah, or Simeon, or Anna, etc.) is not important because they were low on the social ladder but because they were saints of God despite their poverty and oppression. Poverty as poverty doesn’t score you any points in the Kingdom of God if one doesn’t belong to Christ and the people of God. The antithesis of the Scripture is not between rich vs. poor but between the Seed of the Serpent vs. The seed of the woman. This is underscored also in Dr. Luke’s parabolic account of the rich man (Dives) and Lazarus. Lazarus is not in Hades because he was rich and Lazarus is not in Abraham’s bosom because he was poor. Dives is an occupant of Hades because he would not listen to Moses and the prophets regarding the Messiah while Dives did listen. God does not hate the rich because they are rich and He does not love the poor because they are poor.

The emphasis in Mary’s Song is that God remembers His people who are being oppressed by the wicked mighty. The whole thrust of Luke’s songs is to demonstrate that God has not forgotten His people despite the fact it might look that way and despite the fact that they are being oppressed by wealthy wickedness in high places (Herod, Augustus Caesar etc.). The fact that the Lord Christ is born among the lowly does not prove that lowliness as lowliness is a virtue. After all, Jesus was born of the line of great King David and God includes the High Born in the nativity story by including visitation from the Kings of the East. In Scripture, God esteems those in Covenant, rich or poor, and destroys those outside of covenant, rich or poor.

The point in Luke’s Songs is not that God favors poor wicked people over righteous rich people. The point is that God has remembered Israel and He has remembered Israel despite her captivity and the low status she has sunken into. This is Redemptive History and what is being accentuated is God remembering His promise to raise up a Messiah. The character of God is what is being put on display, not the status of those whom He is remembering. What is not being accentuated is that God is social class conscious. Believe me, if the nativity story were written today, given how much the Wealthy are hated by our current Cultural Marxist clergy, God would have His Messiah born among the rich and royal to add the factor of “isn’t God amazing that He brought His Messiah among such ignoble filthy rich people.” However, what we don’t see in the nativity narrative of the cultural Marxist clergy is the amazing God who keeps His promises no matter what. No, what we see are the amazing poor people who, “naturally enough” are lifted up. Given their noble poverty they deserve it after all.

Does God bring down all the “Mighty” from their thrones? Did God bring down Job? Abraham? David? Are Zaccheus or Joseph of Arimathea to be counted as inferior saints in the New and Better covenant because they were wealthy? Is the New and Better covenant characterized now by God hating all wealthy people and loving all poor people regardless of their faith or lack of faith in Christ? Has the lack of wealth now become the new standard of inherent righteousness? Is God now for the proletariat and against the Bourgeois? Did God inspire Das Kapital?

This preoccupation of the Church in the West with Marxist categories completely flummoxes me. God loves the righteous in Christ regardless of their socio-economic status and he hates the wicked outside of Christ regardless of their socio-economic status… even if they are as poor and wretched as Dicken’s Fagin.

Why is it that we seem to think that God loves the impoverished more than the wealthy simply on the basis of their impoverishment? God loves His people in Christ. It is a certainty that the wealthy saints have a charge to keep in terms of their brethren of low estate but those of low estate are not superior to those of wealth if they are both looking to Christ and resting in him, just as the wealthy are not superior to those of poverty in terms of status before God just because they are wealthy.

God hates the unrighteous wealthy wicked because they do tend to oppress the poor but he equally hates the unrighteous impoverished wicked because they do tend to envy the rich. It strikes me that we have made the envious unrighteous wicked poor some kind of gold standard to aspire to. This is not what Scripture teaches and it is all very strange.

This then is the verdict – the light has come into the world, but men have hated the light because their deeds were evil. If you walk in the light as he is in the light, then they will hate you too, regardless of your socio-economic status. Oppression is due to the gospel and very often the estimable poor are poor due to their righteousness eliciting persecution and not because the in Christ wealthy are keeping them down.

Hell; Then and Now

Go to Hell
To Hell and back
What the Hell?
Give em Hell
Come Hell or high water
We’re proud that our Preacher doesn’t preach  “Hell, fire, and brimstone”
The Road to hell is paved with good intentions
“Hell is other people” — Jean Sartre (No Exit)
Going to hell in a hand-basket
People will say of the soon to be deceased, “They will split hell in half.”
Hell hath no fury like a woman’s scorn.

