Tuesday, June 25, 2019
The United States is no longer a melting pot of cultures. A melting pot requires all the cultures to be dissolved into one. That is not happening anymore. People from all over the world have come to America and created their own little communities to maintain their language and cultural distinctions. They no longer desire to be Americanized, but they do desire to enjoy the freedoms and blessing of living in this land. This has caused some in our country to rise up in revolt against what is happening. I have heard it said, “If they can’t speak our language then they shouldn’t be considered citizens.” We are becoming a bigoted and biased people, forming barriers where they don’t belong.
As Christians we have the incredible gift of the Gospel that is able to break down all cultural barriers. We may not understand all the cultural distinctions of people from other nations, and we may not believe we have anything in common with them, but we do. We are all sinners and need to be saved, and the Gospel message of Jesus Christ is understood equally by all, no matter what their culture.
Romans 16:25-27 Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him – to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.
Paul relates to us the heart of God in today’s Scripture passage. The Old Testament references to the Messiah and Savior which seemed like a mystery are now revealed to us by the direct command of the eternal God so that all people can understand the Gospel message that Jesus is the Messiah and Savior of the world. He also states that when anyone believes and accepts the message of Jesus, God will establish them forever as His. The Greek word translated “establish” means “to turn resolutely in a certain direction and make stable, permanently fixing the position.” WOW! I like that. God is able by His almighty power to take any life from any land and turn it around so that it is fixed on Him!
That should be our starting point with all people of all cultures. Every person in the world understands right and wrong, and has the ability to understand sin and its consequences. Therefore, every person in the world should be given the opportunity to hear the Good News that sin and its consequences have been conquered, providing a way for them to be forgiven and restored to permanent relationship with God.
It may be that we will need to learn a little of their culture in order to tell them the message, but not always. When I have gone to the Philippines or to India to minister the Gospel to unreached people in the tribes, I have seen God move powerfully to touch their hearts with the simple message of salvation before I knew anything about how they lived.
We live in our land where other cultures are coming to us. Instead of spending so much time and energy trying to get them to act like Americans, let’s work hard to get them to act like disciples of Jesus Christ. We may never have anything more in common with them than our faith, but isn’t that enough?
Reach out to those whom you have considered different and unreachable. The starting point is the same for us all, and God will cause all nations to believe and obey Him if we will share the Good News.