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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

The Truth about Where We're Headed

And where we're headed is really good.

The Truth that Makes Us Free (7)

that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2.10, 11

Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless… 2 Peter 3.13, 14

Hot or cold?
Physicists, astronomers, and cosmologists still sometimes debate the question of how the cosmos as we know it will come to an end. Some insist that the mass in the cosmos is too great to allow it to keep expanding indefinitely. Ultimately, it will all just collapse back in on itself in another “Big Bang” – a kind of cosmic implosion and bonfire, if you will.

Others disagree. They believe there isn’t enough mass to provide the gravity necessary for a cosmic implosion. Instead, they predict the universe will continue to expand and expand until everything is so far away from any nearby heat source – such as the sun – that the whole cosmos will simply freeze to death.

Death by fire or death by ice. These are not what you might call encouraging scenarios.

However, scientists advise us that, whichever of these outcomes awaits us, it’s still pretty far off in the future. In other words, we don’t have to worry about that.

But we do have to think about our own death: When? By what means? And what’s after that?

Neither heat nor cold, but a Person
The Bible presents a different view of where the cosmos is headed, and everyone who has ever lived in it. Ultimately, the Scriptures teach, it all ends up at the feet of Jesus – every person who ever lived, every creature great or small, all the whole vast cosmos, everything will come into the hands of Jesus Christ, and He will rework and reassign all creation according to His eternal counsel and plan.

The cosmos itself is scheduled for an entire makeover. I sometimes wonder: Is our fascination with reality TV “makeover” programs some echo of the divine image in us, looking forward, if only subconsciously, to what by our very nature we know is awaiting the world at the end of time? Do we all inherently know that a wondrous “reveal” awaits us at some point?

The truth of Scripture explains that the current heavens and earth will be destroyed, but not completely obliterated. Rather, the Word of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, will reconstruct the cosmos and fuse it with the world of angels and departed spirits, so that a new heavens and new earth where righteousness dwells will come into being.

Then, all who are qualified through the new birth to dwell in that glorious new creation will be welcomed and receive glorified bodies like that of Jesus Himself. It is in anticipation of that ultimate disposition that believers sanctify themselves in this life and thus bear witness to their hope for the life to come. Those who are not thus qualified, who have rejected the free offer of the Gospel and the witness of the Lord, will be separated from the new heavens and new earth and consigned to eternal solitude, darkness, loneliness, and misery – the consequence, not of some mean streak in God, but of their own choice, their own refusal to submit to the truth of God and enjoy the benefits of the new birth and the Kingdom of God.

Of course, secularists scoff at such an idea. This is, however, what the Scriptures teach; and the Scriptures, which seem to know so much about everything else, are surely to be trusted over the best ideas and highest hopes of even the most “enlightened” human beings.

Get ready
Death is the end neither of the cosmos nor of every person. All human beings will one day appear before Jesus Christ to hear Him utter the sentence they have pronounced on themselves: Either “Enter the Kingdom prepared for you from before the foundations of the world” or “Depart from me; I never knew you.” At that time, every knee will bow, in acknowledgment of the holiness and Kingship of Jesus, and every tongue will confess what the Scriptures throughout declare, that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

For some, this will be a most joyous bending of the knee, the glorious culmination and eternal new beginning of a confession to which they have firmly held while living, and the consummation of the hopes which sustained and guided them through all their days. They who have known the truth and have submitted to it, will now realize the reward of truth which, by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, He has been preparing for them from all eternity past. All who believe in Jesus, the Truth of God, will enter into the joy of their Father and be eternally secure and at peace and rest in the full presence, promise, and power of His glorious Kingdom.

For others, alas, it will be a day of deep horror and regret. For while those who have submitted to the truth of God are rejoicing to see Jesus face to face, those who have preferred the lie to the truth of God in Scripture will learn at last that the Bible is true – as is God Who gave it – and the lie they have believed is not.

God is true. His Word is true. Jesus is the truth of God. All who deny this, or who seek to use this truth for their own ends, are living a lie, the lie, which insists that they know better than God how they ought to live. In that great coming day, it will be seen at last that God is true, and all who insist otherwise are liars, and doomed to the consequences of their own bad choices.

And we who know this truth have been entrusted with the sacred mission of making it known to the world. The challenge to us is to stand firm in the truth of God, living that truth, exposing the lies of idolatry and wrong belief, and calling the people in our world to repent and believe the Good News of Jesus Christ and His Kingdom (Prov. 24.11, 12).

For reflection
1.  What is hell? What will it be like to experience this forever? Do you believe this?

2.  If your neighbor’s house were on fire, would you alert him? If your neighbor’s life were headed for hell, should you warn him? Why or why not?

3.  What can you do to become more consistent in preparing to reach out, and then in reaching out to the people in your Personal Mission Field?

Next steps – Preparation: Meditate on 1 John 3.1-3 and 2 Peter 3.10-18. What should believers be doing in order to prepare for seeing Jesus face to face? How should this affect their relationships with others? The work they do each day? How does your own daily schedule and practice match up with this?

T. M. Moore

Jesus is even now preparing a place for us where He will receive us to Himself forever. Read more about what Jesus is doing in heaven in our book, What in Heaven Is Jesus Doing on Earth? Order your free copy by clicking here.

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
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