So the idea of “Hell” is much in our lexicon but increasingly we as a people don’t believe in Hell.

We know that because in a 2007 Barna survey it was revealed

that only 32 percent of adults see hell as, “an actual place of torment and suffering where people’s souls go after death.”

We know that Hell isn’t in our belief system much because as Dr. Paige Patterson, President of Southwest Baptist Seminary has said,

“You can traverse the entire United States on any given Sunday morning, and you very probably will not hear a sermon on the judgment of God or eternal punishment. Evangelicals have voted by the silence of their voices that they either do not believe in (the doctrine of hell) or else no longer have the courage and conviction to stand and say anything about it.”

Because Hell is so little spoken of and because it is one of the themes in Scripture, I try, every couple of years to preach at least one sermon on Hell and that in the Summer time because there is an easy to connect corollary.

First, we must note

I) The reality of Hell

A.) The New Testament speaks openly and repeatedly regarding the reality of Hell. It is,

The final abode of those condemned to eternal punishment (Mt. 25:41-46, Rev. 20:11-15)

Described as a place of fire and darkness (Jude 7, 13)

Described as a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth (Mt. 8:12, 13:42, 50, 22:13, 24:51, 25:30)

Described as a place of destruction (II Thes. 1:7-9, II Peter 3:7, I Thes. 5:3)

Described as a place of torment (Rev. 20:10, Luke 16:23)

B.) Jesus Himself repeatedly speaks of Hell

HADES — Abode of the Dead

(1)  Capernaum exalted to heaven, then brought down to hell (hades) Mt 11:23 / Lk 10:15 …two mentions on SAME OCCASION
(2)  Lord says He will build His church: Mt 16:18 …one mention, ONE OCCASION
(3)  Parable of Rich man & Lazerus:  Lk 16:23 …one mention, ONE OCCASION


(1) Sermon on the mount: Matt 5:29-30,22 and Mark 9:43,45,47… all 6 on the SAME OCCASION reported by both Mark and Matthew…
(2) Warning the Apostles to fear: Mark 10:28 Luke 12:5  two mentions…SAME OCCASION…
(3) Upbraiding the Pharisees:  Matt 23:15, 33 …2 mentions …SAME OCCASION
(4) Warning against offending little ones: Matt 18:9 …one mention, ONE OCCASION

The Greek word for Hell here is significant. Gehenna or the valley of Henna was a deep, narrow slight valley south of Jerusalem. Here the ancient idolatrous Jewish Kings and people would offer up their children in sacrifice to Molech ( 2 Chronicles 28:3 ; 33:6 ; Jeremiah 7:31 ; 19:2-6 ).

Later in time this same valley  became the Jerusalem dump. Here the corpse’s of animals and of criminals, and all kinds of filth, were cast away and consumed by a fire forever stoked and smoldering. The Gehenna dump thus in process of time became the image of the place of everlasting destruction.

This is the word used for the place of the wicked. It is the word used to speak of the Devil’s residence along with his servants. Because of the constant burning fire of the Jerusalem dump we easily understand the connection to everlasting fire as associated with Hell.  However, there might be more observed here about the nature of Hell with the usage of the word Gehenna. The Gehenna in Jerusalem like all city dumps was a place where no order existed nor meaningful relationship between objects exist. Hierarchy was non-existent.  It was a place of utter chaos and destructiveness.

Contrast that with this sanctuary or with your own homes. There is order here. Everything is in the place it is in for a reason. All is in a meaningful relationship with all else. The pews are faced in all one direction. The Cross, in the center, is ever before us. The pulpit is in the center thus communicating the centrality of God’s Word. The acoustics are designed for sound. The Windows for the movement of air. All is in order and all is properly related to everything else. Even our brass Church mouse speaks of meaning as it speaks of the necessity for quiet in God’s house.  (Quiet as a Church Mouse.) So there you have it. As humans we thrive on order, hierarchy, and meaning but a city dump as standing as metaphor for Hell there is no order… there is no natural relationship between objects. There is no meaning in the dump. There you find a once priceless Grandfather clock next to some old tattered sheets next to an old tennis shoe, next to a empty box of Frosted mini flakes, next to used kitty litter. The city dump is meaningless chaos. The city dump is total destructiveness.

