Ethnicity, Culture, Nationality and Heaven

Wednesday, December 16, 2009 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Revelation 7:9,  "After this 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 in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10And they cried out in a loud voice: "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne,and to the Lamb."

It is interesting that in our society we find ways to create divisions between people. Because of differences in ethnicity, language and customs, this becomes an excuse for some to assign either "superiority" or "inferiority" to oneself or to others.

From heaven's perspective, God celebrates our differences because it is the expression of His creative power. I'm always amused when people try to take the view that God is "color blind" and that we should also be "color blind," as if there was something wrong with acknowledging one's ethnicity and heritage. Rather than confront one's own prejudices, or self-hatred, with race and ethnicity, people try to dismiss it as something that is beneath believers and something to be avoided.

This text clearly shows us that IN HEAVEN God recognizes the nationality, language, ethnicity, and heritage of the people He created. Well, if God has no problem recognizing and celebrating our diverse human culture in heaven, we should have no problem doing so on earth. I thank God for my African ancestry, and I thank God for my American culture and nationality. Nothing in the recognition of my ethnicity and nationality diminishes my standing in Jesus Christ and my love and acceptance of all people, and especially my brothers and sisters in Christ from all walks of life.

Hiding from one's identity, or insisting that it is insignificant, just so that persons who are conflicted may feel more comfortable is not God's way. Again look at heaven and realize this is a picture that we should portray here on earth.

Said another way: We should love our neighbors as we love ourselves.