By Ramcely Cozar Castro
“After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.’” Revelation 7:9-10
In this beautiful passage it is obvious that God himself has focused all his attention on assuring that the whole world will be saved.
When we read these verses, we must notice that God sees humanity as a single people, without borders, political divisions or cultural divides. Still, he respects and delights in its diversity, the vast spectrum of skin colors, as well as its linguistic and creative, cultural expressions. These are given by God to man.
John 3:16, a passage used broadly in evangelism, mentions that “God so loved the world…” The last word does not refer to a single people group, but rather the whole world, with all of its peculiarities: every nation, every race, every people and every language. God gave his only son, Jesus Christ, as one sacrifice for all because each of us individually is equally valuable. “…That whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” Everyone has the chance to be saved. We can all reach the Father.
The vision in the passage from Revelation says every nation will be before the throne, in front of the Lamb, unified by particular clothing that represents the redemptive work of God in them. All, regardless of their contexts, will be worshiping. The Lord does not change who they are. Each one, taken as they are with their own characteristics, is shouting with a single voice, “Salvation belongs to the Lord,” recognizing him as the only Almighty Lord.
Once I had the chance to organize a youth camp, and two of the participants were deaf from birth. Even though I am a special education teacher, I don’t speak sign language fluently enough to be able to evangelize. I communicated in a very basic way, and I used a lot of paralinguistic expressions. In the middle of the forest on the outskirts of Mexico City, I began to preach an evangelistic message with only the firelight illuminating the dark night. But I had forgotten about these two young people! I preached without signs and without visual aids, and quickly the presence of the Lord came to that place. The Holy Spirit touched one of the two deaf participants in such a way that he gave his life to Christ.
Of course, it was not because of my words or talents. It was God himself speaking into that person’s life and breaking down cultural, linguistic and physical barriers. He moved, as he has done and will continue to do in every corner of the planet, using his servants. We must be his instruments so that more and more people will join this celestial chorus that will shout with one voice, “Salvation belongs to our God!”
*Ramcely Cozar is the pastor of the La Olimpica Church of the Nazarene in Naucalpan, Mexico City.