How John’s Vision informs Race Relations

The focus of this post is not on the violence, rioting, and looting that are taking place around the nation.  Neither am I excusing these misguided actions. These acts have clearly missed the message of the many peaceful protests and must be denounced as such.

With the above out of the way, here is where I want to focus our attention: John’s vision in Revelation 7:9-10 and how it should inform our race relations.

“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 before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.  And they cried out in a loud voice:

‘Salvation belongs to our God,

who sits on the throne,

and to the Lamb.'”

1. Let’s take a closer look at John’s vision: the great multitude is from every nation, tribe, people and language. That’s all of humanity represented before that throne. None is left out. None is forgotten.

2. They were all standing before the throne and before the Lamb, ready to pay homage for their salvation. None is left out. None is forgotten.

3. They were all wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. Their white robes represents their preparation to come in to the presence of a holy God. Their white branches to pay homage. None is left out. None is forgotten.

4. They all cried in a loud voice and sang the same song, testifying to the salvation that they had all received from our God and the Lamb. None is left out. None is forgotten.

Heaven does not practice racism. Heaven does not practice racial discrimination.  Heaven knows no such prejudice.

Remember, all of humanity–people of every nation, tribe, and language–equally bear the image of God and equally in need of salvation. Equally.

My prayer is that this heavenly vision will both captivate and transform our hearts and minds–to see others the way heaven sees them.

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Pentecost Sunday and Race Relations

SamefleshAs our nation reels and reflects on racial issues in light of Mr. George Floyd’s death, I believe Pentecost Sunday–the Sunday 50 days after Easter when Christians celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1ff)–proves quite instructive:

1. On the first Pentecost following the ascension of Jesus, when the Holy Spirit was poured out, the Apostle Peter says that this is fulfillment of Joel prophecy: “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people” (Acts 2:17; see Joel 2:28). The Holy Spirit, the eschatological gift of the new covenant people of God, is not a racist–he is poured out on ALL people.

2. This SAME Holy Spirit that was poured out on Pentecost is the SAME Holy Spirit by whom we all have access to the SAME heavenly Father through the SAME Son, Jesus Christ our Lord (Ephesians 2:18).

15 “As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning. 16 Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17 So if God gave them the same gift he gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could stand in God’s way? (Acts 11:15-17 NIV, emphasis added)

However, I believe that some of our brothers and sisters silence on this matter, or even indifference, is a resistance of the move of Spirit of Pentecost under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

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Ravi Zacharias: A Tribute (1946-2020)

Ravi-ZachariasI first learned of Ravi Zacharias, Christian Apologist and author, while preparing for Christian ministry as a student in Florence, AL.

I began to read his books and listen to his lectures and sermons.  In a way, I was sitting at the feet on Ravi on matters of Christian apologetics. I noticed a change in the way I began to see the world–my worldview became more Christian.

Over the years, I kept up with Ravi’s ministry.  God continued to use him, to advance his kingdom. Ravi was not slowing down.

Like many, I too am grateful to God for the ministry of Ravi Zacharias, who died on Tuesday, 19 May 2020.

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Epiphany (January 6, 2019)

 “O God, who by the leading of a star didst manifest thy only-begotten Son to the peoples of the earth: Lead us, who know thee now faith, to thy presence, where we may behold thy glory face to face; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.” —Book of Common Prayer

Epiphany symbolizes God’s manifestation to the Gentiles through his Son Jesus.  In Western Christianity, it is the celebration of the visit of the Maji (traditionally, “wise men”) to the Christ Child, thus marking Jesus’ physical manifestation to the Gentiles (see Matthew 2).

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