I never tire of thinking about the images in Revelation 7:9. I envision a mass of people that cannot be counted from every tribe, tongue, nation, and people surrounding the Lord, giving him the glory and worship that he deserves. Can you see it? What a picture of the growing kingdom of God!
Every one of those people heard the gospel, and yet they come from widely different places, cultures, and languages. This begs the question: how did they all come to know, follow, and serve the same Lord?
Some came to follow God because a missionary left his/her homeland and traveled to a different part of the globe to share the good news. The Lord's servants took that "go into all the world" command seriously. Thank God for those who "go!" They are bringing the nations to the Lord.
Other people from the nations, cultures, and languages of the world believe because they left their own homeland and settled in a different part of the world. In that new place they heard and responded to the Gospel. The churches of that new homeland welcomed the stranger, met their physical needs, and introduced them and their family to the Lord. This might have happened during a campus activity, in an ESL class, or through simply knocking on their door and inviting them to share a meal. Thank God for those who welcome the stranger in the name of the Lord!
At CultureBound, we train God's people for intercultural impact. This involves working with those who are going AND those who are welcoming the nations. The mindset of those two groups is the same: keep the focus on what God is doing to make Revelation 7 a reality.
What is different, however, is the skills needed. The missionary heading overseas might need to learn a new language. The church receiving people from afar might be more effective at developing the skill of teaching the national language. Global workers need to understand how to integrate into a new culture. Receiving churches should be able to help immigrants understand the cultural norms of their new place.
CultureBound is about to release a 12-lesson curriculum called "Culture for Churches" that will help to build the skills and mindset for kingdom workers who are receiving people from other cultures. You can click HERE for more information. We would love to talk to you more about this Revelation 7 mindset and how your church fits into that beautiful image. Contact us today HERE.