This past week, my wife, Leigh Anne, and I took our son Haddon to Disney World in Orlando for three days. While there, we hit every park but Epcot. We rode the rides, saw the shows, waved at the characters, and watched the parades. It was a great weather, and we had a blast. I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but sometime in our trip, it hit me, “This is what Heaven is going to look like.”
Now before you call me crazy, I don’t mean that in Heaven we will see people walking around dressed in anthropomorphized animal costumes. I don’t mean that you will have to wait in line for ridiculous periods of time. Nor do I mean that two cheeseburger lunches will cost you $30. What I do mean is that just like Disney World, Heaven will be a place full of people from countries and cultures from all over the world. At Disney it seemed as if you couldn’t turn around without bumping into someone from a foreign country. In fact, at lunch one day, Haddon met another almost 3-year-old from Brazil and they became fast friends. Apparently M&M’s are a universal language.
Scripture tells us that this bringing together of peoples from every corner of the globe is a peak into what Heaven will look like. John writing in Revelation 7:9-10 says
“After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tounges, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”
What an amazing picture! When John was given a glimpse into Heaven this is what he saw, people from “every nation” worshiping the slain and risen Lamb, Jesus.
As pastor of a church in small town USA, where just about everybody looks, speaks, and lives the same, this truth is essential for me to keep in the forefront of my theology. Jesus didn’t die just to save middle class white Americans. His death reaches farther than that. Jesus’ death reaches far enough to bring together people from every country, and every culture, and every tounge under the banner of the cross.
Yes, Jesus died for me, but He didn’t die just for me. He died to save a sin-broken world, and to restore it for His Father’s glory. He died to create a new people not defined by nationality, race, language, or economic level. Jesus died and rose again so that His name would be lifted high among all the peoples of the earth.
So the next time that you and your family go to Disney, while waiting in a seemingly never-ending line, baking under the hot Florida sun, just open your eyes to see the people around you and remember, Heaven will look a little like this.