Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Why is Christ returning to earth? Stop and think about that question. Why is Christ going to return to earth? Our initial response of course is “to come and get us”! That’s kind of shallow it seems…I mean…why can’t we just all die and go on to heaven? “Well, Christ is going to return to conquer the nations!” Ok, that’s getting better…but does He really need to rise from His throne, sit on a white horse and charge out of heaven to do that all that? Couldn’t He just wiggle His nose and evaporate all those unbelievers?

We need a much broader appreciation for what God has clearly revealed concerning His plan of redemption in order to appreciate this doctrine and the broader scope of the Bible. We are so individualistic and so self absorbed! We basically limit our teaching and preaching about redemption to simply “Jesus came to save my soul”! Certainly, if you are one of His then He came for your soul and had you in mind as He suffered…but He had more than your soul in mind…and more than all the elect…and for you Arminians out there…Jesus had more than every man, women, boy and girl in all of history in mind as well.

Redemption extends to the saving of all of creation...not just souls…but the redemption of souls, bodies and the redemption of planet earth…and the redemption of the cosmos!

So a fuller understanding of why Jesus is returning is that He is coming back to reign on the planet He created for mankind in the beginning. Don’t forget, Jesus is now and forever physical. Do you think of Jesus as physical? He is. He is the Godman. He created the cosmos for the enjoyment of His crowning achievement in creation…mankind. We were not created to live in “sweet Beulah Land”. God created man as a physical body/soul unit and placed him in a physical and real “earthy” garden on a very real, physical and “earthy” earth. After God created this very physical universe and place the very physical man in this very physical place He called it all ‘good’. We know the rest, according to the Bible the first man, Adam, flagrantly disobeyed God and plunged himself and his scions into total depravity. But more than that…what else was corrupted, damaged, harmed and distorted? Creation was cursed! We read in Genesis 3 and 5 that the ground of the earth is “cursed”. In Romans 8 we read Paul broaden and then expound upon this…

“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.”

Do you see it? Jesus came not just to redeem His people; He came to redeem all of His creation. Now that He is the Elects new representative (the first representative, Adam, is not worthy) He is going to return to this earth, as the Godman, to reign and rule from earth…forever.

That is why He is going to stand up from His thrown, saddle up and charge out of heaven on that white horse. His coming to conquer and rule, physically, from an “earthy” earth…forever!

Now some of you might be wondering “but wait…I thought I was going to heaven”? Stand up from your desk and walk to the widow. Pull the blinds or open the curtain and look. You are looking at what will one day be known as “heaven”. It is amazing how false doctrine is just heaved left and right…especially at funerals. “Grandpa is home now…” What? Grandpa is not home! If your grandpa has died in the Lord then make no mistake…he is waiting to come home! He is waiting for his soul to be rejoined with his body! And when his soul and body are rejoined he will be “glorified”…the process of salvation will be complete…and your grandpa, like all the Elect are going to live right where God intended for man to live…stop and think…where did God intend mankind to live? Where did God place man originally? What place was made for man and to fulfill man? Earth! Earth is the home of mankind…not some ethereal, mystical or “heavenly” realm…no! We were created physical and placed in a physical environment prior to the fall…Christ will come to make all things new!

Away with this notion that God’s plan is for us to dwell with Him in an ethereal place! Away with it I say! (lol) It’s not true, dear one. May this thought soak all the way into your bones…Christ is coming back to this earth to reign and rule from this planet! “He (Christ) must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets” Acts 3:21 niv (emphasis mine). …the dwelling place of God will now be with man…not vice versa!

Because of His mercy there is a time of waiting for those who sleep in Him…they are conscious…but they wait. What is the hold up? As stated, the mercy of God...this stage of His redemptive plan is not complete, yet …He is still seeking and saving. So those souls wait, in His presence, away from the sufferings of a fallen existence, in peace and love and understanding…yet…they do so incompletely and unnaturally. Humans were created as body/soul units. When His Elect receive the entirety and fullness of their deliverance, they will be a body/soul unit once again…and will live, thrive and reign with Christ from the planet He created for us…earth…forever.

for a greater and more in-depth study on this topic I can not more highly recommend the tremendous book: Heaven by Randy Alcorn.

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