No Racism in Heaven
Thursday - May 28th
Scripture to Read for Today's Devotional: Revelation 7:9-10
Today's Selection from our Sermon on the Mount Reading Plan: Matthew 5:27-32
I looked, and there before me was a great
multitude that no one could count, from every
nation, tribe, people and language,
standing before the throne and before the Lamb.
It might sound obvious to say that Heaven will be free of racism, but as God's children, we are to bring God's Kingdom values to earth through our lives today. As I introduced the Sermon on the Mount teaching series this past weekend at Calvary, I talked about people who make up their own rules and live in their own little kingdoms. They do it because they want (and thrive on) power over others.
One of the most horrific forms of leveraging power over someone else is racism. Whether the thought is conscious or sub-conscious, any thread of racism drives the desire to get more power by saying, "I am better than you." Once we start down that path, we subtly grasp for more and more control over others. When our mission in life is centered on being a person of power and influence, bias and prejudice will naturally rush into our hearts.
This week our nation has again seen the continuing monster of racism raise its ugly head. When I addressed this issue a few weeks ago regarding Ahmaud Arbery, I emphasized how racism grieves the heart of God. It devalues and dehumanizes another person - a person God made in His own image. The roots of racism go deep and have a long history in our nation - and sadly, often in the American church.
To live and love like Jesus means we repudiate any and all forms of racism. Even Jesus confronted racism within his own disciples. We stand with those seeking full justice for the lives that were taken for being black. We should also examine our own hearts and repent of any ugly prejudices the Holy Spirit reveals to us. We must talk about these vile instances of racism that make the news and agree with how awful and demeaning it is. We should be looking at these instances of racism with our children and grandchildren (in an age-appropriate way). They need to learn from us a different pattern. Ultimately, breaking generational racism allows God's Kingdom values to come, and His will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven.
In Revelation, 7:9-10, the Apostle John gets a beautiful glimpse of the throne room of Heaven. He talks about how every tribe and every dialect were seen there worshiping Jesus. Years ago, I had someone say to me, "The whole picture with all of those tribes and all those nations bother me." He just did not want people different from him to have the same kind of access he had to God. Various skin tones, accents, and ethnicities being present in Heaven bothered him. How sad!
The Kingdom of God is radically different. Humility reigns as core to the value system. God's Kingdom is for everyone. God's Kingdom knows no hint of racism!
God made everyone in His own image. Jesus died for everyone. There is no place for prejudice in God's Kingdom. Our hearts should long for His Kingdom's values to spread on earth now as they are in Heaven.