In a few months, millions around the globe will be spectators once again as world renowned young athletes compete at the 2018 Winter Olympics. Not only are individuals competing but so are the countries they represent. Patriotism can unite people, and if what unites us is godly that is good. Recently on the MTV awards, a scantily clad presenter gave a short monologue on the terrible ills in America. Then she yelled to the audience, If we will all just unite against these hateful people…cheers from the crowd…we can overcome racism…louder, longer cheering. She smiled, having just received a better response than previous speech givers.
But what kind of country would result from the uniting of those who are just against injustice, even when we all agree injustice is wrong? Uniting around what we are against without a positive replacement of what we are for reminds me of a statement by Jesus. He explained to Pharisees and disciples listening that when an unclean spirit (think of evil actions motivated by racism) leaves a person, it wanders around. But if that spirit comes back, (think of the same person being tempted to act in evil ways again) and his house is empty–nothing positive or good has taken its place–the unclean spirit reenters. Jesus summarized, “The last state of the person is worse than the first” (Matthew 12:43-45).
I don’t want a country just empty of evil. I want a country that is filled with love, truth, and the gospel of Jesus! That is what once made America great. But even at our best, our country was nothing compared to the one to come. In that better country there will be no crying, no mourning, no pain, no darkness, and no death! Best of all there will be NO sin nature in anyone, nor will evil be present at all in that better country. We will never again covet or compare. Jealousy, anger, hate, murder, and yes racism, will be no more. Hallelujah! That is a country worth cheering for!
-Are you a citizen of this country, this heavenly city?
-Are you living on earth as an alien, as an ambassador for the King?
-Talk about the differences in your country and the heavenly one. Make a list of all that will be different one day when our citizenship is in Heaven!