This morning I hope to accomplish two things. First, I hope to summarize The Story. We have spent all year working through the Story. It’s been good. This morning, I want to tell the Story of the Story. I am going to attempt to place all the 31 chapters in the Story into a framework of a story; the unified story of God. The first thing I want to do is tell the Story of the Story.
Second, I want to place my theology into a story. One of the goals I have had throughout this year is to solidify my theology. I want to, in less than 2,500 words, write the essence of my theology. If anyone ever asked me, “What do you believe?” I can say, “Here is the heart of what I believe.” I want to condense my theology into a single document.
This morning’s sermon is a shot at accomplishing those two things... The Story of my theology. Before I start, I need to make five disclaimers...
1) Theology should be dynamic. Today, marks my 31st anniversary working for this church. Over the 31 years; as I get older; as I study more; as I interact with other theologians, such as yourselves; my theology has grown, gotten deeper, changed, been tweaked... My theology is ever changing. So, my attempt to write it down on September 2, 2018, is just a point in my developing theology. My theology is changing.
2) God is moving humanity. The Story of the Story is that God is going somewhere, with us. God continues to help us understand him more fully. Consequently, theology is growing. Again; theology is dynamic. The Story of my theology is a continual draft document.
3) Story is more persuasive than creed. Creeds typically irritate. If I see a list of doctrines that some group endorses, I tend to buck up and look for what I disagree with. Creeds don’t promote unity; they mostly isolate. But, stories inspire. A good movie moves you to agree. I suspect that is why the Bible is more story than lists of systematic theology. The story of the Bible is motivational. It is incorporating. “I am a part of The Story.” So, this morning I want to write the story of my theology.
4) My Story is selective. With only 2,500 words to work with, I have left out bunches of good stuff. I’m sure if you were writing this, you would have chosen to leave out different stuff. But this is “my” theology... maybe it will move you to write “your” theology. After studying The Story... it is a good time for you to invest in your theology a bit deeper. It is hard to be selective... The Story of my theology was hard to whittle down.
5) Unlike my typical sermons, I am not going to quote lots of scripture, directly. But rather, I will include scriptural words amongst the writing. I hope to include footnotes where there are supporting scriptures. That will help me keep it to 2,500 words. Scripture is the basis of my theology... The Story of my theology is solidly founded in Scripture.
So, without further disclaimers here is the Story of the Story...The story of my Theology.
God is love. God lived in love with the Word and the Spirit before any creation. Before creation, YHWH existed. But, because God is love, they wanted to have objects for their love. Because God is love, they wanted someone to love; they wanted someone to love them. Love is about relationships. God, the Word and the Spirit moved to create beings for their love.
In the beginning, the Spirit moved upon the face of chaos. The Word spoke that chaos into order. “Let there be light! Let there be universe. Let there be galaxies and stars and solar systems and the sun and moon. Let there be The Earth. Let there be oceans and land and plants and animals.” God created our planet.
On this planet God created a Garden. In that Garden He created a man and a woman; Adam and Eve. God made these two in his image. Humans were created by love, to love, to live in love. They were loved by the Creator and they loved each other. God made them to be his image of love sharing his love in the temple of creation. They were to share His image with creation and to bring the love of creation back to Him.
Then, God walked in the cool of the day with His creation. He shared His love with them. He absorbed their love of Him. It was a wonderful time of discovery. Humanity, in its infancy, learned to be His image in creation!
Love is not love without the choice to not love. Love is a choice. Love cannot be forced. So, God planted a tree in the Garden; the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. God told the couple not to eat of this tree. God gave them the gift of choice. The experiment of freely given love began. Would his creation choose to love him or choose arrogance?
Adam and Eve were tempted by the Snake to distrust their Creator. Adam and Eve choose arrogance over love. They ate of the forbidden Tree. Sin broke creation. Sin gave power to the Snake to release evil into the world. Sin brought death into the world. No longer could God allow them eternal life, because that would lead to eternal evil. The couple was placed out of the Garden... but not out of God’s love.
