What do you think will happen when Jesus returns?
Whether you’ve died before He comes or if you’re alive, do you know you are going to meet Him here on Earth?
The Bible tells us that’s where the judgment takes place – not inside the “pearly gates,” not outside the “pearly gates.”
The only gates of pearl (of Revelation 21) you will find in the Bible have to do a thousand years after Jesus returns and judges the world – including the living and the dead.
It’s a time when Jesus makes all things new. (Revelation 21:5) It will be a wonderful time, I’m sure. But something new is going to happen before then – and I don’t believe we’ll have to wait 1,000 years to see it. It could be very soon.
And the new year is a great time to consider what Peter called in Acts 3 the “restitution of all things.”
Jesus promises to usher in His Kingdom on Earth, restoring it to the way it was intended to be at Creation – as in the Garden of Eden.
From my experience, very few Christians really consider this much. Firstly, they don’t generally think much about Jesus coming back in their lifetime. And, secondly, they believe they will go to heaven when they die.
I’m not sure you can make much of a biblical case for going to heaven upon death – unless it is this earthly heaven in the Kingdom of God in a restored Earth.
Whatever the case, if we’re judged righteous through His shed blood, the place we’re going to be living in His Kingdom on Earth, not just you and I and people from the 21st century, but believers from throughout history. I think that’s exciting. Can you imagine getting to meet the Apostles, or King David, or Moses or even Abraham?
That earthly Kingdom will last 1,000 years, according to the Book of Revelation – and then there will be a new heaven and a new earth. That’s when all things will be made new – not just restored to the model of the original Creation.
Personally, I find the idea of living in a Garden of Eden setting very exciting.
As I wrote in my book on this subject, “The Restitution of All Things: Israel, Christians and the End of the Age,” I believe all of us can better related to paradise on Earth than paradise in heaven. We know Earth. It was created for us.
And note that even after all things are made new, we’re still living in a new Earth – one that is perfect and a part of the Kingdom of Heaven.
In other words, you’ll feel at home. But your home will be greatly upgraded and perfected beyond our imaginations.
If you’ve never studied these things or thought about them much, I want to encourage you to do so. My own studies into this subject have greatly expanded my faith – making me long for the day Jesus returns.
In the meantime, we are charged with occupying this Earth and doing what we can to make it a better place by loving one another and sharing the gospel.
That’s what Jesus commanded those who follow Him to do – love one another and spread the good news.
Unfortunately, we don’t do enough loving and sharing, do we?
If we did, it would rock this world. It would turn it upside down, or, maybe, more appropriately, right side up, just as it did in the first century.
If what I am telling you is intriguing, and especially if you haven’t heard this message before, I encourage you to read “The Restitution of All Things,” which can serve as your guide to some shocking news in the Bible – all of it really good news.
After all, if you desire to spread the good news, it helps to know it.
Blessings for a new year and the new world to come.