We have experienced thunderous, devastating waves one after the other. COVID-19 shut down the nation, radically impairing our economy and causing the loss of millions of jobs. Overlapping this is the social upheaval stemming from racial tensions. Our nation is convulsing from a devastating virus, economic downturn, and social chaos. We need God’s guidance to navigate these stormy times.
As believers, our quest for direction must begin with the Word of God. We must allow His gospel to ever-increasingly shape who we will be as the Church in our society and for eternity. In Revelation 5, we find the church, glorified and united, worshiping around the throne of Jesus. This multi-national, multi-linguistic, and multi-ethnic body will sing a new song: “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom of priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth” (Rev. 5:9-10, ESV).
This blood-bought, ransomed multitude consists of individuals from every people group in the world. Their song is one, and their object of worship is One – The Lamb of God who died to save and the Lion of Judah who rules through His people. Together they serve as a kingdom of priests who are reigning and will reign with Jesus into eternity.
Because we live in a sinful, broken world, we cannot perfectly bring heaven to earth. However, God’s people can reflect the complexion of heaven now. In our country, the Church has a unique opportunity and obligation to share the gospel with every ethnicity so all may have the chance to stand before Christ’s throne as redeemed people. This wondrous, future reality compels us to obey the Great Commission today. John Piper said, “The death of Christ was designed by God to unite races in a passion for the supremacy of Christ and of God the Father. Christ died to ransom worshippers from every race and every language.”
Recall what Jesus said in Matthew 28:18-20, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (ESV).
The original language says panta ta ethne (all nations), which Rolando Castro, Missions consultant in the Northwest region, referenced in his recent article. Our calling is to disciple all ethnicities.
We have a wonderful opportunity to bridge the gap with the gospel. By listening to brothers and sisters in Christ, we can tear down walls so nothing gets in the way of working together to bring others to the throne of God. Dr. Tony Evans, pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, recently spoke about seeing others from God’s perspective: “We have to develop a heart that cares for our fellow man because they’re created in the image of God – not because they look like us or have what we have – but because they have the stamp of divine creation on them.”
We must capture God’s vision for His church. Unified. Glorified. Occupied with Jesus. When we do this, we will be motivated to do all we can to lower any barrier so that every tribe and language and people and nation can hear and respond to the gospel. We must abandon prejudices and any discriminatory actions based on external differences by seeing all people as those for whom Christ died. We must also pursue the best for others by seeking to understand and intentionally adjusting our attitudes and actions so that we open hearts to the gospel.
When it comes to sharing our faith with others (no matter what another person’s background, ethnicity, or language) we must begin with the end in mind — the glorious vision of Jesus surrounded by a colorful display of humanity redeemed by His blood. Romans 10:12-13 states, “For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’” (ESV).