When we read about ethnic cleansing, we come into contact with the baser side of human nature. It is almost unbelievable what humans can do to their fellows. Saddam Hussein and the Kurds, as well as, the Hutus and the Tutsis are examples of how one ethnic group can hate and attack another.
It is therefore surprising that God is also into ethnic cleansing. God and His people will live on the eternal new heaven and earth. It will be a Kingdom of peace and happiness. How is God going to accomplish that? In the present world everybody wants peace, but it is a scarce commodity. Not a day passes that there is not a rebellion or a some effort to get rid of undesirables, or whatever.
God cannot allow different nationalities in His Kingdom. Yet we know that He calls people from all the nations on earth. So there is a real possibility of ethnic strife. He cannot hope that the different ethnic groups will live in peace, or trust that some slight provocation will not break out in violence and hatred as history proves. How will God neutralise the Chinese and Red Indian, Mexican and Arab, African and Indian national loyalties?
God had a brilliant plan to unite all the different nationalities, obliterate their old identities and give them a new identity. John 3:3-8 tells us about the new birth. When people come into God’s Kingdom they are born anew as children of God. The Bible tells us, ‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!’ 1 Such people know that, ‘…they were [are] aliens and strangers on earth….looking for a country of their own.’ 2 They are reborn with new ID’s and passports and they all have the same ‘nationality.’
To renounce one’s citizenship and become a citizen of a new country is not easy (people who emigrated can testify to that). So in God’s brilliance He gives each of His new citizens a personal Guide, the Holy Spirit. He teaches them about their new country, nationality, fellow citizens, and King. He sees to it that they understand it well. 3
What is the result? We rave about our King, love Him, adore Him, and obey Him. We are proud of our new nationality, because we understand that it is all the grace of God. We did not earn it, but we are ever so grateful and happy to become citizens of the very best country and King that ever existed.
God has solved the ethnic problem. There will never be racial superiority in His Kingdom, or a need to suppress minorities. We can thank God for His brilliance, ‘I [God] will live among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.’ 4
- 2 Corinthians 5:17
- Hebrews 11:13-14
- John 16:13-14
- 2 Corinthians 6:18