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Friday, April 13, 2012

Our Christian Bible - # 6

The Revelation of the Kingdom and Glory of the Lord and Savior.

This crucial component of Scripture brings the whole story to its God-ordained consummation. Redemptive history is controlled by God, so as to culminate in His eternal glory. Redemptive history will end with the same precision and exactness with which it began. The truths of eschatology are neither vague nor unclear - nor are they unimportant. As in any book, how the story ends is the most crucial and compelling part - so with the Bible. Scripture notes several very specific features of the end planned by God.

In the Old Testament, there is repeated mention of an earthly kingdom ruled by the Messiah, Lord and Savior, who will come to reign. Associated with that kingdom will be the salvation of Israel, the salvation of Gentiles, the renewal of the earth from the effects of the curse, and the bodily resurrection of God's people who have died. Finally, the Old Testament predicts that there will be the "uncreation" or dissolution of the universe, and the creation of a new heaven and new earth - which will be the eternal state of the godly - and a final hell for the ungodly.

In the New Testament, these features are clarified and expanded. The King was rejected and executed, but He promised to come back in glory, bringing judgment, resurrection, and His kingdom for all who believe. Innumerable Gentiles from every nation will be included among the redeemed. Israel will be saved and grafted back into the root of blessing from which she has been temporarily excised. 

Israel's promised kingdom will be enjoyed, with the Lord and Savior reigning on the throne, in the renewed earth, exercising power over the whole world, having taken back His rightful authority, and receiving due honor and worship. Following that kingdom will come the dissolution of the renewed, but still sin-stained creation, and the subsequent creation of a new heaven and new earth - which will be the eternal state, separate forever from the ungodly in hell.

There are five topics that fill up the Bible. To understand them at the start is to know the answer to the question that continually arises - Why does the Bible tell us this? Everything fits into this glorious pattern. As you read, hang the truth on these five books and the Bible will unfold, not as 66 separate documents, or even two separate testaments - but on one book, by one divine author, who wrote it all with one overarching theme.

It is my prayer that the magnificent and overwhelming theme of the redemption of sinners for the glory of God will carry every reader with captivating interest from beginning to end of the story. Christian - this is your story. It is from God for you - about you. It tells what He planned for you, why He made you, what you wee, what you have become in Christ, and what He has prepared for you in eternal glory. Amen

(end of this series)

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