After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb… they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God.”
- Revelation 7:9-11 ESV
I am writing today amidst the racial and social injustice that has been flooding our television and computer screens over the last couple months. My heart breaks to see what we are capable of doing to our fellow man because of the hate that lies within us. The media and protests are merely highlighting the sin that has been hidden in our hearts since the foundation of the world. Think back to Cain and Abel, Israel’s enslavement to Egypt, the Samaritans and the Jews hatred for one another, these are just a few examples of social and racial injustice throughout the Bible.
The beautiful thing about the Gospel is that Jesus breaks through all of our prejudices, fears and differences to unite the most unlikely of people. Just sit in that for a moment. Paul, a man who persecuted, beat and murdered Christians is now forever united through the Gospel with Stephen, the very man whom he watched die as he gave consent to have him stoned to death (Acts 22:20). If I was going to build an eternal family that’s not how I would’ve chosen to accomplish it. Doesn’t it make sense to create a family based on commonalities such as language, culture or social status? I am grateful that God’s ways are perfect and that his thoughts are high above mine (Isaiah 55:9).
As Christians we are eternally united by one common factor, the blood of Christ. This means regardless of where we come from, the language we speak, the color of our skin, our social status, how many rules we have kept or how many we’ve broken we will stand in eternity together worshiping our Savior because of his saving grace.
Because of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection heaven will be an eternal, familial and global gathering of endless worship. Those who were once far off will be brought near. Those who were once outcasts and enemies will walk hand in hand in the glory of the Lord. All will be united by the name of Jesus, under the banner of his perfect love.
It has been said that the most segregated place in the United States is on Sunday mornings at church services across the country. Let us pray for the local church, that our hearts would align with Jesus’ heart to love the broken, the lost and the outcasts. Let us pray that our communities would look and resemble the diversity of heaven. That we would be a gathering of people from every tribe, tongue and nation worshiping together the risen Lamb, King Jesus!