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Creation stories are important because they are our faith’s explanation for the start of all things concerning us. They give us a peek at our true identity, who we were made to be, what our relationship with creation is, how God works, and ultimately, hold the key to figuring out what is wrong with us. That last bit seems particularly important to me, as it is very hard to fix something if you don’t know what is wrong with it.

Consistently in Scripture, heaven and earth are linked: both by way of comparison and of contrast.
Genesis begins with the creation of heaven and earth; Jesus taught us to pray that the order of heaven would come to earth; the last book of the Bible speaks of a new heaven and a new earth. Creation and consummation are inextricably linked.

The creation begins with a couple, consummation shows us a multitude that no-one could number; creation has a tree in a garden, consummation presents us with the tree of life bearing fruit throughout the year in the midst of a magnificent city, which is itself set in the midst of a renewed creation; in the creation narratives God visited his people in the evening, but in the closing pages of Scripture God makes his home with redeemed humanity for ever.

Creation indicates where God is taking his creation and his people – and the fulfillment is far beyond the inaugural work. Yet the two are related for God has always had a plan for his creation. Paul states as much in Romans 8:20, 21 when he speaks of a groaning creation waiting for its redemption. Creation’s future is not one of destruction but of regeneration.

The age to come is presented as taking place on earth with God ‘moving’ address to be with humanity, rather than vice-versa (Rev. 21:3, 10). Paul says we are waiting for a Savior to come from heaven (Phil. 3:20). This coming from heaven does not indicate the withdrawal from this world but the fullness of the age to come with its transformed heaven and earth. In this new order redeemed humanity will fulfill all that Adamic humanity failed to achieve and they will be used to bring God’s order to creation (Heb. 2:5). Eschatological humanity in the resurrected state will reign on the earth (Rev. 5:10). The future is not one of ‘going to heaven’ but of participating in heaven that comes to earth. The final amalgamation of heaven and earth is the glory that will ‘cover the earth as the waters cover the sea.

The final scene of Scripture is that of the unification of heaven and earth and the complete obliteration of the power and presence of evil (shown to us by the symbolic statement of John that ‘there was no more sea’ (Rev. 21:1) – the sea being symbolic of the unruly part of creation).  This will be the fulfillment of the purpose of God in creation. This is the end and also perhaps the beginning of a new release of creative energy and ability

There is nothing in either the Old or New Testament that would lead us to suppose that the age to come is ‘other-worldly’ in the sense of being away from the earth. Even Paul’s words that those who are alive at the coming of Jesus will be caught up to meet him in the air (1 Thess. 4:16, 17) do not lead us to believe that the future destiny for the believer will be “heavenly” for Paul uses a phrase eis apantesin  (to meet). This was a phrase associated with the official visit of a ruling dignitary to a city when the populace would go out of the city to meet the ruler and then return in triumphant procession escorting the ruler back to the city.
The destination was the city – Paul’s readers would have understood the final destination for the saints with their Lord to be the earth, not the sky. The witness of Scripture is that Christ will return with his saints and set up His everlasting kingdom on earth. The heaven to be gained is to participate in the rule of Christ; we can only prepare for it this side of life

The Regenesis is the Ministry of Ayodeji Ezra-Williams and carries a mandate to inspire a new generation in the pursuit of God’s fullness and reformational change. This is accomplished through preaching, teaching, writing, electronic media, and by creating environments conducive to the presence of God, ranging from conferences and schools to experimental and organic  ‘kingdom’ networks and alternative expressions of church. ….Email:     BOOK SHOP