Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” John 3:3–5
No one can ignore the reality of wars, disease, tyranny, violence, abuse, poverty, death, injustice, and famine. Evil persists despite all the efforts of all leaders of all nations from all history. We can’t solve the problem, because we are the problem. Our hope isn’t in self, nation, culture, people, leaders, or politics. It is in God and his love, the only possible source for true and unending justice, kindness, love, unity, compassion, and health. His Kingdom is our only hope.
Believers join Jesus and His people in the hopeful quest of the Kingdom. We commit to our King’s rescue mission seeking to bring redemption and renewal to everyone. We form churches that are outposts of the coming Kingdom, shining forth as Kingdom light in cultural darkness. We long for and trust in the day when, as Romans 8:21–23 says:
Creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
Indeed, creation comes from God, belongs to God, and will be restored by God in his Kingdom. In that restored Edenic state, the cry for justice, the yearning for beauty, the eagerness for true fellowship, and the longing for true spiritual life with God will be fulfilled. In this way, the Bible is a story told in beginning-middle-beginning format. The opening book of the Bible, Genesis, begins with two chapters of creation, followed by a chapter of judgment for sin. Likewise, the closing book of the Bible, Revelation, ends with two chapters of new creation preceded by final judgment for sin. Today, we are in the middle of the story as we await the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. For the Christian, this is as bad as life gets and all will get better in time.
What painful part of your life are you most looking forward to seeing come to an end once and for all in eternity?