One of my gripes with Christian teaching is its misapplication of Jesus’ death and the end times. Yes, Jesus died for our sins. Yes, Jesus freed us from the gates of hell. Yes, we await his return in the final consummation of God’s Kingdom. But some parts of Christianity have become a bit like a Get-Out-Of-Hell-Free card.
In other words, is Jesus “now” or does he come into play “later?” The scary fact is that many Christians are taught and believe, and live, the latter. That is, they wait in their pews for God to do something. Despite Jesus’ hyper-focus on the Kingdom of God, available now, “in our midst” – most Christians are still waiting for the end times for God to get to work.
The end times will be marked by a few things. Most notably – the dead will be raised. Hmmm, didn’t Jesus raise a few dead people. And the tomb was empty, right? Come on – you have to a least admit the Shroud of Turin is kind of cool. Another mark of God’s presence was the “giving of the spirit.” Now, if I’m not mistaken there were a lot of spirit-filled people running around after the resurrection.
The point – God’s Kingdom has come – it’s broken into our world. It’s unfolding right now. Will things happen later? Of course. But God is at work today. See what he has in store for you, as there is no unemployment, or down time, in the Kingdom of God.
Thanks for reading,
~ Ted Olson