Genesis tells us that life/society/the-world-as-we-know-it started in a garden. Idyllic perfection. I know that is kinda hard to believe, given the-world-as-we-now-see-it.
Of course, the whole process of how the world came to be is a big debate, and even whether there was a literal garden, Adam & Eve, and so on.
But, no matter how you understand the first chapters of Genesis, it is a valid concept—the world started out in better shape than it is today.
Then it went downhill fast. Thistles and sweat and death. Selfishness, arrogance and thirst for power destroyed paradise. Since then, it has been generation after generation, just trying to stay alive. The original perfection now only a distant memory.
Except in God's heart.
He really wants to see his original wonderful world back, to see paradise regained.
If his first creation was sublime, nothing would be better than to see it reinstated. I really don't think heaven (whatever it entails) should be presumed to be better than God's initial concept of paradise. Beauty Peace Relationship Walking with God in the cool of the evening Innocence God's home There is no better picture of the kingdom of God, because that is what it was.
So, God's ultimate goal has been to bring it back. Enter Jesus “As everyone dies because of Adam, so also everyone will be made alive because of Christ.” 1 Cor. 15:22 “If one man's sin put crowds of people at the dead-end abyss of separation from God, just think what God's gift poured through one man, Jesus Christ, will do!” Romans 5:15 It really is an awesome symmetry: paradise lost, paradise regained. The kingdom of God lost, the kingdom regained.
That's why Jesus' teaching on the kingdom is so essential. That's why we need to see how Jesus described the kingdom, and follow him on it.
Adam was the end of the beginning, Jesus is the beginning of the end. Actually, he is the beginning of the end of the end of the beginning. His life and death marks the end of the effect of paradise lost—if we actually follow him. “If death got the upper hand through one man's wrongdoing, can you imagine the breathtaking recovery life makes, sovereign life, in those who grasp with both hands this wildly extravagant life-gift, this grand setting-everything-right, that the one man Jesus Christ provides?” Romans 5:17
That's why being and bringing the kingdom is crucial. Being kingdom-minded puts us and God on the same trajectory towards paradise regained. Sharing the same dream as God!
And I am NOT talking about sitting around waiting for some escape into heaven! I am totally talking about living the kingdom life Jesus was always teaching about, here and now.
Life has taken me from the rather predictable working year after year and not feeling fulfilled to serving with Youth With A Mission as a missionary in my homeland of Canada. I am presently active in Victoria, with responsibilities and interests in our YWAM office, and out on the street. (and feeling more fulfilled than at any time earlier in my life.)