new_jerusalemSo, my classes have been discussing the Christian worldview concerning sociology. We have been looking at the social institutions of the family, church, and state. I stated the root problems in society stem from our sinful behavior and our alienation from God. This alienation that began with the fall of man impacted our relationships with God, with each other, and with Creation. There was nothing which escaped the consequences of that Fall.

The goal of the Christian in the area of social response is the reconciliation of those three things. Through Christ, we are reconciled to God, each other, and finally our world.

I spoke of a statement I heard the other day on the radio. Someone said that they felt that heaven was going to be kind of boring. Their idea was that of us dressed in white robes, sitting around playing harps all day or hanging out on the clouds. Wow! Do they have it wrong!

In the Book of Revelation chapter 21, we have painted for us a very different picture.

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. 2I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3And 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. 4He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

5He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

A new heaven and earth. A perfected world where  we will dwell with God. But, the picture here is of a NEW world. The Holy City, the new Jerusalem comes down to that newly created perfect world. Doesn’t this remind us of Eden? Restoration is what I see. I don’t see boring. I see a new paradise where we can explore and have fellowship with each other and with God. We will once again be able to walk with God in the cool of the Garden. Not Paradise lost anymore, but Paradise restored.

Wayne Grudem, a professor of Bible and theology at Phoenix Seminary, writes in his popular Systematic Theology textbook: “When referring to this place, Christians often talk about living with God ‘in heaven’ forever. But in fact the biblical teaching is richer than that: it tells us that there will be new heavens and a new earth—an entirely renewed creation—and we will live with God there.”

Are your reservations made?  If not, make them now.

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