Sunday, June 15, 2008

Whats This Life For?

... for we all live under the reign of one king."
Creed, Whats this Life For?

Many times we feel like we walk through the motions, taking steps wondering where we are about to go next. Many of us feel like we are just existing and do not know how to move forward. We are afraid, ashamed of who we are. We are scared of letting go if our past and taking the step into something more, something bigger than ourselves. Forgetting the glorious work that God has done on the cross.

Then others of us are enslaved to a weird view of our salvation, we beleive that everything is after the fact, that since we have been "saved", there is no work to do now in the present. We have heaven coming, we don't need to worry about the present and we do not need to do anything now.

But this isn't the case. Jesus' eschatology and Pauls eschatology and indeed a Jewish view of the world never hint to this. Jesus says the the Kingdom of God is at hand. Jesus declares in his example of how we should pray,

"Our father in heaven, may tour name be kept holy.
May your kingdom come on earth as it is heaven"

Jesus' introduction to ministry started with his declaration that the Kingdom has come, the salvation has come, where he takes the scroll of Isiah and does dis exegisis on it, declaring

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, doe hw has annointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord's favor has come."

Jesus' declaration is that the Kingdom has come, it has spiritual, emotional, and political significance to the world we live in. He declares that the broken can find healing, that the oppressed can find freedom, that Israel is to be redeemed, that the world is to be healed and redeemed.

So what does this mean for us, I don't beleive salvation means we get to live happilly in the reality that since we are saved we wait to do nothing, we are called as followers of Christ, that we are called to live in a way that declares that Jesus is Lord.

Jesus addressed, that for the kinfdom to come, there needs to be workers. He said

"The harvest is great, but the workers are few"

I do not beleive in the rapture, if it happens then I'm wrong, but I don't really think its one of the questions that matters at all to my salvation, but it matters to the way I live. People who live looking forward to being taken away forget the importance of our mission here on earth. To be agents of change and transformation. To bring the gospel to the lost. To be agents of change in our city.

I don't beleive we will ever get to an utopian ideal this side of eternity, but seeing people changed, people find wholeness, seeing cities changed (like Ninevah was in the bible in the story of Jonah, Like Jerusalem and the nation of Israel was in the story of Nehemiah) is what I look forward to.

I will end on this point, at the end of the bible, we see the fulfilment of Gods victory, the restoration of a new heaven and a new earth. God brings heaven down to earth and lives again amongst humanity. Relationship between God and his creation is restored. He reigns!


justin "the balding" said...

NateDizzle! I think you know where I stand on this.

here is the question i ask:
How does what we believe about New creation change our actions? and Why?

Nathanael Baker said...

Hey Mate

I know exactly where you stand on this.

I think we need to step back and think about how we beleive God views the world

- Is God a vengeful God who wants to destroy an evil wicked world


- Is God a loving God who is on a rescue plan to save a broken world that he lovingly created for his Glory.

I think this goes into how we see God and I'll hope that God is a God of grace and love.

2nd part, if we beleive that God is a vengeful God, who is going to destroy this world then wisk us up to heaven, then we are not likely to care about this present world. As one of reagans advisers said, he could damage the planet as much as he liked as God was going to destroy it anyway.

If we beleive that God is missional, and an agent of love, and that he is bringing shalom (peace and wholeness) to this world. Then we are much more likely to be agents of faith, love and hope in this world.

- Thanks for being one of the fires for this particular blog entry, dazed and confused and ranting as it was.