Matthew 6:9-10 NIV “This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
That kingdom has no geographic boundaries.
The last thing that Jesus said to his disciples was to go into to all the world not to a single nation, and make disciples who would become citizens of God's kingdom.
Matthew 28:18-20 NIV Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
“Today 60 % of all Christians inhabit regions equaling two-thirds of the world’s area: Asia, Africa and Latin America. We find more Christians attending worship in China than in all of Western Europe. Today in Scotland, less than ten percent of Christians attend church, while in the Philippines this morning, you will find seventy percent of that nation’s Christians in the pews. In Nigeria alone, there are seven times as many Anglicans as there are Episcopalians in the United States. Korea now has four times as many Presbyterians as we have in this country.
There are black faces, brown faces, yellow faces, red faces, white faces. With flat noses and pointed noses, black eyes, brown eyes and blue eyes, round and almond-shaped eyes. All of them, our sisters and brothers from every tribe and nation, are gathered in this morning’s joyful feast of the people of God.” - From the Sermon Cracks In The Wall by Victor D. Pentz
Galatians 3:28 (NLT2) There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.
That's globalism not nationalism!
The second post was “God Is A Globalist And Not A Nationalist, And He Loves Diversity”. In that post I point out that God is all about diversity as evidence by the diversities of the Gifts of the Spirit for the church.
I Corinthians 12:4-6 NKJV There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.
“The Church is called to be a Christ-centered community of diversity. “In Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28).
Too often the divisions of the world are brought right into the church. Instead of reflecting the light of Christ, we mirror the broken world. Women are discriminated against, racial segregation persists and whenever an international conflict arises, those in the church are frequently uncritical cheerleaders for our nation’s side in the hostility.
What can we do to live with our differences in a way that honors Christ and is good for the church?
First, open your own life to change. In 1 Corinthians 13 the scripture tells us, “Love does not demand its own way.”
Second, recognize that you don’t have the right to judge the motives of others. “Who are you to pass judgment on the servants of another? It is before their own Lord that they stand or fall” (Romans 14:4).
Third, we need to recognize that there is sometimes more than one right way to think and to behave. The choice is not always between right and wrong. Yes, some things are black and white, evil or good. Don’t allow controversy over opinions to be the center of your conversation. Welcome one another. “Welcome one another … but not for the purpose of quarreling over opinions.” (Romans 15:1; Romans 14:1).
Fourth, we need to recognize that no one of us, and no single group of people like us, can stand alone. We need each other to do what God calls us to do in the world. As Paul wrote, “We do not live to ourselves and we do not die to ourselves.”” - From the Sermon Diversity: Living With Diversity Romans 14:1-9 by Craig M. Watts
What Does the Bible Say About Racism?
By Megan Bailey (Bold emphasis mine)
God makes it clear that no man is superior to another.
Racism: prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.
The civil rights movement happened over 50 years ago, yet we still have a lack of understanding about how to treat each other with respect. Racism isn’t a problem we can ignore as it’s a very pertinent issue in today’s society.
As Christians, we should seek to understand how God wants us to react to racism. The Bible is the source of knowledge for Christians, and it directly addresses the problem. Racism has been an issue throughout history, including when the Bible was written.
Stories of Racism in the Bible
The problem of racism can be found in Bible stories. God chose to work with the nation of Israel, however made it a point to tell them that they were not superior to anyone else because of this. Leviticus 19:34 states “the stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”
Despite this, some felt that Israel and its descendants were racially superior to those around them because they descended from Abraham. They believed that their salvation was completely secure because of their lineage. John the Baptist told them “Do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones” (Matthew 3:9).
God told Peter what had always been true; that “God is no respecter of persons”
Acts 10:34 (NLT2) Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism.
The Gentiles were just as much of God’s plan as those in Israel and no group was superior to the other. Peter spoke to them and stated “But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him”
Acts 10:35 (NLT2) In every nation he accepts those who fear him and do what is right.
Nationality, lineage and race never determined where the Israelites or gentiles stood with God. People like Ruth, Rehab, and Luke were all gentiles who came to God. In contrast, God’s chosen people of Israel suffered defeat and near-annihilation because they consistently disobeyed God’s Word. It is clear that God does not support the authority of any ethnic group above another.
Racism is a Sin Against God
Most people know that racism is wrong. But as Christians, we should seek to understand why it’s morally wrong in the eyes of God as well. Through more education, we can better explain to others why racism shouldn't be tolerated and how to overcome the distorted thinking.
Most Christians know that Genesis 1:27 says that we were all made in the image of God. No matter what color you are, you are no more worthy or deserving of dignity than any other human. In addition, all believers of Christ are one with Christ. And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you.
Galatians 3:28-29 (NLT2)28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.29 Our most important identity is not our gender, socioeconomic status or race; it’s that we are Christian. We continue to be more alike than we are different because we are all cut from the same cloth. We are brothers and sisters in Christ.
Christ came down to earth to break down the walls between people, not to build them up
Ephesians 2:14-16 (NLT2)14 For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us.15 He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups.16 Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death.
We have all been made in the image of Christ and were born into the same dark world. How can we not all draw near to each other as members of this same family?
Being partial to a group of people over another in itself is a sin according to James 2.1.
James 2:1 (NLT2) My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others?
When we treat people differently and build up space to create an “us” vs. “them” mentality, we are not reflecting God.
Spreading the love of God is one of the best arguments against racism. Matthew 22:39-40 says that real love loves as we hoped to be loved.
Matthew 22:37-40 (NLT2)37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
No one can honestly say that racism treats our neighbors as how we would like to be treated. You cannot share love and find the best in people when your life is filled with prejudice, ignorance and misguided convictions. But true love rejoices in finding what is best in others.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NLT2)4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
Reconciliation With God
The good news is that despite what racial tendencies you may have had in the past, they can be forgiven if you choose to accept God into your heart truthfully and ask for His forgiveness. The Gospel tells us that we aren’t just brought near to God, we are also brought near to those we once considered so different from ourselves
Ephesians 2:11-13 (NLT2)11 Don’t forget that you Gentiles used to be outsiders. You were called “uncircumcised heathens” by the Jews, who were proud of their circumcision, even though it affected only their bodies and not their hearts.12 In those days you were living apart from Christ. You were excluded from citizenship among the people of Israel, and you did not know the covenant promises God had made to them. You lived in this world without God and without hope.13 But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ.
God will help you restore your relationships with groups you mistreated. It’s important to not only reconcile with God, but to remove the prejudice and restore relationships with those you once hurt. You can create healthy relationships that create appreciation for each other.
God can bring peace where there was once violence and kindness where there was once anger. He does this within our hearts when we accept Him, and do so again with others. Since we belong to Jesus, we are a part of His movement to bring more reconciliation between people and God.
2 Corinthians 5:18-20 (NLT2)18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him.19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”
As His representatives, we have the opportunity to share how the life-changing message of the Gospel creates a healthy relationship with God and healthy relationships between people, no matter who they are.