Imagine this preposterous dialogue with Jesus.
Jesus: There has been a change of plans. We are not bringing heaven to earth.
Saints: But Lord, we have prayed 2000 years for heaven to prevail upon the earth!
Jesus: It was too big a project to tackle. The sinfulness of men and demons is too great.
Saints: What are we going to do?
Jesus: We had planned for the whole earth to be filled with the knowledge of the glory of God and that all the nations would become my disciples. But it just seems too difficult.
Saints: But Lord, what now?
Jesus: We are moving to plan B.
Saints: Plan B?
Jesus: Heaven on earth is too much for us to pull off. We are going to evacuate the earth and all of us will go to live in heaven.
Saints: Lord, but what about the earth? What will become of it?
Jesus: We are aborting our plans to redeem the earth. We will let the earth rot and rust.
Please excuse me for presenting such an imbecilic and inane dialogue! Nothing could be farther from the truth! What our Lord begins, He finishes! What our Lord promises, He fulfills and brings to completion!
God is not human, that he should lie,
not a human being, that he should change his mind.
Does he speak and then not act?
Does he promise and not fulfill? Numbers 23:19
We will get the answer to our persistent 2000-year-old prayer, “Your Kingdom come on our planet, just as it prevails in the highest heaven!” Jesus did not ask us to pray for his Kingdom on earth in vain. He did not ask us to be ambassadors, emissaries, and conduits of Heaven to terminate in frustration. The purposes and delights of the Mighty One, the Creator of heaven and earth will be thoroughly realized. He is the Beginning and He is the End! What our Lord begins, He completes!
Our God, who conceived the earth, its plants and creatures, knows how to bring the seed to maturity and fruit! Even with the stumbles and corruptions of we children of Adam, His pleasures will be realized. The squeaking of men and demons will not inhibit fulfillment, but will be found lending themselves to the glory of God. Pharaoh’s resistance only made God’s power more evident!
Is the Kingdom on earth an impossible dream? Why is it that within our hearts there is such a yearning for some kind of brave new world, a new world order, Shangri-La, paradise, Utopia – garden of Eden? What did Solomon mean when he said, “He has put eternity in their hearts”? There is a longing for something enduring and perfect in every human heart; a higher, refined, transcendent place of existence.
Jesus coached us to Pray, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done one earth.”
It means the first commission given mankind is not scrapped, tabled, or aborted.
Our super-progenitors, Adam and Eve, were not just simply given a garden to enjoy, and vegetation to savor. They were given a mission, a task, a grand project! “God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number: fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’” Gen 1:28
The plan was to expand the garden! As Adam and Eve’s generations multiplied the garden was to be expanded until their progressive generations cultivated the whole planet into a garden paradise. The desire of God was to see the entire earth, every square inch saturated in abundance, nurtured into lush fruitfulness. They were to cultivate and expand the awareness and knowledge of the glory of God!
As the garden was expanded, the grapes vine was to be trained to climb the trellis, the ox was to be trained to pull the plow, and the children were to be trained to live in awareness of the Lord’s holy companionship, to the uttermost boundaries!
The original great commission seemed to bite the dust, as Adam and Eve and their generations, on by one, did the same.
We were created from dust.
We return to dust.
But the Redeemer has a plan
To restore us from the dust again,
So, we may complete the first great commission.
BACK ON TASK!
Steven C Johnson