Mission Questions: The Perfect Past?
Movies, songs and theater are great tools of expression. So far we’ve used I Robot to help ask the right questions and today it’s Back to the Future. Answers to the future lie in the past. But wasn’t the past filled with hate, murder, adultery, war, treachery, and evil? How is it perfect? Recently, it isn’t. But travel back far enough, and you will come to a time of perfection.
Mission Questions: The Faultless Future?
What about the future? Isn’t it going to be filled with human imperfections, wars, prostitution, human trafficking, and false worship? Yes; all of that is true. But travel far enough ahead, and you will come to a time of perfection. And believe it or not, perfection has a great deal to do with our mission!
Mission Questions: What’s the Connection?
An old-fashioned time line may help here. It will give us a necessary perspective. Notice:
<——————– eternity past ———- [………] ———- eternity future ——————–>
The perspective we need to gain is marked above by [ & ]. On the left is [. That marks the moment in time sin entered God’s perfect creation. To the right is ]. It marks the time foretold in Revelation when God passes final judgment on sin and it is no more. At that point, perfection is again the norm, forever. What is in the middle? The middle is where we live, in sin. Our whole frame of reference and perception is from within the “parentheses” of sin. For the moment, let’s keep our focus on the outside of the parentheses.
Before sin, all was perfect. The world was good and everything in it was good. There was no need or want; no poverty. The account of Creation and of Adam and Eve in the Garden is a picture of all God intended for His ultimate creation: Man. If we just look at God’s picture here is what we see:
- Creator and Created in communion – God walked with Adam in the cool of the day
- Adam had responsibilities – It wasn’t good for Adam to sit and do nothing; God gave him a job!
- Adam & Eve – There was perfect harmony between human beings
- Created order – Perfect harmony between Man and the whole creation
- More than enough to eat – God gave Adam the plants for food (one notable exception!)
Do you see a theme here? There is no verse to cite in order to say it exists, but it’s all through the account of Eden until sin entered the picture. Now, if you “jump over” to the right side of ], you’ll also find it there.
What picture does Scripture paint for us about the time after sin? We know at least this much:
- Redeemer (Creator) and Redeemed will have perfect communion, our faith will be sight
- The Redeemed have responsbilities – ruling/reigning with Christ, worshiping, and more
- Redeemed human beings will be fully perfect – have complete harmony with each other
- Redeemed will have perfect harmony with re-created Creation – lion will lay with lamb
- More than enough to eat – the Tree of Life in the city of God yielding its fruit all year long
Mission Questions: The Word Not Used
In the previous post, I asked a closing question. In this post, I have worked very hard not to use a particular word. Before I do, let’s revisit the previous question:
What existed in the Garden of Eden, as well as in the final chapters of Revelation, that does not exist right here on Earth today?
And the survey says…Right Relationships. We will examine this in more detail tomorrow. For now, what do you think relationships have to do with mission(s), poverty, and ministry?
Soli Deo Gloria!