Reclaiming the Multicultural Reality of Heaven (Mennocostal: IHOPKC, Onething2013 Series)


Racists must hate heaven.  The reason I use such a strong statement to begin this discussion is simply because heaven is the most multi-cultural place that we can ever imagine.  The Bible tells us that people from all different tribes, tongues, and walks of life will be there.[1]  People who were “good little church girls” and people who were mass criminals will be together all because of one single purpose – in the end of the day they came to truly know Christ and Christ forgives a multitude of sin.[2]  One cannot be a racist and still enjoy all that heaven has to offer them because there is no class distinction, no racial segregation, and no division between the genders.[3]  Heaven is not the place for racists. 

During my time at International House of Prayer, I was able to see just a glimpse of what Heaven would be like.  Obviously the whole experience, as profoundly life altering as it was is only a small taste of what the real heaven will be like, but it really emphasized to me in a way that I have never thought about before how truly diverse and majestically colourful our eternal reality will be.

One of the most touching encounters of praise that I had during this conference was to walk through a sea of worshipers.  I was worshiping at the very front and began to walk back to my seat during the last song.  As I walked I saw thousands of Christians – some old, some young, some new believers, some who have walked with Christ for years.  Church leaders and genuine seekers.  Some weeping, some on their knees, several singing.  As I walked, I heard tongues, saw complete strangers prophesying over one another, even saw a few lying prostrate.  I was greatly encouraged!  How great to know that this is just a small sample of the millions of genuine prayers that go up to Christ daily.  How wonderful to know that this is what heaven will be like all day every day.[4]  It reminds me that we are not alone, indeed we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses![5]

If you think worshiping with over 30,000 people is incredible, think of heaven!  Millions of people from all generations and all races worshiping together.  How cool is that?  Kansas City was amazing, but in the end of the day, God sent 30,000 people forth to all corners of the earth.  Here they received encouragement, fellowship, and equipment for works of service.  But it doesn’t stop here.  Not by a long shot.  After leaving Kansas City, we are more ready now to be available to the inspiration and creativity of the Holy Spirit and to serve Him in homes, in communities, and as National and International leaders.  As pastors, teachers, evangelists, and prophetic voices.[6]

God became so close and so personal to us during the conference.  He awakened, refreshed, and revived us.  How incomparable to know that this is but a small glimpse, a tiny sliver, of who He is.  As long as we have this flesh, this earthly body, we see dimly.[7]  Through a glass which distorts His image (but not His love to us).  But one day when we are with Him and receive our heavenly bodies, we will know Him fully, completely.  Nothing will distort our impression of Him.  We will know everything about His love and care.  We will know Him fully in the same way that He knows us!

While we live on this earth we go through birth pains.[8]  We groan and we long to be delivered into the heavenly reality of what lies ahead.  We may be comfortable on this earth, but if we truly seek Christ then like the Quakers we will embrace the fact that we are “just a traveling through”. Yet, until we reach heavenly perfection, we also must embrace all the lessons that come our way as we traverse this path called life.  As the Apostle Paul brilliantly states, “more than anything else, however, we want to PLEASE Him.  Whether that be in our home here or there.”[9]  Pleasing Christ in each aspect of our lives – in our marriages, our families, our professions, is what we are called to do.  And that calling, that mission will not change once we pass on to the next world.  Instead, that calling to PLEASE Christ and to give Him our whole self always continues to glow and burn deeper and brighter.  The more we are walking with Christ, the more that longing is present.

No, my friends.  Heaven is no place for racists, but heaven is definitely the place for the child of God who seeks to please Him.  Heaven is the place for all saints who long to bow before Christ is worship, offering their whole selves to Him daily as they yearn to belong to that heavenly reality.