Summary: Racial tensions are running high in America. What are we supposed to do about it?
You can listen to the audio of the sermon here: https://www.buzzsprout.com/697261/5771518
God’s Plan for Racial Reconciliation
• Jump right in. Difficult topic in the best of circumstances even more so with the racial unrest so prevalent in our society.
• It’s not only a national/international crisis, it’s a spiritual crisis. In fact, I believe that no other institution in the world can address the challenges we have in connecting one group to another better than the church of Jesus Christ.
• Core 52 topic. Let’s get on the same page as far as what we’re talking about. There’s a lot going around on media about racism. And, as we’ll see in a bit, everybody means something a bit different.
• Definition: Racism is the belief that one human being is superior to another simply because the color of their skin or their nationality.
• We are unlikely to find enough truth from any group or pundit to fully trust their understanding and their answers to the problem.
• In fact, we’re going to have to start when we often begin when we’re addressing difficult topics: the beginning.
Race: Good, but Cursed
Genesis 2:7 NLT
7 Then the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person.
Genesis 3:22–23 NLT
22 Then the LORD God said, “Look, the human beings have become like us, knowing both good and evil. What if they reach out, take fruit from the tree of life, and eat it? Then they will live forever!” 23 So the LORD God banished them from the Garden of Eden, and he sent Adam out to cultivate the ground from which he had been made.
• Humanity spreads throughout the world but continues to rebel against God to the point that the humans came together to build a tower as a monument to their pride.
Genesis 11:4 NLT
4 Then they said, “Come, let’s build a great city for ourselves with a tower that reaches into the sky. This will make us famous and keep us from being scattered all over the world.”
• God confuses their language to send them in their own directions.
Genesis 11:7–9 NLT
7 Come, let’s go down and confuse the people with different languages. Then they won’t be able to understand each other.” 8 In that way, the LORD scattered them all over the world, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why the city was called Babel, because that is where the LORD confused the people with different languages. In this way he scattered them all over the world.
• What we see in a brief survey on the early history of humanity is pride and arrogance -
• sin is at the root of all human problems.
• So while God dispersed people to form different cultures and races throughout the world, that’s not a bad thing. Clearly God intended for us to have amazing cultural, national and physical diversity.
• The problem is our pride and fear cause us to want to dominate one another. Especially if the other person is somehow different than us.
• Even Israel, God’s chosen nation to represent him to the whole world, fell into the trap:
Isaiah 49:6 NLT
6 He says, “You will do more than restore the people of Israel to me. I will make you a light to the Gentiles, and you will bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.”
• They must have missed that memo. They became proud of their race and their connection to God and began to think of everyone else as nothing more than fuel for the fires of hell.
• But let’s be reminded of where we started: in the beginning.
Genesis 1:27 NLT
27 So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
God’s Plan: Remove the Curse
• When we get to the NT, God’s plan of reconciliation is revealed in Jesus Christ.
John 3:16 NLT
16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
• While Jesus’ primary interactions were with Jewish people, he had significant opportunities to connect with other races.
o In Matt. 8, Jesus is confronted by a Roman centurion who begs Jesus to heal his servant.
o The man’s faith is so strong in Jesus that he exclaims:
Matthew 8:10 NLT
10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed. Turning to those who were following him, he said, “I tell you the truth, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel!