Even though the local church hints at a remade world, I’m sure we all realise it’s far from perfect. So it’s a relief that in the final chapters of the book, we see a beautiful picture of God’s people perfectly gathered under His rule. What a joy it is to know that one day, ultimate unity is possible!
Ash makes an interesting distinction between heaven and the new creation (p179). He defines heaven as the place where God and Jesus “reside” right now, along with Christians who have passed on from this world (vastly different from the white, fluffy version of Philadelphia cream cheese ads). But even heaven is not the end of the story. The final goal of God, as far as we can understand it, is that God’s people will be ruling a thoroughly remade creation under Christ’s headship for God’s glory. Imagine the world as it is now, but purged of all things bad and with good delights transcended a thousand times. It’s creation, but deeply transformed – a reunification of heaven and earth!
This new creation will only come when Jesus comes back. That’s why everything is waiting for His return. It is the hope of every Christian past, present & future; the very creation itself groans in longing; and even Jesus Himself is awaiting that day. Therefore, we who are Christians persevere not for death & heaven, but for the Day of the Lord when all things in heaven and on earth will be brought under one head, even Christ (Eph 1:9,10).
Remaking a broken world – it’s a catchy book title, and it could almost be the subtitle for the whole Bible (if I may say so with utmost reverence for God’s word). Reading this book has made me appreciate how God’s plan to gather His people wonderfully and graciously includes the humble local church. It has refreshed my passion to persist in serving the Church for His glory whilst I eagerly await Jesus’ return. But in the end, perfect harmony will only be possible when God remakes all of creation.