Christ has been established at the right hand of God the Father, and He has been given dominion over all the nations of men. This has been established in principle, and the task of the Great Commission is not to go out and try to make this true, but rather to declare to all the nations that it already is true. As that declaration is made in faith, the reign of Christ (an established fact) is made increasingly visible to the eyes of men.
But Christ rules by His instruments, not by ours. He extends His scepter, and it is His kind of scepter, not our kind. His scepter is wielded over the nations of men by means of the Word, the gospel preached with authority, and the sacraments—baptism and this Supper here.
That’s it. Christ’s kingdom will fill the earth because His preachers declare something, pour water on people, break bread and distribute wine. No armies, no lobbyists, no missiles, no goose-stepping millions, no marketing campaigns, no politics, and no flattery at all.
But make no mistake. It is not as though the armies and the governments and the nations (and all the other things we do) are irrelevant in this. They are very much a part of this process. The fact that we do not conquer by these carnal means does not mean that we will not come to see them as objects to be conquered. The Lordship of Jesus Christ must be acknowledged everywhere.
So how do we bring this about? Should we organize? No, we should take and eat, take and drink. But the objections come. “What good will this do?” said the Israelite grumbler, marching with the others around Jericho, just before the walls fell.
God tells us what to do, and He promises us what He will then do. The gospel always does what it does, which is to run free, setting men free. It cannot be bound, and earthly rulers have no countermeasures for it. Believe me, they have spent a great deal of time trying to develop countermeasures. But there are none.