“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.” Revelation 21:1-3 (NIV)
History as we know it began with and ends with creation!
It began in Genesis 1 with, “God created the heavens and the earth.” It ends with “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth….” What began was tainted by sin; what ends is a total reversal of the consequences of evil and a liberation from the presence of sin. What began with “God walking in the garden” ends with God dwelling with his people.
John’s Revelation vision of the future reminds us that God is at work in history to accomplish his purpose in our lives and in his world! Eventually, he will bring it to pass. His kingdom will be established on earth. While this is God’s ideal future and our hope, it is also our inspiration and guide for our present Christian life on earth.
Just as God was “with us” in the garden and will be in the new heaven and new earth, he is with us now: first, through his son, Jesus Christ, and secondly, through the Holy Spirit. So, God has already established his presence…his kingdom…on earth. That kingdom was announced and introduced by Jesus during his first coming and empowered by the Spirit. That kingdom will be fulfilled and completed by Jesus during his second coming.
During the “in between time” we must be working as emissaries of the King to establish his kingdom right now. Our prayer…and our work…is to be dedicated to “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven!” Our efforts to bring the kingdom of Christ into clearer focus and fuller expression are of eternal significance. We are God’s agents of his work in the world. Your Christian life today…your struggle against sin, your family, your service, your mission work, your efforts to influence culture for Christ…has value not only for this world but even for the world to come! Our life together as a church…our faithful worship, service, mission, and influence…has value in eternity.
Think about it:
· Your everyday choices about your attitude and your actions affect God’s kingdom.
· Your daily decisions about being a husband/wife, a parent, a family member, a friend make a difference.
· Your actions in your family, your work, your church, and your neighborhood have an impact.
· Your activities in the world count for eternity.
Is your influence one that builds or destroys God’s kingdom?
God is with us in the energy of the Holy Spirit to empower us to do the work of God’s kingdom. God will be with us in his perfect and glorious kingdom when he established it in glory. In between now and then….
Let’s get busy,
Scott Corwin, Pastor