The title of this article is not meant to be political or ideological in any way. It is being used with a purely theological intent. Allow me to explain.
It seems that every day we hear words like “tolerance,” “diversity,” and “privilege.” There are scores of reasons why these words are being used. Some of those reasons are valid; some are not. The difficulty with the way in which these words are being used (by some) is that these words are being used to shame, intimidate or create strife and division. Some who shout about “privilege” are doing so in order to obtain something that they believe they are “entitled” to. Some use diversity as a means bolster their argument that more “diversity” requires that there must be exclusions of some whom they believe are the “privileged.” Some who wave the flag of “tolerance” are completely intolerant of those who would disagree with their views or opinions, even to the point of violence and death.
This intolerance is becoming more and more apparent for those who are true believers in the Lord, Jesus Christ. Christianity and Christians are under attack all around the globe and in increasing instances here in the United States. This seems to be a really peculiar thing to me because Jesus is the King of tolerance, diversity and privilege. Let me explain.
Jesus is tolerant of ALL sinners, and we are ALL sinners (Romans 3:23). He is “tolerant” in the sense that it doesn’t matter what a person has done in offending God because of their endless sin. By God’s grace alone, through a person’s faith alone (in Jesus’ death and resurrection), His shed blood on His cross has the power to pay for anyone’s sin-debt and grant to them eternal life (Eph. 2:8-9). Yet, how many people will proudly say, “I’m a good person. I’m not a bad sinner like those other people. I don’t need anyone.” Their pride and lack of humility will lead to their condemnation.
Jesus is the most diverse person who ever lived. How so? By inviting all people, no matter their gender, color, age, heritage, language or upbringing, to believe and receive Him as their personal Savior and Lord (John 3:14-18; Rev. 5:9-10). Yet, there are those who think that only certain denominations, or a particular race of people will benefit from Jesus’ sacrifice on behalf of ALL humanity. Their theological presuppositions and lack of Bible knowledge will lead them to quite a surprise when their stand before God.
The ultimate “privilege” comes to true Christians, true believers, in the form of adoption as sons and daughters of Almighty God. True believers become “heirs” of the Father along with Jesus, which entitles them to all of the blessings reserved for the sons and daughters of the God (Rom. 8:15-17; Gal. 3:23-29: 4:4-7. Titus 3:4-7). However, those privileges are not all in this life, but in the one to come (Rom. 8:18-23). Yet, there are those who pedal a theology that a person can have their “best life now.” By pushing that theology, many are led astray thinking that God is some sort of a cosmic genie who must bless them with whatever they desire in this life. However, Jesus’ words to His disciples were very clear, “In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33b).
“And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness for sin. 23Therefore it was necessary for the copies of the things in the heavens to be cleansed with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25 nor was it that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood not his own. 26 Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 27 And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, 28 so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.”
We are living in historic times. We are living in dangerous times. We are living in hopeful times because the Church is still on the earth, which means that the same Lord Jesus is still extending His grace and forgiveness to all people, from every tribe, tongue and nation. His tolerance, diversity and inherited privilege of adoption into the family of God is available for all who will believe and receive Him.
May the Lord give you opportunities to share your testimony with those whose paths you cross as we see the day of His return drawing closer.
By His Grace,
Gary T. Dromi, Ph.D., D.Min.