In the words of Rushdoony,

“This tells us then something about Heaven and Hell. Heaven is that realm where all people and all things have a meaningful, loving fulfillment, one in another. There is a totality of meaning, a totality of purpose, a totality of fulfillment; whereas in Hell, there is a totality of isolation. There is no community between one person and another. There is a total isolation, so that everyone is his own world, his own universe, his own god.”

Well, what might we say here? We might note that as man constantly flees from God he at the same time integrates downward into the Gehenna dump with the result that he creates cultures of Hell where meaninglessness is prized as meaning. Where order is surrendered in pursuit of chaos. Where hierarchy is given up in favor of equality.

“Hierarchies are celestial. In hell all are equal.”

~Nicolás Gómez Davilla

One thing that is certainly true in a dump is that all the refuse and junk is equal … equally useless.

So, hell in Scripture is a place of endless burning. This stands in contrast in Scripture to heaven which is a place of endless blessing. Hell, like the Gehenna Jerusalem dump is a place of chaos, equality, and meaninglessness. Heaven, to the contrary, is a place of perfect order, eternal hierarchy, and total meaning. Hell is a place of total isolation whereas heaven is a place of complete community.

Here we can find a measuring rod for our family, churches, and communities. Do our community relationships take on the flavor of heaven or do they take on the character of the city dump — everything in isolation, nothing unique, all equally rotten and corrupt?

II.) Church History and Hell

For the Augustinians…….“They who shall enter into the joy of the Lord shall know what is going on outside in the outer darkness. . .The saints’. . . knowledge, which shall be great, shall keep them acquainted. . .with the eternal sufferings of the lost.”

Augustine, The City of God

SECTION 1.“In order that the happiness of the saints may be more delightful to them and that they may render more copious thanks to God for it, they are allowed to see perfectly the sufferings of the damned. . .So that they may be urged the more to praise God. . .the saints in heaven know distinctly all that happens. . .to the damned.”

Summa Theologica

“The view of the misery of the damned will double the ardour of the love and gratitude of the saints of heaven.”

The sight of hell torments will exalt the happiness of the saints forever. . .Can the believing father in Heaven be happy with his unbelieving children in Hell. . . I tell you, yea! Such will be his sense of justice that it will increase rather than diminish his bliss.

Jonathan Edwards
[“The Eternity of Hell Torments” (Sermon), April 1739 & Discourses on Various Important Subjects, 1738]

“God shall not pity them but laugh at their calamity. The righteous company in heaven shall rejoice in the execution of God’s judgment, and shall sing while the smoke riseth up for ever.”

Thomas Boston, Scottish preacher, 1732

III.) Hell and the Character of God

A.) Lose the Doctrine of Hell, and you lose the Justice of God

1.)  The denial of the eternality of Hell is another example of putative Christians or unlearned Christians or immature Christians attempting to make God out to be nicer than He makes Himself out to be. It is an attempt to save God from being God. It is sentimentality trying to rescue the alleged mean glowering character of God. It is another example of do gooders, who by doing their good, end up making Christianity crueler then any Devil could. This denial of the eternality of Hell is taken up by those who, at the very least think, “My God would never be that mean.” It is the argument which attempts to make God “reasonable.”

But God is not “reasonable.” At least not by modern man’s standards. This is something the Reformed Evangelist Rolfe Barnard understood. Barnard quotes two Psalms,

Psalm 9:17: “The wicked shall be turned into Hell, and all the nations that forget God”

And in Psalm 7:11, we find these words: “God is angry with the wicked every day.”

Despite everything we hear today, Hell, God’s eternal penitentiary of the damned, is a terrible reality that men need to be faced with these days. I am aware of the fact that the popular “god” of the popular Christianity today is not the God of the Bible. Like a dead trunk, the popular “god” has no eyes to see, no ears to hear, and no arms to punish the ungodly. But the God of the Bible had fire in Sodom. He had a rod of iron for Samaria, for Tyre, for Jerusalem, and for Belshazzar. The God of the Bible dashed to pieces entire nations like a potter’s vessel. However, the modern “god” has no judgment in his hand; according to the popular gospel today, the modern “god” has sheathed the sword, and sits down as an indulgent weakling. His arm which used to visit vengeance upon impenitent sinners, now hangs nerveless and paralyzed–that is the popular “god” of today. I refuse to worship such a “god”–such a “god” is the creation of man’s wishes, but not the true God of the Bible.