Although banished from the Garden, away from eternal life, God gave them a gift of coverings; clothes. These coverings were a promise of a future covering that would reverse their sin. And, he promised the Snake that one day it’s head would be crushed.
With love for the Creator broken, evil exploded across the world. But, still God loved his creation. God had a plan to restore broken creation; to restore humanity; to restore love.
Time passed. Lots of time passed.
In about 2,000 BC, God called a man named Abraham to love him. Abraham did. Abraham proved his love by being willing to sacrifice his own precious son. But God did not want that kind of sacrifice. Abraham was given a promise that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the heavens. These descendants would be a light of love to the entire world. God used an animal sacrifice to make a covenant between Him and Abraham. The lamp of God passed between the sacrificed animals. Blood was used for covenant. God made a covenant with Abraham; a covenant signed in blood, that one of those numerous descendants, one of Abraham’s descendants would restore the world to love.
Around 1500 BC Abraham’s numerous descendants were slaves in Egypt. God then called a man named Moses to deliver Abraham’s descendants from slavery. God demonstrated his power by delivering them from slavery. The nation of Israel was born. This nation was supposed to be the light of His love to the world.
On Mount Sinai a covenant was formed in blood. God established a new system of worship unlike any pagan worship. God created his laws of obedience to differentiate his people from others. Animal sacrifice created a covenant on Mount Sinai. The blood was sprinkled on the people and the altar in covenant. The nation of Israel agreed to be the light of his love!
God’s plan for Israel was that they would proclaim his love to the nations. They were to be a priestly people to witness the glory of God across creation. He established a people who would be a special people; a people for the Word to come into the world.
But they failed, mostly.
Around 1000 BC God called a man named David to begin a family of Kings for his people. Some of these kings did and some did not... love God. The prophets called them to love God... but still mostly the nation of Israel did not love their God.
About 500 BC the nation of Israel was crushed by a series of other nations because they failed to be the light of the glory of God. But, there was a remnant of this people who provided a community for the Word to be born.
Around 4 BC the plan to restore love was kicked into high gear...
Jesus, the Word, the one who create the world, did not hold onto his god-ness. Instead, He was born into the world as a human. Jesus left the glories of heaven to come to this world to be one of us to show us how to love again. The Word became flesh. Jesus came to this world to defeat the Snake; to drive evil from the world; to heal the brokenness of the world; to bring life back to this world; to be love in this world!
At around 30 years of age, Jesus began his ministry... his reclamation project of the world.
Jesus taught us to love. “What is the greatest command?” Jesus was asked. “Love God with all your heart and soul and mind and strength. The second is like it... love each other as yourself!” That is who you are created to be!
Jesus was so much more than a teacher...
Jesus healed the sick. Jesus drove out the Snake’s demons. Jesus began to heal all brokenness in his creation. Jesus was full of the power of The Spirit as he loved people. Jesus showed his love in helping people
Jesus was more than a healer...
Jesus, on earth, was the very image of God. Jesus was who we were created to be. Jesus was the image of God connecting heaven and earth in love. This love moved Jesus to give his life for us. Jesus gave his life on the cross to be the love of God to us.
Before Jesus, the cross was the symbol of Roman brutality. The Roman cross represented all the evil the Snake had unleashed upon the world. But, in His death on that Roman cross, Jesus reversed the meaning of the cross, while crushing the Snake’s head! Now, the cross is a symbol of love.
His blood, poured out on the cross, is the blood of a new covenant. Just as God made a covenant with Abraham by blood; just as the Old Covenant with Moses was signed by blood; Jesus death; his blood, created a new covenant.
--The blood of the New Covenant creates a new people... people who live in the love of God.
--The blood of the New Covenant creates a new kingdom; the Kingdom of Heaven.
--The blood of the New Covenant moves the new people into the new kingdom. The new people have been moved out of the kingdom of Satan into the kingdom of Heaven.
--Within the new kingdom of Heaven there is no condemnation; there is no condemnation in the love Christ. We have diplomatic immunity in the kingdom heaven. Sin is covered by his love... like the coverings after the Garden.
