Summary: God is no respecter of persons and He desires His House (His Church) to be a place for all nations – all people. A church is to be a place where there is no favoritism and all are treated fairly and equally.
Series: We are Here!
Sermon 6: Multiethnic (or multicultural, or diversity)
Show pictures of our changing world in this area of South Chicago:
The Orland Mosque, the Lemont Hindu Temple, and the Chicago Buddhist Temple all represent how diverse our community is becoming.
Our society is changing all around us and America is the melting pot of the world. We have all kinds of religions, people groups, ethnicities, cultures, languages and diversity all around us today. If you don’t believe me just go walk through Orland Mall.
I really think this new cultural dimension is a great ministry opportunity to show the world that God loves diversity and uniqueness. Just look around this morning at our congregation or visit our school and you see diversity and individual uniqueness.
Movies like “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” highlight the differences within cultures in our society today.
Dr. Carl Johnsons writes, “The end of history revealed in the Book of Revelation includes a vision of people from every language, tribe and nation declaring the praise of God assembled around the throne. This reality was the celebration recorded in Acts 16 when a new congregation assembled in Philippi which included a woman, a slave and a Gentile as well as the Apostle Paul, a recovering Jewish Pharisee. The power of the Gospel breaks down the barriers and builds supernatural bridges of new relationship. Each believer has more in common with another believer than any former associations of family, race, language or color. Now adopted into the same family all can rejoice to call each other brother and sister through faith in Christ” (Page v-vi, The Technicolor Community).
It is obvious that Christian Hills is a different church – with a God focused agenda which has us being multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and very diverse. Let me ask a pointed question to you today - “Do you realize how unique this is?”
Research done in 1990 by George Barna revealed that 79% of churches in America were homogeneous-that is made up of just one racial or ethnic group. The truth is the majority of churches are homogeneous in America but we are not and we are becoming more diverse year by year and I love it – I actually am ecstatic about it. I believe this is happening because we are committed to being on God’s agenda – not ours! God loves diversity that is why we all look different, come from different cultures and have different hair colors, eyes and the like. God is into diversity – diversity by the way is creative. I am so glad we are not all carbon copies – or clones! I believe the Lord wants His church to reflect what Heaven will look like!
I have heard the following quote a few times in my life:
“Eleven o’clock on Sunday morning is the most segregated hour in America.” Have you ever heard that quote before?
This quote was said by two prominent ministers: Dr. Billy Graham and Dr. Martin Luther King (Both heroes of mine).
When we talk about being here in today’s world I feel our church is on a God given journey to be unique in this area of greater Chicago. We are to be a place that reflects what Heaven will be like. We are a place that is being a light to the world about the awesomeness of diversity – the strength of diversity and the power of love that is connected with the Gospel.
John 13:34, 35: 34“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
When we love each other like Jesus loved us then He receives the praise and people stop, look and listen. They become curious as to why a diverse church can be so unified and loving. Love –genuine love draws people in and to the Lord.
T.S. – This morning I want to share with you how God looks at diversity and reveal to you that we are all created in the image of God, we are all His sons and daughters of the Lord adopted into His heavenly family (But remember to be a part of this family requires you have accepted Jesus Christ as you Lord and Savior).
26You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus,
27for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
28There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
29If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
34Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.