Rolfe Barnard

 2.) Denials of Hell do not seem to comprehend that by altering the anchor example of God’s eternal justice (The condemnation to Eternal punishment for those who rebelled against God and His Christ) that the effect is a relativizing of temporal justice and punishment. If the anchor of justice is set loose and diminished in the Cosmic Divine realm the effect is to set adrift any ideas of absolute justice in the temporal realm.  If God’s justice is altered in terms of Hell and / or its duration then justice is the realm of man can be relativized and altered as well. One reason why we see so much injustice around us is that the Church no longer upholds the justice of God, by affirming the doctrine of Hell.
3.) Those who insist upon the conditionality of Hell or deny the eternality of Hell are those who will, in themselves or in their generations, become those who rebel against the whole concept of fixed Justice. When we deny the proper required Justice applied (eternal Hell) against those who commit crimes against God’s character and who do not find forgiveness in Christ, we will, over the course of time, deny the proper required justice against those who commit other lesser crimes. If the required proper punishment is denied, in our thinking, against those who commit the greatest of all crimes (unrepentant rebellion against the Character of God) then the consequence of that will eventually be the denial of justice implemented against all other lesser crimes.

So … getting rid of the eternal character of Hell guarantees the eventual arise of Hell on earth.

  4.) The Holiness of God is infinite and as such rebellion against God’s Holiness requires eternal punishment for those who do not close with Christ. The denial of the eternality of Hell is a denial of the august and majestic character of God. Low views of Hell insure, and in turn cause, low views of God.

The doctrine of Hell is a case where the punishment fits the crime. Any lesser punishment would suggest a lesser crime. The suggestion of a lesser crime would suggest that an offense against the person of God is somehow an offense that shouldn’t have the fullest possible consequences.  The eternality of Hell corresponds to the Majesty of God and His Law.

B.) And here we round off in speaking of Christ.

Christ is the who bore the Hell of God’s elect that that we might know God’s favor. If we deny Hell, we are denying at the same time the monumental importance of Christ’s work. If Hell, is not real … not eternal, then why is Christ dying for sins that merit the punishment of Hell?

A denial of Hell, ends up being a denial of the meritorious finished work of Christ. On the Cross Christ takes my punishment but if there is no eternal punishment why should I be grateful that He took it?




A Few Observations — Matthew 28:18-20

In the Great Commission, we see that the Christian, per marching orders from the Lord Christ, is required to be future oriented, message-oriented, and nation oriented.

Future-oriented because we have been given a teleology that requires us to be constantly looking to the future extension of the Kingdom. Message-oriented because we have been given a set core of truth that is required to be transmitted. Nation oriented because we are tasked with discipling nations as nations.

In the Great Commission Christ created in His people a future orientation. He left them a task that gave them a teleology … a goal. With that goal of seeing the present Kingdom ever expanded they were oriented towards the future. They were not to be past- oriented nor present-oriented. They were to be future-oriented

As Harvard Scholar Banfield put it, “[T]he individual’s orientation toward the future will be regarded as a function of two factors: (1) ability to imagine a future, and (2) ability to discipline oneself to sacrifice present for future satisfaction.”

The Great Commission fulfills these two requirements. In assigning the Great Commission there is an imagined future when the Nations bow to Christ and secondly God’s people have decidedly modeled an ability to discipline oneself to sacrifice for the future.

A future orientation can manifest itself in many ways.

1.) Entrepreneurs forgo short term pleasure spending so they can plow their profits back into the business.

2.) Students being trained in highly skilled abilities will eat Macaroni and cheese or live in less than ideal housing so they can reap the larger benefits down the road.

3.)  Trustee families forgo present splurging looking to benefit future generations.

4.) In this text, the future orientation implied is connected with the Missionary endeavor to see Christ’s Kingdom expand. What we see in Scripture is the enduring of hardships so the future would be characterized as the Nations bowing to Christ. The willingness to undergo present hardship so that the future would look increasingly Christian.

I.) With the great Commission, Christ ensures that His people will be a future-oriented people.

