NOT RETREAT BUT RESTORATION!

(Trumpet Ministries, Inc. / Word of Righteousness)

NOT RETREAT BUT RESTORATION!

From: it Is Time for a Reformation of Christian Thinking Copyright Š 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The belief that eternal residence in Heaven is the goal of salvation is widely held in Christianity. However, such is not the emphasis of the Scriptures. It is our tradition and it has had an unfavorable influence on the spiritual maturity of the believers.

The entire Scriptures, Old Testament and New Testament, are one revelation of Christ and His Kingdom. They are one whole. They speak of restoration. They proclaim the coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth. They tell of the restoring to mankind of the Presence of God and the beauty of Paradise—of all that was lost in the beginning. This is the meaning of the term, redemption.

NOT RETREAT BUT RESTORATION!

Some of the major religions of the world hold forth the hope of a blissful life after we die. If we observe the rules of the religion, if we are "good," we can look forward to a paradisiac environment when we leave the world. This is the belief of their followers.

The idea of the blissful environment after death has entered Christian thinking to such an extent it has become an integral part of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, of the general understanding of the redemption that is in the Lord Jesus Christ.

The erroneous doctrine of the pre-tribulation evacuation ("rapture") of the immature believers in Christ is a handmaid of the hope of transfer to the beautiful, carefree spirit realm. Jesus is coming to take us to Heaven. The indefensible interpretation of John 4:2 to mean Jesus is busy building houses for us in Heaven also is an important part of the understanding that the goal of the Christian salvation is eternal residence in Heaven.

The belief that eternal residence in Heaven is the goal of salvation is widely held in Christianity. However, such is not the emphasis of the Scriptures. It is our tradition and it has had an unfavorable influence on the spiritual maturity of the believers.

Why would it be necessary for us to grow spiritually when we will go to Heaven by "grace" in any case? Why is it absolutely essential that we grow in Christian character when our destiny is a place where it does not matter whether or not we are strong in the Lord and in the power of His might? Why should we be learning faith and patience amid much perplexity and suffering when neither of these virtues will be required where we are going?

The present writer looks forward to going to Heaven when he dies as he used to look forward to Christmas morning when he was a boy. We read avidly the visions of the saints and of those who have had an encounter with death. We believe Heaven above is a real and delightful place. Nevertheless, God has called us to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, and the Kingdom of God is the doing of God’s will in the earth.

The expression "go to Heaven" is not found in the New Testament writings, and going to Heaven when we die was not set forth as a hope by the Hebrew Prophets. Paul never once, in any passage of his epistles, spoke of grace as the means of our going to Heaven. The Lord Jesus Christ never is presented, in the Gospel accounts or elsewhere, as the way to Heaven.

One would suppose, from listening to current Christian preaching, that every book of the Scriptures is filled with references to going to Heaven when we die and to Divine grace as the means of getting us there. Instead of there being an abundance of incidences there is not one reference.

Why are we Christians, who profess allegiance to the holy Scriptures, preaching and teaching what is not taught in the Scriptures?

The entire Scriptures, Old Testament and New Testament, are one revelation of Christ and His Kingdom. They are one whole. They speak of restoration. They proclaim the coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth. They portray the restoring to mankind of the Presence of God and the beauty of Paradise—of all that was lost in the beginning.

God walked on the earth in the beginning. God then withdrew into the heavens so we may learn thoroughly what a world without God is like. But God will return! He will restore! The Throne of God and of the Lamb will be installed forever on the new earth, as we read in the last two chapters of the Book of Revelation.

God left the earth because of our sin. The entire Scriptures are an explanation of what God has done, is doing, and will continue to do to make possible His return to the earth to live among the nations of people whom He has created.

The Christian redemption is not a transfer of saved people to Heaven. Rather, it is the enabling of us, through Divine grace, to overcome sin and death so we can live once again on the earth—an earth so filled with the Presence of God as to be Paradise.

This is the teaching of both the Old and New Testaments. 

They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:9)

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. (Revelation 21:3)

In the above verse (Revelation 21:3) the "men" with whom God comes to dwell are the nations of saved peoples of the earth. The "tabernacle of God" is the Kingdom of God, the Church of Christ, the Seed of Abraham, the new Jerusalem, the Wife of the Lamb. Read the sixtieth chapter of the Book of Isaiah with this in mind and notice that the Old Testament portrays the same destiny for the Kingdom, the Israel of God.

The Lord Jesus will return to the earth. The Kingdom of God is at hand and soon will come down from Heaven and be installed forever on the earth. All the kingdoms of the world will be turned over to the Lord Jesus Christ, and He in and with His victorious saints will rule forever.

This is the true Christian Gospel, the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. It is the doing of God’s will in the earth as it is in Heaven.

The manmade "gospel" that we are saved to make our eternal home in Heaven above is a gospel of defeat, of retreat, and Satan understands this. What Satan fears is the coming of the Kingdom of God, the rule of God, to the earth; for Satan, a usurping cherub, regards this earth and its people as his own possession. Satan believes his own will should be done in the earth.

What about you? Are you willing to give your inheritance in Christ, which is to serve as a king and priest of God over the nations of the saved, to a usurping cherub, a cherub who has no right to any part of the earth? Are you willing to flee to the spirit realm so Satan can inherit what the Father has promised to the Lord Jesus Christ (Psalms 2:8) and to you as a coheir?

Or would you prefer to return with the Lord Jesus and release the creation into the liberty of the glory of the children of God? (Romans 8:19-21).

Is Christ preparing you to sit and do nothing in your "mansion in Heaven" or is He preparing you to work with Him in the restoration of His inheritance, which is the nations and the farthest reaches of the earth?

Are you being trained as a king and priest of God or are you forfeiting your inheritance as a son of God by neglecting to press forward into full victory in Christ in every area of your life? (Hebrews 2:3).

Are you one of those who is turning to the Scriptures to see if these things are so, or are you willing to gamble your eternal inheritance in Christ on the unscriptural traditions of men?