Most of us have dreams in life. Many will be familiar with Martin Luther King Jr’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech, in which Dr King dreamed of a day where there was racial equality and an end to racial discrimination. Decades later, this stirring speech continues to inspire other dreamers to live and fight for a whole range of different causes.
Heaven on Earth
However, did you know that God is also a dreamer? Since the beginning of time, God has dreamed of a world filled with people He can share His love with and who love Him in return. It is a dream of a world filled with His truth, goodness and beauty, a world not corrupted by sin, without war, fear, pain, sickness, greed, poverty, and every other hostile thing. Instead, it is a place of peace, safety, love, enjoyment, and unending joy. Such a world is what God is committed to recreating. God’s dream is the coming of His Kingdom on Earth, to make Earth look like Heaven (see previous post on Kingdom Colonization).
Coronation of the King of Heaven & Earth
The good news (the gospel of the Kingdom) is that 2,000 years ago Jesus ushered into the Earth this new Kingdom which, unlike all human kingdoms, will last forever as an everlasting dominion and will never be destroyed (Isaiah 9:7; Daniel 7:14). Having proclaimed and confirmed the arrival of God’s Kingdom with accompanying signs of healing, deliverance, authority over nature, and raising the dead , Jesus disarmed the kingdom of darkness (Colossians 2:15), was resurrected from the dead, and ascended to the courts of Heaven where He approached “the Ancient of Days” and was crowned King of Kings and Lord of Lords over all peoples and nations (Daniel 7:13-14)! At this royal coronation, King Jesus received every nation and everything else in all of creation for His inheritance (Psalm 2:8) before sitting down, waiting for those He commissioned on Earth (the Church-ekklesia, an embassy of Heaven sent as ambassadors and citizens of the new Kingdom), to colonize Earth with His will and intentions (Matthew 6:10).
Spread & Multiply Kingdom Seed
This was, essentially, a recommissioning of mankind’s original mandate back in the Garden of Eden. Rather than sitting back and waiting for Jesus to come back and rescue us from the evil in the world, we need to remember the victory He has already accomplished and His expectation for His Church (ekklesia) to reinforce that victory and seed the nations with the Kingdom, so its influence spreads and fills the whole Earth, like yeast in a loaf of bread (Matthew 13:33).
Rooted in Genesis 1, not 3
In order to align ourselves with the King’s dream of restoration and a renewed Earth, it is vital that the good news (gospel) that we share is rooted in the very beginning of God’s dealing with our planet. In other words, what is recorded in Genesis chapter 1. Here, we see that God’s dream was for a world filled with His ‘image-bearers’, with delegated authority to govern, develop culture, and responsibly steward the whole of creation. God thought this was good…very good!
When our gospel message is rooted in Genesis 3, the focus is on man’s sin and we fall short with a message of individual salvation only. Sadly, in many evangelical circles, the gospel preached does not include God’s dream for the Earth and the whole of His creation but instead, the idea that God will destroy and ‘write it off’ like some kind of failure and bad job. God never fails at anything! And yes, the Earth will be renewed and transformed just like our human bodies, but not destroyed. Furthermore, instead of the Earth being seen as our home, Heaven is typically portrayed as our final destination. However, mankind never lost residence from Heaven but was created for planet Earth to “reign as kings in life” (Romans 5:17) and over the Earth throughout eternity (Revelation 5:10).
Mankind’s ‘fall’ recorded in Genesis 3 did not change God’s dream and plan for planet Earth, nor for His image-bearers. Jesus came to put things right, to win back God’s beautiful creation and our Kingdom citizenship, and set back in motion the fulfilment of God’s dream.
Doing Our Part
Our part is to first make King Jesus the centre of our lives by being naturalized (through the new birth) and discipled in His Kingdom, and then co-operate with Him to establish His Kingdom on Earth. This will involve loving our King, loving others, discipling the nations, stewarding the Earth, and bringing a foretaste of what Heaven on Earth will be like when Jesus returns to bring it to completion.
The question is: how are YOU engaging as a Kingdom citizen and ambassador in advancing God’s Kingdom on Earth? Whether you’re a gardener, artist, parent, lawyer, businessman, health worker, missionary, journalist, engineer, cleaner, or whatever, it’s not just the seemingly big things that matter, but every expression of God’s Kingdom and dream for His world makes a difference. In doing so we are using the gifts and talents entrusted to us, and working towards the fulfilment of God’s eternal dream and purpose.