Friday, September 12

Not my home?

They sang a song in chapel today with words to the effect, "this world is not my home." I know that there have been lots of songs like this -- many contemporary. In a very narrow and nuanced sense the "this world is not my home" message is true. But the Bible doesn't really end up there.
"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. ~ Revelation 21:1-3 (NLT)
The picture is of a new heaven and a new earth. We don't go to heaven to live but heaven -- the presence of God -- is manifest among his people on the new earth. Indeed, this world, in a new and redeemed state, IS my home. And it's actually a bit of a relief to know that the future is pretty solidly grounded.

1 comment:

Beth B said...

Amen, Brad, about the redeemed earth. The best teaching I've had on that came from Steven Bouma-Prediger, professor of Religion at Hope College in Holland, Michigan.

He is the author of, "For the Beauty of the Earth: A Christian Vision for Creation Care" which received the Award of Merit as one of Christianity Today's books of the year for 2001.

He spoke at our VCC Church and Culture Conference five years ago, in a series entitled "Biblical Wisdom and Ecological Vision."

Session 1: "Is God Green?"
Session 2: "Do You Want to Be Left Behind?"
Session 3: "Why Care for Creation?"
Sermon: "To Serve and Protect"

I still remember his exegesis of Revelation 21:1, where he explained that the word "new" there in Greek doesn't mean "brand spanking new, without any continuity with the old" but rather new in the sense of what is old needs to be converted into something superior. Think old covenant and new covenant. It's not that Christ came to do away with the Law, but to fulfill it, complete it, and give it new life.

Of course, if one has a prior commitment to a dispensationalist hermeneutic, none of this will be acceptable.