WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE WE WAITING FOR?
INTRODUCTION AND SET-UP:
THE MYTH OF PROGRESS
this is the position that we can save ourselves by ‘getting better’. fixing the ills of society, helping the pool, recycling....all kinds of things that are good things, but often they become the goal.
good feelings and confidence are associated with “i am better than i used to be” or “i did my part for such and such.
being “a good person” is a phrase that is overused, but stands in for the idea that “at least I am not making things any worse and perhaps in my small corner of the world they are better because I was there”
When we were younger we called this “making a difference”.
Its not that these are bad ideas, or that they make no sense and no difference, its just that they are not CHRISTIAN ideals. They are PLATONIC, or PRAGMATIC. They rely on outcomes that are INCREMENTAL.
GODS PLAN IS TO REDEEM. TO TAKE THE BROIEN AND RE-MAKE IT, NOT TO IMPROVE UPON IT.
THE CATCH IS, WE HAVE TO WAIT, TO ENDURE, TO LONG FOR AND HOPE FOR REDEMPTION WITH CHOOSING THE SUBSTITUTE OF FALSE HOPE, HUMANISM OR FAITHLESSNESS AS IT TAKES TOO LONG TO SEE THE REDEMPTION THAT HAS BEEN PROMISED.
gnosticism; THIS IS THE ACADEMIC TERM. IT MEANS TO RELY ON KNOWING, UNDERSTANDING AND TAKING REASONABLE ACTIONS. IT IS A PHILOSOPHY BASED ON THE POWER OF HUMANS TO MAKE THINGS BETTER. (AGAIN, SEE ABOVE FOR THE LIMITATIONS OF THIS IDEA)
more understanding, more knowing means i can overcome regressive ideas and make a better world.
THE CONSEQUENCES OF THIS KIND OF THINKING ON OUR SPIRITUAL LIVES:
improvement is favored over redemption.
failing is “bad”, because it does not understand ‘redemption’ as a process that needs failure to occur so that there is something to redeem.
HOPELESSNESS AS WE BEGING TO SEE THAT PROGRESS DOES NOT DEAL WITH THE PAST FAILINGS, IT DOES NOT SUCCESS IN LASTING CHANGE.
“That is why the relentlessly modernist and progressivist projects that the politicians feel obliged to offer us (‘vote for us and things will get better!’) have to be dressed up with the relentlessly postmodernist techniques of spin and hype: in the absence of real hope, all that is left is feelings.”
Surprised by Hope (2. Option 1: Evolutionary Optimism)
The myth of progress fails because it doesn’t in fact work; because it would never solve evil retrospectively; and, thirdly, because it underestimates the nature and power of evil itself, and thus fails to see the vital importance of the cross, God’s No to evil which then opens the door to his Yes to creation. Only in the Christian story itself—certainly not in the secular stories of modernity—do we find any sense that the problems of the world are solved, not by a straightforward upward movement into the light, but by the creator God going down into the dark, to rescue humankind and the world from its plight
The myth of progress fails
It fails because its change is incremental and impermanent (Temporary)
It changes what it can see, it may even impact circumstances, but it does not change our nature. it does not take away desire, appetite, sin and consequences and it does not deal a death blow to self.
it underestimates the nature and power of evil itself, and thus fails to see the vital importance of the cross, God’s No to evil which then opens the door to his Yes to creation.
“Only in the Christian story do we find any sense that the problems of the world are solved, not by a straightforward upward movement into the light, but by the creator God going down into the dark, to rescue humankind and the world from its plight1”
1 Wright, T. (2007). Surprised by Hope (p. 99). Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.
My past evils must be redeemed so that my mistakes matter.
If they are not I am trapped by guilt adn recrimination.
My future sins, must be accounted for.
The evil I will continue to do....must be atoned for or I am forever in fear of the consequences of bad actions I am certain I will ultimately take. I am paralyzed by my future failures if there is no redemption.
WHAT IS GODS PLAN?
Jesus does not give us progress, but he erases destruction by taking it upon himself. It’s is a new beginning, not a new approach.
Romans 5:12–21 (NIV84)
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned— for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come. But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
what this passage means:
it only took one sin to destroy billions of humans and the creation itself.
It took ONLY one special death to make all of those billions of sins REDEMPTIVE
when sin increases, grace increases. We can never out-sin Gods Grace. (Conditional)
ONE MAN OVERCOMES THE EVIL OF BILLIONS, IF IT IS A PERFECT MAN!
