Monday, August 13, 2012

A Brief Overview of Biblical History 7 of 7

The People of God in Community. God creates us for community, but intimacy often leads to conflict. It was no different for the early Christian community, which brought together people from a multitude of backgrounds and ethnicities. So for Paul and other leaders, the task becomes not only proclaiming that the kingdom of God is here in the person of Jesus Christ, but actualizing it in the lives of individuals in the all-inclusive, loving community that this message creates. Because the leaders could not be with every community all of the time and God’s purposes reach far beyond the contemporary problems, theological instruction, pastoral care, and training in discipleship are needed. Thus these first leaders instruct Christians by writing letters to the various groups, letters that continue to instruct us today.

The People of God into Eternity. The efforts of God to form an all-inclusive community of loving persons on earth comes to fulfillment beyond time in the formation of a new heaven and new earth. Old ways of oppression, alienation, travail, suffering, and mortality end, and life eternal takes their place. Worship of self gives way to worship of God. “And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. Nothing accursed will be found there any more. But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him; they will see his face” (Revelation 22:2-4). To everyone who longs to be part of this loving, nurturing, all-inclusive community: “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’ And let everyone who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let everyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift” (Revelation 22:17).

(From The Life With God Bible)

Related Post with Diagram: A Panoramic View of God's Purpose in History

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