An abdication of responsibility or a revolution of purpose!
As evangelicals might we no longer determine our success - or worse yet, our worth - by how many souls are saved to go to heaven when they die or how many exhilarating services we have within the confines of the “church house” - but rather how many beings are called and commissioned to make a difference where they live right now with a vision toward the new heavens and a new earth. This vision if fully embraced will lead to a drastic change in our mission for vision determines mission. And to authentic discipleship.
What does it really mean to be delivered from the domain of darkness and to be translated into the Kingdom of His Dear Son? It has to mean more than just to have a change of address from hell to heaven. After all the Son in His instructions on prayer urged that our entreaty to the Father would be that His will be done on the earth as it is being done right now in the heavenly realm.
"The New Testament, with the story of Jesus’s crucifixion at its center, is about God’s kingdom coming on earth as in heaven. This is, after all, what Jesus taught his followers to pray. That is a rather obvious piece of evidence, though people regularly ignore it in practice." Wright, N. T., The Day the Revolution Began (p. 40). HarperOne. Kindle Edition.
Possibly the most hidden jewel of the Reformation is Luther’s Doctrine of Vocation. To say again: “The doctrine of vocation is one of the greatest—though strangely neglected and forgotten—teachings of the Reformation.” It is most certainly no avocation.
“Vocation, says Luther, is a “mask” of God: We see only the human face, performing ordinary tasks in everyday life, but behind that calling, through which we are blessed, God himself is hidden, giving his gifts.” Gene Veith - The Gospel Coalition
May we no longer ascribe to the erroneous concept of being bi-vocational. It is all God! I refer to myself as being omni-vocational. “For in Him all things were created, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities. All things were created through Him and for Him.” Colossians 1:16 There are no exceptions!
May we with one voice sound the death knell of “para-church” for church is not something we go to - it is where and who we are in Him. “And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” Ephesians 1:22-23 The church is not a place - it is His Presence.
In Him every day is sacred - a Sabbath. In Him every place is consecrated - holy unto the LORD, as a field devoted - an Ebenezer. In Him every believer is sanctified - a Royal Priesthood. The voice spoke to him a second time: "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean." Acts 10:15
“Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches.” 1 Corinthians 7:17 Each of us has an assignment in this current life to which the Lord has called us. Paul had an assignment in his life that was more important than going to heaven until his course had been fully run. Each one of us also has a foreordained call from our Faithful Father that we must not neglect. “For we are His workmanship (masterpiece), created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
We are not called to escapism - we are called to stewardship. If we are looking forward to the return of Christ as we should, it must not be enshrouded in a false concept of rapturism - but at the joyous prospect of the regeneration of all things.
Where did He say He was going to take His disciples and us (John 14:2)? The Fatherhood of God which is where He came from and to which He was returning. This place of abiding was going to come to them as a present reality - not an ethereal existence in the bye and bye (John 14:23). In this present age we are His image-bearers that He might be the First of a great company.
“I am suggesting that in the Bible humans are created in order to live as worshipping stewards within God’s heaven-and-earth reality, rather than as beings who, by moral perfection, qualify to leave “earth” and go to “heaven” instead.” Wright, N. T.. The Day the Revolution Began (pp. 77-78). HarperOne. Kindle Edition.
And Jesus said to them, "Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration (renewal of all things) when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” Matthew 19:28