Remember the time when the disciples came to Jesus and asked Him “Lord, teach us to pray”? Jesus responded with what we refer to today as the Lord’s prayer. Included in that prayer is the line “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” I have to ask what “on earth as it is in Heaven” would look like? It stands to reason that since Jesus suggested us to pray for it, then it must be what He wants to see happen. So, what does the Bible teach us about heaven? One scripture that comes to mind offers us a good description to start with:
Revelation 7:9-12 “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying:
“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. ~Amen.”
The people in this “Heavenly vision” were martyrs on earth. People who lost their lives for their faith in Christ. There is something else from this picture that we must see because it can help us through the condition of our present “earthly” situation! I’m talking about the issue of racial equality. I’m seeing a picture of heaven highlighting the fact that the worship of our creator can break through the walls of separation caused by racial prejudice or cultural differences! In Heaven the love of our creator and our love for our savior unites peoples from every nation, tribe, language and kind! I believe the church on earth can lead the way.
The church can bring the Heavenly example of God’s love, healing and forgiveness to the earth. That may sound overly simplistic to some. Especially in light of the depth and complexity created through generational and even systemic racial strongholds. Remember, the word of God is mighty and powerful even to the pulling down of systemic strongholds! But only if I commit myself to live His word! I must take my own responsibility. I cannot be responsible for anyone else! Therefore, I must be willing to allow the Holy Spirit to work in me as deeply as necessary. I must allow Holy Spirit to remove all that is contrary to the love of Christ. I must allow Him to build the love of Christ in me! So, I ask myself; “Can I allow Holy Spirit to teach me from God’s word how to demonstrate His love, and to discern how it may be different from worldly, fleshly love?”
I must accept that I cannot change the government, the system, or the person who may not be ready to change. But I can be responsible for me! In the same Lord’s prayer, Jesus says to pray that God forgives us of our sin as we forgive others who have sinned against us. This is truly a work of God’s grace! Christ acknowledges that He is asking us to forgive “those who have sinned against us.” It is a difficult thing! But, it is not beyond what His love for us caused Christ to do from the cross when He cried out; ”Father, forgive them, they do not know what they do!”
I believe that here on earth there are millions of Christians from every race, color, language and nation who are willing to join up in worship and prayer as one. One kingdom of God people, who are already on some level walking out this Christlike example. And I encourage believers everywhere to begin increasing our intentionality for joining with the heavenly host in Revelation 7:9-10 “I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And I say “On earth as in Heaven!” AMEN