The Full Breadth of God’s Redemption

Isaiah 40:15

The nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as dust on the scales.

Revelation 14:6

I saw another angel flying in mid-heaven, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation and tribe and language and people.

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I recently learned that The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (the denomination of which I am a member) is the second most monolithically-white denomination in the United States. This does not make me happy for at least two reasons. First of all, we do not reflect the reality of the cultural and ethnic mix of the nation in which we live. Like it or not, legal or otherwise, our nation is a mix of ethnic and cultural groups, and our failure to reflect that is surely not pleasing to God. Secondly, and more importantly, this is a far cry from the vision of heaven in the Bible:

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” – Revelation 7:9-10

I realize that we LCMS Christians are not the only tribe, but sometimes we act and speak as though we are. Even more sadly, however, our monolithic makeup point to a sectarian bent (not on purpose surely!) that is difficult to deny. We pride ourselves on being pure in our doctrine. But somehow we must ask ourselves how pure we are if we are not reaching and embracing the many tribes and nations in our communities and nation itself.

Thank God we are not saved by our purity! Thank God for the Gospel message of God’s love in Jesus Christ, his atoning sacrifice, his perfect faith, his mercy and goodness, his promises and power, his resurrection and reign, his second coming on the Great Last Day. I look forward to that expression of the fullness of God’s redemption as we “from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages,” stand before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in our hands, and cry out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” Come Lord Jesus!

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