What will the “not yet” of our salvation in Christ be like?
This Sunday as we conclude our Advent series, “Out of Darkness”, we will explore the second half of the interpretive dynamic I introduced last week called the “already/not yet” of our salvation experience in Jesus Christ.Last week we saw how the New Testament calls us to live in the “now” of God’s light in Jesus Christ – and do so despite the present spiritual darkness this world is still trapped in.
This week, we will look together at the last two chapters of the book of Revelation (chapters 21-22) and learn about the “not yet” of God’s plans for this world. The key thing I will point out is how John describes Jesus as the source and locale of the light of God’s salvation and presence. He is the one to whom the nations gather, the one whom provides light for the renewed people of God, and is the center of the “new Jerusalem.” What this means is that the hope of “going to heaven when we die” is nothing more – and certainly nothing less! – than the experiencing the fullness of what we already have now: union with God through Jesus Christ. In other words, “heaven” is being with Jesus! “Eternal life” is living forever in His presence!
My hope for us this Christmas is that we would begin to look our life, our salvation, and our relationship to God with the same “Jesus-spectacles” that the NT writers have. They didn’t view their faith in terms of “rules” or religious duty – instead they talked about honoring God through living in union with Christ and being empowered by the Spirit. They didn’t talk about “God” as an abstract or impersonal deity somewhere up in outer-space, but as the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. For them, Christ was the center everything they thought and did. May it be the same for us!
I look forward to seeing you then and sharing more with you!