-by Jonny Raine –
As Jesus left this world, leaving his followers to be the church that takes the good news to the world, it was with a promise that he would return one day. That day is still to come, but when it does come it will bring the era of eternity.
When Jesus returns, he will come in order to judge and to complete his salvation. Everyone who has died will be raised to life to answer to God for the way that they have lived their lives. Of our own efforts, we come up short on the standards to which we should have lived. Because of our rejection of God, we all deserve to spend eternity cut off from God and all his goodness while enduring his wrath in our continuing separation from him.
But for every person who has received Jesus’ forgiveness by trusting in him in this lifetime, there is a different story in eternity. Based on Jesus’ death in their place, they are declared as not guilty because of the undeserved kindness of God. For such a person, they are welcomed into a renewed and joined heaven and earth where God lives with his people.
As much as our world now is broken with sin, suffering and sorrow, in this new world, everything broken will be fixed. The curse brought about by our first ancestors will be removed so that death is no longer the experience that hangs over us. It’s a place of endless opportunity to enjoy and explore, to create and connect, to imagine, celebrate and receive.