Christians are not hesitant to say that they believe in Jesus Christ. Christians are usually not hesitant to talk about heaven. But when it comes to believing that all the problems in the world will be “solved” Christians are not so sure.
It’s interesting that we can say that we believe in Jesus without really believing that the world will one day be restored. In fact a popular belief in churches is quite contrary to restoration—many believe that the world will in fact come to a violent end and that the problems in the world will not be fixed but eventually will destroy the world which Jesus himself came to save. Jesus came claiming to have the solution. He proclaimed the Kingdom of God which was the restoration of the world. Jesus resurrection was to bring to world to life again and do away with the curse that plagued it. So how did this happen? How did Jesus’ followers start believing differently than the one to whom they’re not afraid to claim allegiance? If Jesus believed that the world was going to be restored why don’t we?
If you examine the biblical narrative you might be surprised to see that in it the world doesn’t come to an end. In fact it’s made eternal in the end with Yahweh God coming down to the earth and dwelling with his people (Revelation 21-22). We don't "go to heaven," heaven comes here!
Instead of proclaiming the freedom of the world we are proclaiming the end of the world in the name of the one who came to save it? I wonder how Jesus feels about that. I wonder… is it just because we’ve lost faith or hope? Is it because things have just gone too wrong and aren’t getting any better so God mustn’t really want to fix it? We've actually, because of this lost hope, even constructed a concept of a "heaven" that is somewhere else so that we don't have to believe that the world will get any better. We'd much rather give up on this world and hope for a new world that has nothing to do with this one. We have such a passamistic view of the world about which God is so optemistic He ventures to call it "very good" (Genesis 1:31). Could things actually be getting worse precisely because of our lost hope? Maybe it’s not because God doesn’t want to fix it but because we don’t want to fix it or we don’t think it can be fixed. What if we began to proclaim the restoration—the Kingdom of God? What if we showed people that they’re not trapped anymore, in fact they’re free, and that they should live out that freedom instead of telling everyone that they’re slaves? Because that’s what we doing. When we tell the world that it’s going to end we’re telling them that they can’t have new life, they’re slaves to the curse of sin that has caused world hunger, poverty, genocide, etc. When we stop believing that the world will be fixed we stop believing in New Creation.
Let us proclaim freedom. Let us take hope in the resurrection. Let’s proclaim the freedom of the world. Let us take hope in Jesus Christ who came to end the curse. Let us believe in our bones that the world and all its problems can and will be fixed.