Creation 2.0: And He Lives Forever with His Saints to Reign

The Revelation picks up these Creation themes of Adam and Eve as priests and kings. Of course, at the end of time, it will be God’s children who serve in their place.

(Rev 1:4-6 ESV) 4 John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood 6 and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

(Rev 5:9-10 ESV) 9 And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, 10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”

(Rev 20:6 ESV) 6 Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.

(Rev 22:3-5 ESV) 3 No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.

It’s actually hard to miss the idea that one goal God seeks to accomplish through Jesus — and throughout his history of dealing with mankind — is to transform mankind into priests and into holy people who will reign with God.

This is almost entirely foreign to most Protestant thinking, and yet we see it throughout the Scriptures, and it’s a major theme of Revelation. Why?

Well, in part, because it indicates a return to Eden, that is, to the Creation as God built it prior to corruption by sin.

(Rev 22:3 NIV) 3 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him.

The afterlife is pictured as the end of the curse of Genesis 3 — sin will no longer pollute and corrupt the Creation —

(Rom 8:19-21 NIV) the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

Thus, man’s failure to be the priests and kings that God intended affect far more than their ability to go to heaven when they die. Sin affects the entirety of the Creation — all of which will be redeemed at the end of time.

Now, quite obviously, the problem hasn’t been the failure of mankind to seek domination over other men and over the Creation. History is filled with stories of dominion. Rather, the problem is a failure of mankind to be kings and priests like God — the God who is love.

Therefore, to truly understand the meaning of our intended kingship and priesthood, we need to better understand the character and intentions of God.

 

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About Jay Guin

I am an elder, a Sunday school teacher, a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a lawyer. I live in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, home of the Alabama Crimson Tide. I’m a member of the University Church of Christ. I grew up in Russellville, Alabama and graduated from David Lipscomb College (now Lipscomb University). I received my law degree from the University of Alabama. I met my wife Denise at Lipscomb, and we have four sons, two of whom are married, and I have a grandson and granddaughter.
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5 Responses to Creation 2.0: And He Lives Forever with His Saints to Reign

  1. Zach says:

    You should go to the beach more often, enjoying this series.

  2. JMF says:

    ^^^ What Zach said. This is your most interesting series in a long time from my perspective — less doctrinal and more grand scheme.

  3. “we need to better understand the character and intentions of God.” Yes, and the Romans 8 passage moves my mind in that direction and towards ruminations I had back when Wade Hodges (he serves a church in TX) on his blog asked “What Problem is God Trying to Solve” back in February. What has been helpful to me recently, I explained, has been authors who have engaged evolution as a means of ascertaining God’s intention.

    I read through the Phenomenon of Man by Teilhard de Chardin recently. It was hard going for me. He was charting new territory by himself and had no special jargon or vocabulary to help or push away from. Still glad I did it. What has also aided me is reference to him and use of him by others. Modern interpreters of him like John Haught in “Deeper than Darwin” and Ilia Delio in “The Emergent Christ” often place things that du Chardin said in a fitting context that makes sense to me. For instance she explains de Chardin as saying that God is “a divine source not in the past or “up above” in a timeless present but “up ahead” in the future. He described the God of the future, the God “up ahead,” as the ultimate force of attraction for the universe, drawing the universe toward intensification of complexity and new creation.” … “Teilhard used the term Christogenesis to indicate that the biological and cosmological genesis of creation is, from the point of faith, christogenesis. By genesis he indicated that evolution involves directed change organized becoming, patterned process, cumulative order. … Teilhard’s faith in Christ led him to posit Christ, the future fullness of the whole evolutionary process, as the “centrating principle,” the “pleroma” and “Omega point” where the individual and collective adventure of humanity finds it end and fulfillment.” I think this can fit with Romans 8.

  4. Zach says:

    You seem to be supporting my proposition that the garden of eden wasn’t a specific location, but the entire world prior to as you put it Jay “corrupted by sin”.

  5. That is right Zach. Eden was everywhere and in the mind. And yes there was a break that is sometimes termed “the Fall”. But think what if that never happened.

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