What Does the Bible Say About Racism?

Sep 7, 2023    Don Willeman


Hello, this is Pastor Don of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome to The Kingdom Perspective.


What does the Bible say about racism and ethnocentrism? A whole lot!


The Bible tells us that we all have a shared origin and identity. God made each of us in the image of God. The Apostle Paul explains it this way: God “made from one man [i.e., Adam] every nation” and He did so…that they should seek God and perhaps find Him” (Acts 17:26-27). And so, there is no such thing as a superior race or people group. Even when God chose Abraham to create the nation of Israel, He explicitly says He did so that all the people groups on the earth might be blessed. Ultimately, this is fulfilled in the Jesus, who died to secure the promise of Abraham to all the nations (Galatians 3:6-16). God is no respecter of persons.


This brings us to our second point. The Bible tells us that Christ will redeem people from every nationality, people group and language—a multitude so vast that no one will be able to number them! On that final day, there will be “full representation” of all humanity at God’s table.


Heaven will be a multiethnic and multicultural place—a diversity of humanity like the world has never seen, all unified in the worship of the one true God who died to save us.


Those that refuse to embrace this, and certainly those that oppose it in their racism and ethnocentrism, are not fit for heaven. They must be transformed, for they are at best tacit enemies of God’s grace. 


Are you growing in your love of the diversity of God’s people?


That’s something to think about from The Kingdom Perspective.


The next day Peter started out with them, and some of the believers from Joppa went along. The following day he arrived in Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends. As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence. But Peter made him get up. “Stand up,” he said, “I am only a man myself.”


While talking with him, Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people. He said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean. So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection. May I ask why you sent for me?”


Cornelius answered: “Three days ago I was in my house praying at this hour, at three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me and said, ‘Cornelius, God has heard your prayer and remembered your gifts to the poor. Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. He is a guest in the home of Simon the tanner, who lives by the sea.’ So I sent for you immediately, and it was good of you to come. Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us.”


Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached— how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.


 “We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a cross, but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”


While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.


Then Peter said, “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.

~Acts 10:23-48 (NIV)