As I have scanned human history, particularly in the United States, I have always been in awe of individuals who claim to be saints, yet their words and actions towards those of different nationalities and skin color don’t resemble the character of Christ. These are individuals who disown their own for intermarrying, so quick to kill a certain person who looks dangerous, teach their young to hate, hate that different people are even breathing, and would go so far as to destroy someone in God’s house. For what- being different.
It is difficult not to be angry at the racist, or the occasional person who says something racially ignorant, not knowing they’re being offensive. Hate the sin, not the person, right? Growing up as a Christian I have always been in congregations that were essentially a melting pot: African-American, Caucasian, Puerto Rican, Mexican, Filipino, Cuban, Korean, Russian, Jamaican, Native American, Panamanian, etc. Everyone was and still is welcome. So naturally, when I did first learn about Heaven, this everlasting place of paradise, I assumed it wasn’t a place that was segregated or only allowed certain people based on their skin color, nationality, or ethnicity.
Regarding the different kinds of people we can expect to enter God’s kingdom when Christ returns, author/ prophet Ellen G. White, in her book entitled Heaven, opens up about what she saw in one of her many visions given to her by God.
“The black man’s name is written in the book of life beside the white man’s. All are one in Christ. Birth, station, nationality, or color cannot elevate or degrade men. The character makes the man. If a red man, a Chinaman, or an African gives his heart to God in obedience and faith, Jesus loves him none the less for his color. He calls him His well-beloved brother.” (White, 92)
If you can’t be next door neighbors; be in the same room; eat at the same table; or work with someone who looks different than you, then perhaps God’s kingdom is not the place you would enjoy.
As said in Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you all are one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs to the promise.”.
White, Ellen Gould Harmon. Heaven. Pacific Press Pub. Association, 2003.
Holman Study Bible: NKJV Edition. Holman Bible Publishers, 2017.