Act 6: Restoration
In the final act of the great drama of Scripture, God’s Kingdom will come on earth as it is in Heaven. There will be no more sin and no more sadness. There will be no abuse of each other and no inequalities. As well as prophetic texts looking forward to this age, we also see pointers toward this age in the life of Jesus as he healed the sick and challenged oppression. This world – not some other world, but this one – will be restored to God’s Kingdom design. In this we put our hope and our daily actions.
The Bible is sparse on details on how exactly this will come about, although that hasn’t stopped many Christians from arguing about it. Bartholomew and Goheen in The Drama of Scripture describe this preoccupation this way:
Unfortunately, these end-time events have often stirred fruitless controversy among Christians. Too much attention has been given to what God will do, how he will do it and especially when he will do it. Yet as David Lawrence reminds us, fixing our attention on such things is a bit like becoming obsessed with the nature, strength and frequency of the birth pangs when we should be thinking about the baby!
For now, we are located in the “now but not yet.” Jesus has assured victory through his nonviolent death on the cross. That much is clear in Revelation as well as elsewhere in the New Testament. And yet this victory doesn’t become complete – we still suffer, we still sin, and Satan still roams the earth seeking to hold us back however he can – until some future day. It is a tension, but it is a beautiful tension filled with so much hope even while we battle the evil present in our world.
We have now journeyed through the broad story of Scripture. The remaining question: will you join in this story, partner with its author, in bringing about this final act? Will you count the cost and embrace this radical Kingdom life?