The Biblical promise that gives me the most hope is that Jesus is coming back as King to restore all things and to reconcile all things to God. He is bringing a new heavens and a new earth. In those last days, there will be a judgment and a separation. Truth will be vindicated. We will receive beauty for ashes. The broken will be bound up. The devastations of many generations shall be repaired. Tears will go away. All of the scents and tastes we get of this coming Kingdom (seen in beauty, truth, kindness, grace) will be fully consummated in the fully-disclosed reign of our Sovereign King. It is a day that demands our lives. It is a day that is worth our lives.
It is a day to come that instructs our conduct in the present. In technical words, our eschatology determines our ethics. What we believe about Jesus’ coming reign determines how we live in this present time. It affects our materialism, our generosity, our priorities, our relationships, everything. We are people who live between 2 days (the day of atonement, when Jesus forgave us, set us free, and provided his spirit and the day of consummated restoration, when He comes back). We are people who live in the constant tension of the already and the not yet. This tension makes it hard for those on the outside to understand why we live the way we do. This tension pleads with us to use every ounce of our creativity and drive to implore ‘outside people’ to be reconciled to God (2 Cor 5:20). This tension is why we are planting a new church.
In restoration, we capture our core value– the Gospel changes everything. Grace wins, Truth wins. Love wins. The sweeping biblical narrative can be summarized by: creation, fall, exile, restoration. This is the big picture story from Genesis to Revelation. It is seen in smaller vignettes throughout the Scriptures. We are a church compelled by God’s project of restoration.