Tuesday, 21 April 2009
Can I make my way to God?
"There is no way from here to the new creation. There is no way from here to the kingdom of resurrection. The kingdom can only come. The new creation can only be given.
And the kingdom does come from God. The new creation is given by God. It pours forth from God’s own inexhaustible excess of life. While we are trying desperately to grasp after life, as much of it as possible – and don’t let anyone get in my way, or have any of what I’ve got – while we are doing that, God is pouring life out freely upon everyone – no limits, no stinginess."
From a sermon by Douglas Harink. Certainly worth a read: See here (Thanks to 'Faith & Theology')
This got me thinking about realised eschatology again. The question is not longer the traditional one of 'Will I go to heaven?', etc. but rather 'Am I part of the kingdom of God?' This then makes the searching and the arguments about getting to heaven almost void. What we are searching for is not out there but rather here. When Christ came he brought the kingdom. "Repent and believe! The Kingdom of God is at hand." he declared. And when he rose it wasn't merely a fixing of the old ways, a correction of the error, but rather it was a new thing, a re-creation! That is why he declares, "Behold! I make all things new"(Rev 21:5).
So can I make my way to God, in this life or the next? No because He is making all things new. The kingdom of God is here, now. He is giving himself and participation in his kingdom freely. We can no more make our way to God then we can cause others to love us or buy ourselves a gift. Think about it. They are oxymorons, as is making our way to God. What we are then faced with are new questions. Have we accepted the gift? Have we been made new?
The old and the new don't mix very well. As we read in Matthew 9:16-17:
"No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved."
We need to be made new and receive the new wine of the kingdom of God. Then when the fullness of Gods kingdom comes we will fit. We will be preserved with the new as we have been made new but those who have not been made new will be thrown away as they cannot fit together.
Till next time!