This text is a part of the 10 Issues You Ought to Know collection.
1. Jesus was raised to earth.
Jesus was raised to earth, to not heaven. We should always not confuse the resurrection and the ascension. The grave of Joseph of Arimathea was empty. After his resurrection, Jesus’s physique was clearly reworked, however it was nonetheless the exact same bodily physique that was laid within the tomb. This resurrection is the firstfruits of the overall resurrection (1 Cor. 15:20, 23). Our our bodies can even be raised in a method that may enable us to stay within the new heavens and the brand new earth. We have no idea all the small print of what it will seem like, however we all know that “we shall be like him” (1 John 3:2). Christianity is a resurrection faith.
2. The Bible begins at Genesis 1, not at Genesis 3.
The Bible doesn’t start with the issue of sin; it begins with the great thing about the earth. By way of all of the twists and turns of the biblical story, God stays dedicated to his creation. Within the gentle of this, it’s stunning that so many Christians view the earth as transient at greatest and one thing to be forsaken at worst. The opening chapters of Genesis explode this false impression. God, not Devil, could have the ultimate victory over what God has made. It is not going to be discarded however rescued. The scope of this rescue operation encompasses all that has fallen. It isn’t stunning, due to this fact, that Scripture talks of the fulfilment of this rescue as “new heavens and a new earth” (Isa. 65:17; 66:22; 2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21:1). The story of the Bible begins with “God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1) and ends with “a new heaven and the new earth” (Rev. 21:1).
3. God didn’t maintain again his greatest when he created the earth.
The earth that God created isn’t a practical, monochrome, utilitarian machine. It is stuffed with magnificence, colour, and creativity. God declared it to be “very good” (Gen. 1:31). God didn’t maintain again when he created this world by preserving the most effective for heaven.
In fact, the world isn’t all that we’d need it to be. Struggling pervades each a part of our lives. However this downside isn’t as a result of the earth is second charge. It’s attributable to the doorway of sin. By way of the Bible God exhibits his dedication to repair this downside by descending to earth to handle the difficulty of sin. This begins in Eden the place he walks with Adam within the backyard (Gen 3:8), and it continues as God’s glory is beheld within the tabernacle, within the temple, within the incarnation, within the crucifixion, within the resurrection, and within the present of the Holy Spirit. When Jesus returns, it is not going to be only for a go to, to choose us up and take us elsewhere. He’s coming to remain. The New Jerusalem will descend to earth (Revelation 21), and the great thing about God’s creation might be restored and renewed.
4. People are made within the picture of God to have dominion.
Genesis 1 begins with the creation of the heavens and the earth, however then narrows in to a selected backyard referred to as “Eden.” This backyard is the place God dwells along with his individuals on earth. Within the Historic Close to East, the house of a god was a temple, and Eden is introduced in these phrases. However it’s a temple with a distinction. It isn’t a static, lifeless constructing however a rising backyard. God isn’t a dull statue inside this temple, however he walks and talks throughout the backyard (Gen. 3:8). The pictures within the temple aren’t product of wooden or stone, however are human flesh and blood named Adam and Eve (Gen. 1:26, 27).
All later tabernacles and temples throughout the historical past of the individuals of Israel are a mirrored image of Eden. The Backyard of Eden is the exemplar of what it appears like when heaven and earth meet. God’s picture bearers are given a objective throughout the temple. They’re bestowed with vice-regal authority to handle the event in God’s world, to “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Gen. 1:28). That is why people have been created. It goes to the core of our purpose for existence.
5. God has entered into an everlasting covenant with creation.
It sounds unusual in English to enter right into a covenant with creation. How do animals, bushes, and rocks reply? However God declares: “And I will make for them a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens and the creeping things of the ground” (Hos. 2:18). We consider a covenant in contractual phrases, between two knowledgeable, consenting events. However the Hebrew phrase berith (covenant) can usually imply a one-sided pledge. When God cuts a covenant with Abram, Abram was asleep (Gen. 15:12).
The successive covenants in Scripture, discuss of an eternal covenant (berith ‘olam) made with creation. This reference is seen within the covenants with Noah (Gen. 9:16), Abraham (Gen. 17:7), Moses (Ex. 31:16; Lev. 24:8), David (2 Sam. 23:5), and with Israel after the Babylonian exile (Isa. 24:5, 6; 55:3; 61:8; Jer. 32:40; 50:5; Ezek. 16:60; 37:26). In brief, God is dedicated to his creation. The successive covenants he makes discover their foundation in his prior pledge to all he has made.
