Tim Keller | April 26, 2009
We’re wrapping up a series tonight, where we’ve been tracing the single story of the Bible. The Bible is not a set of individual stories that tell you how you should live in order to find God. The Bible is a single story about how God came to earth to find you.
The beginning of that story is in Genesis, where we learn what’s wrong with us. The middle of that story is in Romans, where we learn what God did through Jesus Christ to put things right. We’re now looking at the book of Revelation, where it tells us how all things work out in the end.
Here, in the last chapter of the last book of the Bible, we have the final vision of God’s future and what he is preparing for us. Let’s ask three questions: 1) What is it? 2) How does it arrive? and 3) How can you be sure that you belong to it?
The Bible is a story about God seeking us humans out, not about us trying to find God. It starts from our mistakes in Genesis, shows us God’s salvation through Jesus in Romans, and ends with a glimpse of what’s to come in Revelation. We’ll explore this future, how it’ll happen, and how we can know we’re part of it.
1. What does the future look like?
God imagines a world that’s like a city in a garden, where people and nature live together in harmony, and everyone sees and values God’s image in each other. Even though cities today have problems because of our wrong choices, the future will be free of these issues. This vision should motivate us to work for the good of our cities, just like we do for our families.
2. How will this future come about?
As Christians, we belong to this future city and a different kind of city in the present. We’re encouraged to withstand the temptation of worldly goals by finding our worth in Jesus, not in what we accomplish or possess. We’re called to live peaceful, contented lives, showing God’s love to others through acts of kindness and help. This lifestyle, driven by the hope of God’s city, recognizes the shortcomings of our world today while eagerly waiting for the full restoration in the future city.
3. How can you know you’re part of this future?
The city of God is a place filled with life and light, without any curse or darkness, made possible because of Jesus’ selfless love. He experienced pain and separation from God so we could have eternal life and a direct relationship with God. As citizens of this heavenly city, we’re asked to show Christ’s love by helping the poor, the needy, and the lost.
February Book Offer
In his book Counterfeit Gods, Tim Keller shows us how a proper understanding of the Bible reveals the truth about societal ideals and our own hearts — and that there is only one God who can wholly satisfy our cravings and fulfill our hopes.
February Book Offer