Hijacked to Heaven

Brian Burchik —  May 7, 2012

Jesus is a revolutionary, and it is a revolution of life.  He alone is the source of the most full life, and as followers of Christ, we not only have access to full life here on the earth, but we have hope that life will continue into the future, with a new heaven and a new earth and new resurrected bodies.  We have hope that when the time is right, Jesus Christ will return and establish the fullness of His reign.

German Theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer puts it like this…

“the kingdom of heaven descends, the face of the earth will be renewed, and it will belong to the flock of Jesus.  God does not forsake the earth: he made it, he sent his Son to it, and on it he built his Church.  Thus a beginning has already been made in this present age.  A sign has been given.  The powerless have here and now received a plot of earth, for they have the church and its fellowship, its goods, its brothers and sisters, in the midst of persecutions even to the length of the cross.  The renewal of the earth begins at Golgotha, where the meek One died, and from thence it will spread.  When the kingdom finally comes, the meek shall possess the earth.”

Our future as followers of Christ is better than we could ever imagine.  We are not headed toward some condo in a cloud as my pastor often says.  Our souls are not flying up to some super spiritual existence.  The kingdom of heaven will descend and renew and redeem the whole earth.  Heaven and earth will again be united and there will be no more tears or pain or sin.

There is a great deal of mystery in regards to how life will be in this time.  What we know is that life then is 100% connected to life right now.  We know that followers of Christ can live fully now, only to live more fully into eternity.  We know that in the new heaven and new earth there will be fully redeemed relationships and fully redeemed work.

Most importantly, we know that we will no longer live by faith, but by sight.  Together as the people of God we will live with Jesus, He is the king.  There will be shalom between God and man, man and man, and man and creation.  Things will be as they were originally intended in the beginning, and yet the New heaven New earth will be even more glorious.

One reason a biblical vision of Jesus’ return (instead of one shaped by “Left Behind” books) is crucial is that it affects how we choose to live on the earth today.  If we think heaven is simply an escape from the world, then our Christian spirituality will not compel much action and engagement in the pressing cultural issues of the day.  Yet, if we see ourselves as characters in God’s redeeming work of making all things new, then we are far more likely to impact (not escape) the world.

How does your own personal belief about heaven effect how you choose to live and invest your life today? Does it lead you to cultural escapism or cultural engagement?

Brian Burchik

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This post was by Brian, a leader seeking to know the "why" behind the "how"

3 responses to Hijacked to Heaven

  1. Carolynfbaggett May 7, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    As N.T. Wright says, we ARE “Resurrection People!”

    • Livefullyblog May 8, 2012 at 3:50 pm

      Absolutely! Thanks for your comment Carolyn- we appreciate the work of NT Wright as well. Have you read his newest “How God Became King”?

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