Meditations on the Racial, Ethnic and Eternal Realities of Life

When I interact with people I always try to take into account two things; first I try and view them, spiritually speaking, a 100 years from now. When I do this I’m faced with the reality of heaven, hell, the eternal nature of the soul and divine judgment. Either your evil is covered by the blood of Jesus or it isn’t. . These are sobering thoughts. They snap you out of silly, inpersonal indifference and instead lead you to a somberness that is also hopeful; hopeful that they might consider the claims of Christ and that the Spirit of God might be moving to cover them with Christ’s blood.

The other thing I try and consider is their background. When I say background I really mean their race and ethnic identity along with a few other things. When I ponder where they are from our what their upbringing was like I am reminded of God’s desire to save all men and the fact that in revelation 5 we see all of the peoples of the earth represented around the throne of God and I come to the reality that because not all men will be saved both heaven and hell will both be ethnically diverse.

Along these lines I came across a quotation form John Piper as made the kind of considerations. Piper Writes, “The difference between heaven and hell is not that heaven will be ethnically diverse and hell won’t be. Both will be diverse. All races and all ethnicities and all cultures will be present in hell.

The difference between heaven and hell is that in heaven—that is, in the new heaven and new earth—there will be perfect racial and ethnic harmony, but in hell, racial and ethnic animosities will reach their fullest fury and last forever.

Paul spoke of the ethnic diversity of hell in Romans 2:9,

There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek.

“Jew and Greek” was shorthand for all ethnic groups.

We know he is talking about hell here because the opposite is eternal life:

To those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. (Romans 2:7)

Therefore, everyone who loves racial diversity and racial harmony will call all ethnic groups everywhere to believe on Jesus Christ, the Son of God, because

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. (John 3:36)

Heaven will be all the sweeter because the ethnic diversity that God designed for the good of his creation and the glory of his grace will last forever in perfect harmony and joy.”

I hope these are helpful thoughts for meditation of the eternal realities of life as well as the racial one.

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