84: Kingdom Restoration (Kingdom of God 1)

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Today we begin a new class on Restitutio on the Kingdom of God. Jesus said the kingdom was like a treasure hidden in a field—it’s so valuable it’s worth selling everything to purchase. He said to seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness above what we eat or wear. In this class we’ll spend a great deal of time exploring what the bible teaches about the kingdom, including hope, gospel, and way. We will also work through the main reasons why Christianity lost the kingdom before looking at how some Christians recovered it. This class will not only provide a panoramic and nuanced view of the kingdom, but it will also offer a cohesive proleptic ethic to aid navigating our complex world while remaining true to Jesus, the king of the coming kingdom.

In this first lecture we look at the bookends of the bible: Genesis and Revelation. By developing a robust creation theology we’ll have a better grasp on what the end will be like. In addition to looking at Genesis, we’ll consider some of the marvels of God’s creation, including relativity, quantum theory, the hydrologic cycle, and bees. In the end my goal is to convince you that God did a good job making our world so it makes sense that he would want to restore it in the end.

This is lecture 1 of the Kingdom of God class, originally taught at the Atlanta Bible College.  To take this class for credit, please contact ABC so you can do the work necessary for a grade.


Notes:

eschatology = study of the end

two key restoration texts

  1. Matthew 19.28 Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
    • ἡ παλιγγενεσία: (1) state of being renewed with focus on a cosmic experience, renewal, (2) experience of complete change of life, rebirth
    • NASB: regeneration
  2. Acts 3.21 whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.
    • ἡ ἀποκατάστασις: restoration
    • this is what the whole bible is about!

creation theology

  • close your eyes and picture earth
    • ever since 1972 when an astronaut took this picture, called “The Blue Marble” during the Apollo 17 lunar mission, this is how we think of earth
    • if I asked an ancient Israelite to picture earth, they would think of soil, land, crops
    • so, we have to be very careful about reading our own assumptions into what the bible says
    • we need to adjust our thinking to the bible rather than the other way around
  • the first book of the bible begins with a poem, detailing God’s creation of universe
  • Genesis 1
  • what repeats?
    • And God said
    • let there be
    • and God saw that it was good
    • and there was evening and there was morning—the ?? day
    • every stanza begins with, “And God said” and “let there be”
    • every stanza ends with, “and God saw that it was good” and “it was evening and morning”
  • more patterns
    • God creates heavens on day 1
    • God populates heavens on day 4
    • God creates the waters on day 2
    • God populates waters on day 5
    • God creates the land on day 3
    • God populates the land on day 6
  • orderliness of creation!
    • billions of stars, galaxies, and quasars and they move in totally predictable ways
    • millions of plant and animal species w/ highly specialized niches determined by insanely detailed DNA
  • special relativity (1905), general relativity (1915), quantum mechanics (particle-wave duality),hydrologic cycle, bees
  • look at God’s creation, isn’t it magnificent?
    • this is what he originally wanted
    • he’s powerful enough to restore it in the end
    • like an antique car
  • Gen 1.26: The poem climaxes at the creation of humanity
    • first time God brings others into creation
    • the first thing he says about humans is for them to have dominion over everything else on earth
  • Gen 1.27: God made us in his own image
    • we are similar to him in some way
    • also similar to the angels (cf. v26)
    • he does not say the animals are in his image
  • Gen 1.28: first commands God gives
    • reproduce
    • rule the world
    • eat freely
  • Gen 1.29: God gives his people food (vegetables, grains, & fruits)
    • robust creation theology is the foundation for eschatology
    • cosmology: your understanding of the cosmos
    • cosmogony: how you think the cosmos began
    • example: Plato believed our universe was an imperfect copy of another realm (pleroma)
    • example: Gnostics believed the physical universe was an act of rebellion by Barbello
    • “The Lord says, ‘Behold, I will make the last things as the first’” (Epistle of Barnabas 13)
    • “For the end will be where the beginning is” (Gospel of Thomas 18)
    • “For the end is always like the beginning” (De Principiis6.2)
    • people generally believe God will get in the end what he wanted in the beginning
    • what does the bible teach? we start in a garden
    • Victor Gluckin: “What God originally wanted in the beginning, he will get in the end.”
  • Isaiah 45.18 For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it empty, he formed it to be inhabited!): “I am the LORD, and there is no other.
    • God’s plan is not to evacuate but to have his world inhabited
    • Romans 8.19-22 creation groans awaiting the “revealing of the sons of God”
  • Rev 21.1-8, 22.1-5
    • last book reflects the first book, showing that God plans to restore everything back to the way he first made it
    • Genesis records the beginning Revelation records the end
    • river flowing out of Eden river flowing from God’s throne
    • tree of life in the garden tree of life on either side of river
    • gold, bdellium, and onyx a ton of different precious stones
    • God walking in the garden God dwelling with his people
    • garden city
    • probationary permanent
    • satan deceives satan done away with
    • God curses ground no more curse
    • first marriage last marriage

what God originally wanted in the beginning he will get in the end!

  • typically people conceive of the end based on what they believe God originally wanted in the beginning

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