Creation and new creation are the bookends of the Bible. God is anxious for the renewal of this earth.
6. The destruction of the earth doesn’t imply its obliteration.
The Bible talks of the full destruction of the earth twice: as soon as within the flood within the days of Noah and the opposite within the remaining destruction of the earth by fireplace. Each of those occasions are talked about in 2 Peter 3, a chapter of the Bible that’s typically cited as proof that each one might be destroyed. However this raises the query, What will we imply by destroyed? The flood in Noah’s time definitely destroyed the world, however it didn’t obliterate it.
2 Peter 3:10 states: “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.” The picture is that of a purifying fireplace which removes the dross of imperfections. The dross of sin might be eliminated and the purity of the gold might be uncovered. What we do on earth issues.
7. The Holy Land expands to be a Holy Earth.
God’s intentions for one land, Israel, have ramifications for the way forward for the entire earth. Inside an understanding of God’s possession of your complete earth, God elected one nation, Israel, to be his chosen individuals. They have been to stay in a Promised Land (Ex. 3:8, 17; 13:5; 33:3) that’s in contrast with the Backyard of Eden (Isa. 51:3; cf. Ezek. 36:35). When the Outdated Testomony closes, the individuals of Israel had returned from the Babylonian captivity and have been reestablishing themselves within the land, however they have been nonetheless awaiting a messiah who would accomplish God’s functions.
Because the New Testomony opens we’re launched to this Messiah. Jesus fulfills all the guarantees of God. God’s objective within the selecting of 1 nation was that each one the nations of the earth can be blessed; God’s objective in selecting one land was that each one the earth can be blessed. Within the wake of Jesus’s fulfilment of all that Israel stood for, the New Testomony begins the transition from a holy land to a holy earth, from Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). The final word realization of this might be seen in “new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Pet. 3:13).
8. Away from the physique and at dwelling with the Lord.
The Apostles’ Creed asserts perception in each “the life everlasting” and “the resurrection of the body,” however immortality and resurrection aren’t the identical factor. Immortality signifies that our life is not going to be interrupted by dying, however resurrection means the elevating of our bodily our bodies. What would be the state of those that die earlier than the overall resurrection on the return of Jesus?
The final word hope for the Christian is “a new heaven and a new earth” (Rev. 21:1) inside which our resurrected our bodies will stay. However ought to we die previous to this, dying will be unable to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:38–39). As we await the overall resurrection, we might be “away from the body and at home with the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:8). Questions abound at this level, however what we all know ought to give consolation within the face of what we don’t know. We might be with Jesus, and that might be enough.
9. Jesus’s proclamation in regards to the kingdom of God is anxious with this world.
When Jesus claimed “my kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36), he was not referring to the area over which he guidelines. Hopefully the dominion of God makes an impression on this world! The Gospels clearly determine two kingdoms, however the division isn’t between sacred and secular; the division is between the dominion of God and the dominion of Devil (Luke 11:14–22). The ministry of Jesus disarms and defeats the dominion of this world over which Devil guidelines. The day will come when heaven will declare that “the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ” (Rev. 11:15).
Within the meantime, the division isn’t between a sacred kingdom and a secular kingdom. The results of sin could be simply as sorely felt within the church as within the office. Equally, the results of the dominion of God could be lived out on Mondays in addition to on Sundays. Jesus is Lord over all. He’s dedicated to his creation.
10. The renewal of the earth means we’re dedicated to the issues of the earth.
Creation and new creation are the bookends of the Bible. God is anxious for the renewal of this earth. Christian ministry is not only about telling individuals tips on how to get into heaven after they die, important although that’s. It is usually involved for what occurs on this world. Telling individuals the way in which of salvation is of foundational significance. With out repentance of sins and submission to the Lordship of Jesus, nothing else is smart. However that’s not the tip of the story. If we acknowledge that the Christian’s hope is the renewal of all issues, it provides which means to life. Christian communities are recommended for the way in which they bless the locations the place they stay (Phil. 2:15; Col. 4:5–6; 1 Thess. 4:11–12; Tit. 2:9–10). If our lives are reworked by the ability of the gospel, our workplaces, households, marriages, friendships, and world might be impacted. God is anxious for this bodily world. An excellent query for each church to ask is, If our church have been to shut down, would anybody in our neighborhood discover the distinction?
Ian Ok. Smith is the writer of Not House But: How the Renewal of the Earth Matches Into God’s Plan for the World.