Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Eternal beloved community

Chapter 13 in Scot McKnight's book 'The Heaven Promise' is titled "The Sixth Promise: Heaven Will Be an Eternal Beloved Community." This is the 6th of 6 promises, and these are the things I highlighted from the chapter:

"Heaven can't get going until evil is done away with, until sin is erased, and until all injustices are locked into history's past.... As Rich Mouw once described it, Heaven begins when '[God] will destroy all of those rebellious projects that glorify oppression, exploitation, and the accumulation of possessions.'"

"God designed Heaven for those who long for God's beloved community. This story has a perfect ending. It begins with the story of God's creation of humans as his special image bearers. Then comes the nasty day that established human rebellion, followed by the formation of God's people, which led to the sending of the Messiah to rule those people. That story longs for the day when God's people live in God's way in God's renewed creation. That is the story of the new Heavens and the new earth."

"...when the gates into the New Jerusalem fly open there will be a learning curve for many: we will all see that God designed Heaven to be a space where everyone will be flooded with love for God AND love for one another."

"Heaven is designed so that each person will have what each person needs, and so that each community will have what each community needs. The world's system, shaped as it is by the Beast of Revelation, does not care about provision for all. Instead, the Beast far too often pursues materialistic indulgence by exploiting the weak and poor, or the Beast unjustly takes from those who have to give to those who have not earned it or who already have too much. But in Heaven the Beast will be no more."

"...our view of Heaven is too small. We think in terms of going to be with God when we die; we think of our own personal eternal life with God. Now we may add to that our joy that others we know will also be with God. But the Heaven Promise is far grander and greater than our own eternity. God promises an eternal, beloved community. For that community to be established, the walls of this world's exploiting powers must come down, the streets of the exploiting opulent must be rerouted, and the sinful patterns of the exploiting authorities eradicated. The exploited will be lifted up in the kingdom of God."

"Heaven will be a place where no injustices occur and where all injustices of the past will be set right."

"The Heaven of the Bible is all about God's beloved community watered by the river of God's grace and justice and peace."