A Glorious, Heavenly Celebration
Recently, I sat down in anticipation of the opening ceremonies of the World Cup. I felt particularly excited this year. Certainly the history of the Republic of South Africa played a part in the drama. After emerging from segregation and apartheid, the nation had much to celebrate. Former President Nelson Mandela was continually thanked and praised for uniting his nation. While national pride of fans from around the world was evident, there was a clear emphasis on the celebration of peace and global unity. The crowd danced, sang, and waved flags in support of this message of unity, freedom and peace.
I watched with mixed emotions. As a Christian, I can join the crowds in a desire for peace and justice to rule the world. However, a biblical balance is needed. First, an understanding of man’s total depravity prohibits mindless, baseless optimism. True peace and unity will never occur here on earth through human efforts. Secondly, I can, with absolute certainity, look forward to a day of true celebration of unity. Think of God’s ultimate design: the Lord Jesus Christ has purchased total freedom and everlasting life for His people. Today, elements of racism still exist in the Republic of South Africa. When Christ comes again, He will establish justice and truth for all people. In Revelation 5, we see an “international” heavenly celebration that will blow away any earthly celebration. The fanfare of the World Cup will pale in comparison to the celebration of Light of the World with the voice of myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands:
11Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, 12saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” 13And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” 14And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.”
Place no hope or trust in this temporal, imperfect world. Join with me in longing to see Christ return, and for a time when true peace and unity will be established here on earth.