I would like to choose one main passage from both the Old and New Testament to show the heart of God for the salvation of the nations.
Jonah 4:11, “And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?”
In the above passage God is rebuking Jonah for his hard heart towards the Ninevites and God’s mercy from preventing judgment. Therefore, I believe this passage is significant for the following reasons, (1) God shows his love for nations, not just the nation of Israel, (2) God teaches Jonah that He prefers mercy over judgment and does not take lightly the punishment of even a pagan nation, and lastly, (3) God choose Jonah to bring salvation to the city by preaching repentance, thus God uses people with His heart to prevent judgment.
Matthew 28:19-20, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
The above passage takes place after Jesus was raised from the dead and was leaving His eleven disciples his final instructions on how they should continue without His earthly presence. Jesus teaches the following about world missions in this passage, (1) Jesus is concerned about the salvation of the nations, not just the nation of Israel, (2) Jesus died and rose from the dead to secure the salvation of the nations- this will be what the disciples teach, and lastly, (3) Jesus will use the disciples as preachers with the Gospel message to bring light to all the nations in every age till He returns.
In conclusion, the Bible from both the Old and New Testament shows the heart of God for the salvation of the nations. Peter, a close disciple of Jesus, said in 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” Thus, God has always been and will always be focused on the redemption of all people in the world!