The True Story of the World
“In order to make sense of our lives and to make our most important decisions about how we ought to be living, we depend upon some story.”
The church will only begin to be faithful to play their role in God's unfolding story as they locate themselves within it. The true story of the world plays out in six acts, which we have created symbol to help us remember the story.
Before God created the world, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit existed in perfect love and life. This triune community was determined to go on a mission to share their love and life with the world they created. God spoke into existence this majestic and beautiful creation and filled it with animals, plants, and humans. However, this world was also incomplete, for it was not fully ready for God to dwell with his creation. He created Adam and Eve and commissioned them to subdue and prepare the world to be his home.
The serpent ruined this glorious plan when he entered the Garden and deceived Adam and Eve into disobeying God’s good rule. Their disobedience resulted in two drastic consequences: First, humanity is now alienated from God. This division from God results in disorder with ourselves, others, and the world. Second, Adam forfeited his rightful rule over creation and handed it over to God’s archenemy—the devil.
God lovingly decided to bring redemption to the world. God chose Israel to be the means through which his mission would be realized. He gave this new community a mission, namely to be a Kingdom of Priests. They were to mediate God’s presence to the world through their faithful allegiance to him. However, Israel failed as they continued to serve the idols of the nations. Thus, God judged Israel by sending them into captivity; however, he promised to restore them to be the kingdom of priests they were always supposed to be.
Into this story steps Jesus. Jesus represents Israel, gives faithful allegiance to God, and, consequently, brings forgiveness to God’s people for their idolatry to restore them to being the Kingdom of Priests. Jesus achieved this through his death and resurrection. His death on the cross put an end to the world Satan snatched from Adam. His resurrection launched God’s new world. This new world has invaded the present world to form an overlap of worlds. By faith in Jesus, one can be brought out of Satan’s world of evil and enter God’s new world of life.
Jesus commissioned the church, the present-day missional community, to be his Spirit-empowered witnesses to all the nations of the world. They become the kingdom of priests that God’s people were always intended to be through the forgiveness achieved on the cross and the indwelling presence of God’s Spirit. The church's communal life of following Jesus together witnesses to the new world Jesus launched. Their love and unity for one another become the hermeneutic of the Good News of Jesus for the world until He returns.
One day Jesus will come back to earth, and he will completely overthrow Satan and all that belongs to his world. He will judge all those who failed to give faithful allegiance to him. Jesus will also reward those who gave faithful devotion to him with life on the new creation. On that day, God will complete his mission: Heaven and earth will be united to form one new reality where God will finally dwell with his people to enjoy his love and life for eternity. sOne day Jesus will come back to earth, and he will completely overthrow Satan and all that belongs to his world. He will judge all those who failed to give faithful allegiance to him. Jesus will also reward those who gave faithful devotion to him with life on the new creation. On that day, God will complete his mission: Heaven and earth will be united to form one new reality where God will finally dwell with his people to enjoy his love and life AAct