The other metaphor here is “first Fruits”
THE POWER OF FIRST FRUITS
its not one for one. son sin killed us all. one action had the power to destroy all mankind, but it doesn't take many acts of righteousness to reverse it, but only one. It can be repaired with a single act, even though sin is an innumerable decision by all men. The death of jesus is powerful enough to repair ALL sin.
like a virus, life infects the dead, just like sin infected the living...death spreads, but so is life.
The living jesus, the ascension....
the bodily return opens the door for our bodies to return to the spiritual plane...
What did it mean that Jesus ROSE from the Dead? Not just for him, but for all of us. Death is defeated if he comes back.
1 COR 15:20-28
1 Corinthians 15:20–28 (NIV84)
But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For he “has put everything under his feet.” Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.
Heaven is like a dimension, more than a distant place, it is a dimensional place. It is “close” but unseen. it is “right next to be” but on another plane. It is invisible, but present. It is a present reality, it is “now” but my physical body prevents me from experiencing it. I need a new body to ‘see it’ Jesus shows us that the experience is for our bodies...it is “real” and has attributes of the world we know, the bodies we know. but devoid of the limitations of sight and experience.
we are ‘groaning’ in waiting for what is to come.
the creation also groans for what is to come. “It” is also waiting
Romans 8:18–26 (NIV84)
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.
What is the world waiting for? The world is waiting for us to be finally revealed?
When we are, the world will also be set free!
Romans 8:19 the creation is waiting for the sons of God to be revealed.
We are a prototype of what the earth will experience. The earth “looks” at us, as sons and daughters of God and celebrates because it knows that the promise for us also extends to it! We are ‘first fruits’ the earth will also be liberated from decay.
This theology suggests that the earth has a living presence; a kind that we don’t understand, but that in the order of all the things God has made the earth and creation itself have the ability to anticipate, to hope!
Rom 8:22, not just the creation, but we groan with the creation. we do this as one created order, not separate, but connected.
Made from the earth, we return to the earth, we will inherit the earth, we will live on a new earth, earth and heave will be re-generated, re created. We are in this together.
1: It should effect our ecology? how we treat creatures of all kinds and creation itself. Not for granted, but as sacred. Space is sacred, the planet is sacred. Not that we take to this in a political or activity way, but that we are personally grateful, that we learn to respect and enjoy the beauty of what God has made for us.
Spend time outdoors? Get off your screen, and experience the world God has made. You don’t have to overland, or camp, but appreciate it.
2: it impacts our orientation to sin: If sin is being perpetually atoned for, it has no control over me. I can at any moment be free of it. (Look at Hebrews 7:22)
Because he never dies, he is always your priest. He has permanent office. He saves completely because he never sleeps, never fails, never dies, never stops telling God that he is willing to pay for you again and again and again.
Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant. Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
The problem is that I remember my sins. I am haunted by my sins, but God is not. God forgets my sins, forgives my sins, and they are as they had never been.
3: I am always ‘close to God’ and he is always close to me. I cannot drive him away. I can forget him,
I can stop listening to him,
I can ignore him and
I can act against the spirit that lives in me....that is a freedom that I have....
BUT even that is forgiven when I repent, and simply ask for forgiveness.
BACK TO OUR FIRST PROPOSITION ABOUT PROGRESS:
Surprised by Hope (1. Introduction)
The early Christians did not believe in ‘progress’. They did not think the world was getting better and better under its own steam—or even under the steady influence of God. They knew God had to do something fresh to put it to rights.But nor did they believe that the world was getting worse and worse and that their task was to escape it altogether. They were not dualists.Since most people who think about these things today tend towards one or other of those two points of view, it comes as something of a surprise to discover that the early Christians held a quite different view. They believed that God was going to do for the whole cosmos what he had done for Jesus at Easter. This is such a surprising belief, and so little reflected on even in Christian circles, still less outside the church, that we must set it out step by step and show how the different early writers developed different images which together add up to a stunning picture of a future for which, so they insisted, the whole world was waiting on tiptoe.
The entire world will be renewed.
It is not about destruction, but about redemption.
Being made new, not being done away with and it is not “getting better”
THIS SHOULD BRING PROFOUND HOPE. GOD HAS A PLAN, AND YOU ARE CAUGHT UP IN THAT PLAN. STAY WITH GOD, BELIEVE IN GOD. DON’T PUT OUR HOPE IN SYSTEMS OR PROGRAMS, BUT REJOICE THAT HERE, IN THIS PLACE WE CAN EXPERIENCE THE FREEDOM OF KNOWING THAT WE ARE ALREADY BEING RENEWED, DAY BY DAY!