We are citizens, not of this world, but of Heaven. Yes, while on the earth we are citizens of our countries, but we have to operate as citizens of Heaven on Earth. We are to show others the love God has for us so they can gain a little taste of Heaven — tangibly experience what it would be like to be in Heaven with Jesus.
I’ve been blessed to be able to travel to other countries and experience different cultures. To me, this is a taste of Heaven. Heaven is not going to be full of just one type of people; God’s Word says there will be people of all colors, races, backgrounds and ethnic groups. It’s interesting that here in America, we see the Church segregated in so many ways. There’s Hispanic churches, black churches, white churches and many more. This is fine if you are praising God and letting Him use you, but you can’t only be accepting people who are just like you. Heaven is not going to be segregated.
Philippians 2:10-11 says that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, not only people of a certain skin color. It says every tongue will confess, not just those who do so in a specific language. This verse says that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess — in Heaven and on Earth and even under Earth — that Jesus Christ is Lord. It’s not about this group or that group; we are all citizens of Heaven. We should be able to go and hold hands with a different group of people and pray together. That’s when we will experience a true taste of Heaven. This is what it’s going to be like!
Chicago is an interesting place because it’s considered one of the most segregated cities in the country. There’s the West Side, which is mostly black people. There’s Greek town and Italian villages. There are neighborhoods that are predominantly white and those that are all black. They don’t mix well. But one thing I really want to be intentional about is to relay God’s message to everyone I can. We need to come together.
In many countries, Christians are highly persecuted for their faith. They may be able to read the Bible (or maybe not), but they’re not allowed to believe it. These followers of Christ have a deep thirst to grow closer to Him. They crave to be able to read His Word in their own language and be allowed to pray and praise God publicly. Knowing there are millions out there who have to hide their faith motivates me to use my freedom of religion as best as I can. I want to live out my faith — not just talk about it, but really live it out.
Any time I’m with another person, whether an adult or a child, the Word of God comes up somehow. I can’t help it. The Bible says that out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34). I’ve been blessed to have the freedom of religion — to pray when and where I want, to read the Bible when and where I want. Not everyone can say this, so I want to let God’s Word show in everything I do — how I live, speak, move and portray myself on social media. I want to use every area of my life to bring others to experience God’s truth.
Plant a seed and it may take root, because God’s Word never returns void.
— Matt Forte, former NFL running back
Matt Forte is a regular contributor to The Increase, providing monthly articles and opinions.
Check out Matt’s Increase profile here: http://theincrease.com/author/matt-forte/
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