This is something I just wrote on my blog. I may be preaching to the choir here, but I am in the learning stages. Cut me some slack. I would like to hear feedback on this, whether it be misguided or right on. This is how I am beginning to understand scripture.
I always grew up believing that the world was going to end one day. Jesus is going to come back and lay utter waste to this world and everything in it. I have been challenged to examine why i believe that, and what that means for us as followers of Christ. Let’s look at some of the scripture i am wrestling with.
Romans 8: 19-21
“The creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage of decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.”
When God liberates, like in the exodus, he doesn’t do it by destroying them. He does it by asking them to be the people God intended them to be. He restores them back. Is God liberating the world so it can be what God intended it to be? It doesn’t sound like it’s awaiting it’s destruction. It’s sounds… hopeful.
I have been trying to take a look at Revelation and I am suddenly hopeful, not afraid. I see the final judgement on Babylon and the bringing down of the nations so God can rule them with an “iron sceptor”. The beast is defeated, Satan is vanquished and the dead are judged. There are some theologians who believe that this has already happened. I haven’t made that leap yet. I understand that though and have not ruled it out. Look how this all ends.
But THEN I saw “a new heaven and a new earth”(ch. 21), for the first heaven and the first earth passed away. The Holy city of the new Jerusalem came down and a loud voice from the throne said… now check this out. this is amazing. “Look! God’s dwelling place is among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be His people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.”
Read Isaiah 65: 17-25
How does it “end”? With Eden restored(ch.22)! The beginning of God’s narrative starts with the fall and judgement in and on Eden. It ends with the restoration of it. It gives me hope, that God too, is restoring us. His people. We are being restored and made into God’s image, so we can live with Him in His holy city for eternity.
Amen. Come Lord Jesus.