We all feel like the world is not what it should be, and we are not what we should be. That’s because a God of love and power created this world to reflect his goodness, glory and beauty. He brought humanity into being to be His companions and to partner with Him in extending the goodness of His reign, stewarding His world to greater levels of wonder and praise. Under the reign of God, all things flourish and humans cooperate with God for his glory and the life of the world. But have we lived up to that purpose?
Sadly, no. We chose to assert our own wishes onto God’s world. We rejected his reign in favor of ruling ourselves. But when the reign of God is pushed out, the reign of death and Hell moves in. To restore His reign to the world, God will have to do something about human evil. He will have to judge large scale evils like genocide and slavery, as well as the pride and greed and apathy that we have all contributed. Only through God’s judgment can Hell be banished and the world put right. But how can human evil be judged without humans suffering the judgment?
On our own, we can’t avoid it. But out of his generous grace, God has done what we could not do. He became one of us in the person of Jesus Christ so that we could be rescued and restored to our purpose. Jesus did this by living the life of servanthood and love that we were designed to live. And when Jesus gave his life on the cross, God poured on him the judgment for our evil so that we could be made right with God. Then, at the resurrection of Jesus, the return of God’s reign began and the power for a new way of life was unleashed by His Spirit. What does that mean for us?
It means that all people can now turn away from self-rule and be restored to God and to their purpose. By trusting in the work of Jesus, we receive forgiveness and join with local communities of God’s people committed to living for the glory of God and the life of the world. Together we practice the way of God’s Kingdom and announce the good news of His grace to everyone we know…
...until the day when he completes His work and all His people are resurrected into the life of God’s restored world