It is a thought that should be a source of great joy and comfort – the church belonging to Jesus was in the mind of God from eternity! God was not caught off-guard when the crown of His creation, Adam and Eve, would make the choice to disobey and bring sin into the world. God knew that provisions would need to be made in reconciling the relationship that sin had broken between Himself and mankind. He knew that redemption would be made possible in Christ and this, once again, before the world began (2 Timothy 1:9). Peter says of Jesus, “He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,” (1 Peter 1:20).
Approximately 700 years before Jesus would come to offer Himself as the great sacrifice for the sins of man (Hebrews 10:10) and purchase His church (Acts 20:28), Isaiah the prophet was writing to offer hope for the future of God’s people. Yes, he spent a great deal of time speaking to the sin and judgement coming upon God’s disobedient people (see chapters 1-35), but as he begins in chapter 40 through the end of the book, we find a great section on comfort and hope as he looks to the future.
Please turn your attention to Isaiah 62:2, “The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, and all kings your glory. You shall be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name.” There are two great truths in this single verse to bring us great joy and comfort today:
The Gentiles would see God’s righteousness – In Acts 10, we see the first Gentiles ushered into the kingdom of Christ. God told Peter to go with the men who came to him and was taken into the house of a Gentile, named Cornelius. It was there that Peter announced that God had told him not to call any man common or unclean (Acts 10:28) and that with God there is no partiality, that in every nation whoever fears God and works righteousness is accepted by Him (Acts 10:34-35). To the Jews in Rome, Paul declared that, “The salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear it!” (Acts 28:28). Praise God that salvation in Jesus is made available to all men!
The redeemed of the earth are given a new name that God would provide – this name is provided for the first time in Acts 11:26. The Bible says that the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch. It is a name that we find a total of three times in the New Testament. The second time is found in Acts 26:28, where King Agrippa tells Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.” And thirdly, 1 Peter 4:16, where Peter speaks of suffering as a Christian. What a wonderful name that God has provided to those who obey His Son!
Why would we seek to be called by any other name? It is only the Continue in Prayer name of Christ where one is saved, there is salvation in no other name (Acts 4:12). This is a name that God knew He would provide His people – no matter what nation one may be found – because God always had a plan for salvation. If that doesn’t bring you joy and comfort, what will?