Tell us about: The Kingdom of God, Resurrection, and Eternal Life

You will find and introduction to my BOM theological paperwork here: Doctrinal Exam

¶324.9.f:  What is your understating of the kingdom of God; the Resurrection; eternal life?

I believe that the Kingdom of God, the Resurrection, and eternal life are present and future realities. The Kingdom of God is a present reality, “Wherever person are being made new creatures in Christ, wherever the insights and resources of the gospel are brought to bear on the life of the world, God’s reign is already effective in its healing and renewing power.”[1] The Kingdom of God is rooted in the heart of the believer; it is the Spirit working in us, assuring us of God’s love for us, drawing us to love our Neighbor, and confirming our hope in the fulfillment of God’s work in the world. The Kingdom of God resides in the act of feeding the poor, freeing the oppressed, loving God, and turning away from idols. Rooted in the heart of the believer, grown in the community of faith, and reaching out to bring healing to the broken world, the Kingdom of God is not only a present reality but also a future hope. The hope that one day, the world will no longer be broken, “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; morning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away’” (Revelation 21:3-4). The Kingdom of God is among us and it is to come.

 

The resurrection is a mystery and a promise. The resurrection of Christ is the greatest of all mysteries; calling the whole of humanity to ask itself the meaning of love, death, and life. Can God’s love for us be so great as to beat death itself? The resurrection is also a promise, a promise of life after all suffering. It is a promise that spring will come, that death does not win. It is the greatest hope; a promise that when all hope seems lost, God will show up, “[The risen Christ] was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight” (Luke 24:30-31). The resurrection is the promise of a future beyond suffering and because “Christ is risen,” resurrection is the affirmation the Christ is alive, risen, now. “Christ is risen” is a present reality and a future hope.

 

In Christianity, the focus is often on the word eternal. But for many people eternal life is not a promise but a threat. In Christ, we are promised not just eternity, but life, abundant life, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10b). Life is more than breathing, moving, and thinking but living fully in God’s hands, with peace, joy, love and grace. The promise of eternal life is a promise of abundant life, here and now, with God’s love which is greater than our fear of not having enough. The promise of eternity is the promise that death does not win. Beyond death there is life, the whole of creation is built on a pattern of life, and death, and life beyond death. In the promise of spring after a long winter, in the promise of renewed relationships, at in the last moments of a life we find the promise of life after death. Eternal life is a promise of eternity but just as important is that it is a promise of abundant life.

[1] BOD, ¶102

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