Monday, June 4, 2012

The Gospel of the Kingdom

As I once again work my way through our God With Us (Recovery of Sacred Space) series, I continue to be overwhelmed by God’s design and purpose for His creation. The idea that God’s goal from eternity is simply the “salvation” of (some) human beings through the forgiveness of sins in Christ in order to spend eternity with Him in “mansions in heaven” is such an impoverished understanding of the Gospel that it is utterly unworthy of the majesty of Christ as set forth in the Scripture. God’s purpose for creation is so much more than this. God’s goal is nothing short of the redemption and restoration of the entire cosmos! This world is awaiting its own renewal and restoration when Christ returns…here! Then the Shalom that characterized Eden will finally be established upon the entire earth—the earth that will welcome its King and be the “seat” of His rule over all creation. And we will rule right here with Him. Sorry Hal, no “Late Great Planet Earth” in God’s plans!
Contrary to what dispensationalist’s believe, the Abrahamic and Davidic covenants have been fulfilled in principle already with the first coming of Christ and will be consummated upon His return. We do not need to wait through what DeMar calls the “End Times Fiction” rhetoric propagated by proponents of dispensationalism to experience—and manifest—the Kingdom of God: the King has come and has established His Kingdom upon the earth and is even now reigning over His Kingdom through His Body, the Church, from the Father’s right hand—where we are seated (and reigning) with Him. When the King returns, His unimpeded reign will encompass the entire earth (not just the land of Canaan) for eternity (not just a thousand years) and we will finally fulfill our destiny as His “image-sons” by reigning with Him over all the works of His hand as He originally intended from the beginning. We will finally and consummately live into the reality of God’s intended design and purpose for Man, the world will be free of the curse, and Shalom will once again (and consummately) permeate the cosmos as creation enters into the Shabbat of God’s Seventh Day Rest.

This is the Gospel: God With Us! He has recovered Sacred Space and established His Kingdom on earth in and through the Church, the Body of Christ the King. And this is our hope; a hope that we share with the entire created order. And as Christians, this hope has tremendous relevance for our lives in the here and now because the Kingdom has come and this is our “home” for now and forever!

4 comments:

Dr. Russell Norman Murray said...

‘As I once again work my way through our God With Us (Recovery of Sacred Space) series, I continue to be overwhelmed by God’s design and purpose for His creation. The idea that God’s goal from eternity is simply the “salvation” of (some) human beings through the forgiveness of sins in Christ in order to spend eternity with Him in “mansions in heaven” is such an impoverished understanding of the Gospel that it is utterly unworthy of the majesty of Christ as set forth in the Scripture.’

Amen. As you know we basically agree on the heaven issue and both have written on it.

satire and theology said...

‘This world is awaiting its own renewal and restoration when Christ returns…here! Then the Shalom that characterized Eden will finally be established upon the entire earth—the earth that will welcome its King and be the “seat” of His rule over all creation. And we will rule right here with Him. Sorry Hal, no “Late Great Planet Earth” in God’s plans!’

I deduce this means there will be no ‘Planet of the Apes’, either.

Dr. Russell Norman Murray said...

One of my theology professors at TWU/CBS was a dispensationalist Baptist. I agree with you that we do not need ‘“End Times Fiction” rhetoric’. I did appreciate his dedication to taking the Scripture literally as in none of it is myth and explaining plain literal and figurative literal. Something I have also tried to explain online.

Hope you are well. I have a job here at home looking after Mom, as she is still weak after 5 months is the hospital (5th hip replacement and lymphedema). No, I am adopted, no hip problems here. But, I am still looking for work and applied again very recently in academia and just did two lectures and posted the texts.

Nice lead photo.

Blessings to you and family.

Great Googly Moogly! said...

Thanks Russ,

No...no "Planet of the Apes". In the shalomic state of the New Creation we all get along just fine!

I think the "plain literal" and "figurative literal" distinction is fair, but then the issue becomes how it is applied.

I wasn't planning on including any reference to dispensationalism when I started writing this little post, but I've been reading "The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation" by Barbara R. Rossing and I guess a bit of incredulity with the whole thing seeped into my thoughts. :-)

Sorry to hear about your mom. Good luck on the job search.