Chuck Foreman – Teaching Pastor
If, as it says in Revelation 21-22 and I Thessalonians 4:13-18, heaven and its occupants comes to earth with Jesus at his return to set up his Kingdom here—if the dwelling of God will be here with men and he will live with us and be our God and we will be his people—if he actually does wipe away every tear and there is no more death or mourning or crying or pain—if the old order of things passes away and everything is made new—if even creation is restored and the curse of decay and natural disasters brought by sin (The Fall) is removed—if our world isn’t just going to come to an end, but rather be “liberated from its bondage to decay” (Romans 8:18-23)…
…doesn’t that make sense of our world and our human existence? I mean, we have this notion within us that we aren’t really supposed to die, that we are in some sense eternal. That’s why we resist death and try to push it off as long as we can. Maybe that’s because we actually are eternal and are intended to live forever. It often seems tragic to me that humankind has been able to make such amazing advances in science and medicine and technology and economics and government, if it’s all for nothing and will one day just…end. Maybe it’s not going to end. Maybe our advances have been enabled by God, though by the toil and sweat of our brow. Maybe the Bible is correct. Maybe it will all, we will all, be renewed by God and become part of his eternal Kingdom here on earth. Now that’s a cool thought! If that’s how it’s going to be, no wonder John the Apostle said, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.” (Revelation 22:20)
Maybe that’s why Jesus taught us to pray, “…your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Maybe Jesus wanted us to pray and live in a way that shows we actually believe that God wants to establish his Kingdom here on this earth. Maybe God is establishing his Kingdom here on earth now, through the prayers and faithfulness and good deeds of his people. Maybe everything we do as Followers of Jesus is moving us toward that day when Jesus returns with our deceased loved ones who were faithful to him, to finally and completely establish his Kingdom here with us. Maybe the Return of the King will not be to whisk us away to “pie in the sky by and by”, but to be welcomed in the clouds by us, his people, and be escorted victoriously and triumphantly back home to earth where he will finally assume his rightful throne as King of Kings and Lord of Lords—Ruler of the Nations of the earth, and where we will reign forever with him—the ultimate fulfillment of Immanuel—God with us!
That’s what I’m counting on, what about you?