This past week I’ve been working through a book that deals with the history of Communist Revolution. One thing that is clearly seen starting with Robespierre and Babeuf and working through Chernyshevsky, Tkachev, and Lenin is that though they were loathsome people they were future oriented. They gave up everything in the present in order to work towards a utopian future in which they believed.

This future orientation used to be characteristic of Christians. They envisioned the swelling of Christ’s future Kingdom and sacrificed in the short term to see that future become the present.

Of course future orientation, that identification marker once characteristic of Christians is no longer seen.  The modernists, not being able to ever have enough golden eggs, finally kills the golden goose in hopes of getting more. The instant gratification of materialism and of sexual license that bespeaks a presentism, ever beckons us to be unfaithful to our wives, unfaithful to our children and unfaithful to God.

Christians are to be future oriented and the future orientation is tied to leaving a godly inheritance to subsequent generations. That godly inheritance includes discipling our children so that they can be future oriented so that they will disciple their children.

Without Christ man is characterized by a sin and guilt that works in him a presentism that says, “Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow ye die.” In Christ death which paid for our sin and guilt we’ve been released from our inherent presentism to be future oriented and so to work for the extension of the Kingdom in being hearlders of the Great Commission, first to our covenant children, then to our extended Kin and then to our nation and then to the Nations. Our own Jerusalem, Judea, and the uttermost parts of the Earth.

II.) Message Oriented

“teaching them to observe all that I commanded you;”

And what had Jesus commanded them? Well, only what the Father had ever commanded His people and that is to walk in terms of God’s gracious Covenant Law Word.

Jesus Himself had said,

17 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18 For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not [h]the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches [i]others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever [j]keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

So, when Jesus gives the Great Commission here he is reaffirming the standard and normalcy of God’s law. The Nations would not be regenerated or Justified by observing God’s law but upon being regenerated and Justified …. having been made right before God they would now be a people who would love God’s law and delight in it both day and night.

Jesus did not come and give a new law as if He were a new God. When Jesus tells those disciples to teach the Nations to observe all that He commanded them He was authorizing them to be Champions of God’s law.

There would yet remain many Nations but each of those nations were to be ruled by God’s One Mediator and God’s One Law. Here we see, in microcosm, the idea of unity in diversity.

III.) Nation Oriented

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them

If all the Church had was this one passage it would be enough to suggest that Christianity is a religion that affirms nations and so a biblical Nationalism. Of course, this idea of Nations coming into the Church as Nations has lost its luster and has been replaced by a kind of Christian Cosmopolitan Internationalism where the first requirement for being Christian is that we forgo our National identity. We seem to be agreeing with enemies of the Church like Adam Weishaupt who could say,

“Princes and nations will disappear without violence from the earth, the human race will become one family and the world the abode of reasonable men.”

-Adam Weishaupt, quoted in Paul Johnson, Intellectuals (London: Orion Books Limited, 1993), p. 32

Contrary to Weishaupt, and all New World Order types, Rev. Hugh M’Neile could properly offer,

“We cannot agree in that cosmopolitan view of Christianity which undermines the particularities of our National Establishment, any more than we could agree in such a cosmopolitan view of philanthropy as would extinguish domestic affections, in all their vivid and constraining peculiarity of influence.”

Rev. Hugh M’Neile, M.A.
Sermon — Nationalism in Religion
Delivered — 08 May, 1839

Christ here affirms Nations. It is the Nations as nations to which we are to Teach, Baptize and convert and as we learn in the book of Revelation it is Nations as Nations which are found in the New Jerusalem.

“Nationalism, within proper limits, has the divine sanction; an imperialism that would, in the interest of one people, obliterate all lines of distinction is everywhere condemned as contrary to the divine will. Later prophecy raises its voice against the attempt at world-power, and that not only, as is sometimes assumed, because it threatens Israel, but for the far more principal reason, that the whole idea is pagan and immoral.

Now it is through maintaining the national diversities, as these express themselves in the difference of language, and are in turn upheld by this difference, that God prevents realization of the attempted scheme… [In this] was a positive intent that concerned the natural life of humanity. Under the providence of God each race or nation has a positive purpose to serve, fulfillment of which depends on relative seclusion from others.”

-Geerhardus Vos,
Biblical Theology

The way the Nations are gathered is by Baptism,