Summary: Things are about to change. The things we love as well as the things we hate - all is to be ’recreated’! ...
For Christ teaches us that the world of tomorrow will NOT resemble the world of today - that things are NOT going to go on and on in the same way for ever and ever – with the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, in a world full of violence and inequalities and deep injustices. This is NOT the final word on creation. This is NOT the end of the story.
‘Behold I am making all things new’ the voice booms from heaven (Revelation 21:5). The whole of the heavens and the earth are about to be recreated. The Kingdom of God is at hand, and the world as we know it is about to get replaced by the bigger and better world that is to come. This is the gospel of Jesus. This is the good news, and good news it is, as while there may be some things in this world that only require fine-tuning if they are to be put right, there are other things – injustices that are so massive and heartaches that run so deep – that nothing short of an entire recreation of the cosmos is required in order to fix them.
‘Behold I am making all things new’. Everything is about to change. Pain and injustice are about to be wiped away. The earth is going to be as full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. Death itself is going to be abolished, and marriage and family are going out along with it! Like it or lump it, nothing is going to be like what it used to be, and if we are going to follow Jesus then we had better start adjusting our lives accordingly.
Personally, I think that if we could get this right, that we would probably get everything else right, and I think that it’s when we lose track of this that we lose track of everything.
I suspect that the problem is that for most of us white, middle-class, land-owning persons who live in a country under no immediate threat of war, pestilence or famine, we envisage the Kingdom of God as being something quite a lot like what we experience now, but a little more widespread and with a few improvements. All the nasty people are gone for instance, so that there won’t be any more lying or stealing going on, so that everyone respects everybody else’s privacy and property rights.
Jesus says ‘No, no, no! The Kingdom that is coming will be so unlike anything you experience now that you will barely recognise yourself. The whole world is going to be recreated, and the body is going to be recreated, and we’re all going to relate to each other in an entirely new and powerful way.’
We don’t know exactly what that will look like, but we know enough from Jesus and we know enough of Jesus to know that it will involve us all in somehow being intermingled quite intimately with each other in some sort of intensely spiritual community, sharing relationships of love, compassion and self-giving with God and with each other. That may all seem a little threatening or it may all seem a little too wonderful, but the bottom line is that it is all going to be very different. And if we are going to follow Jesus in this world then we are going to have to live a life that reflects a sincere belief in the coming of this Kingdom.