--Consequently, the blood of the New Covenant is the power to crush the head of the Snake. By releasing people from the power of Satan; opening the gates of hell; moving them into the kingdom of Heaven; the snake is crushed!
--The new kingdom operates on the power of love. There is nothing as powerful as... Sacrificial love. Sacrificial Love crushes the Snake!
The cross crushes the Snake with love! That is the essence of my theology!
But Jesus didn’t only die... (shh) Jesus was resurrected. On the third day after his death, he rose to life again. His resurrection is proof of who He is. The resurrection validates all his teaching, all his healings, his being the Word. The resurrection vindicates who he is. It is the reason for faith.
The resurrection of Jesus also defeats death. When Jesus stepped out of the tomb on Easter morning, 30 AD... death was done. The Enemy of us all, death is killed. Eternal life is the gift of the resurrection!
40 days later Jesus ascended to the right hand of God. He rose through the clouds to sit beside the throne of God where he rules over his kingdom until all his enemies are placed under his feet.
Ten days passed...from the Ascension until...
On the Day of Pentecost in 30 AD the Spirit is poured out on all flesh! Beginning on that Sunday morning the Holy Spirit of God is given to the young and old; males and females; rich and slaves. The Spirit is poured out upon all who are in the new covenant of love. Not long after this occurred the Spirit moved upon the Gentiles. The Spirit is now poured out upon all flesh, including the Gentiles... even we can be filled with the Spirit. We are filled with the love of the Spirit to be the love of God to the world! The church, another name for the people in the kingdom of heaven, is a priesthood of all believers; the Spirit is poured out on all flesh. All in the church are filled with the power of the Holy Spirit to love the world.
This is where we can enter The Story... Baptism... enters the covenant
receive the Spirit are given the keys to the kingdom. We have a job
to advance the kingdom of God through the Spirit to love;
sacrificially love the world. Talent is not required, only the love
of God. We are given the keys to open the gates of hell to release
the captives. This takes many forms...
--feeding the hungry
--comforting the hurting
--sharing the good news of love
--leading others to worship
--prayer, teaching, counseling... helping
We are given the keys of the kingdom to speak love to all! Your life is given meaning in the using of the keys to advance his kingdom in love.
Believers begin to live up to the image of God.
--We bring our love to the Father in worship. We come together as the church to join our worship together to Him. Our time together is precious.
--Our lives are made holy in the sanctification of this community. We help each other to learn to love more fully!
--We broadcast this love of God to our neighbors, our community, our world!
For the last 2000 years his church has advanced the kingdom of Heaven. There have been ups and downs; advances and setbacks; powerful love words spoken, and hatefulness demonstrated. The church has grown and moved and spread. Jesus rules the world from his throne in heaven until...
One day in the future...
Jesus will return to this earth to complete the restoration of love. There will be a trumpet and a shout. Jesus will return the same way he ascended in the clouds! Both dead believers and alive believers will rise to meet him in the clouds. We, then, will escort him on his return to this earth. Where all things will be made new!
We will be translated to have a body like his body. We will be given eternal life. We will live on the new earth in love.
The restoration of love means...
--Satan will be driven from the world. There will be no evil on the new earth.
--All the brokenness of the world will be completely healed... all the sickness, all the mental disorders, all physical aches and pains, all that will be healed.
--Sin will be no more. Image a world without sin...
--Death will be destroyed. We get to live forever!
What God intended from the beginning he will have at the end! God will dwell with his people in love.
--Love from him.
--Love for him
--Love with each other.
Then, God will walk in the cool of the evenings with His creation, once again. The Story of the Story ends where it began... God is love.
1 John 4:8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
Ephesians 2:4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,
Colossians 1:16-17 For by him (Jesus) all things were created, 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. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
Psalm 102:25 Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.
Isaiah 44:24 Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: "I am the LORD, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself,
Genesis 1:1-3 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.
Genesis 1:31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
Genesis 1:27-28 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth."
Genesis 2:8 And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed.
Genesis 3:8 And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day...
Genesis 2:17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."
Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God actually say, 'You shall not eat of any tree in the garden'?"
Genesis 3:6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.
Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned-
Romans 8:20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope
Genesis 3:21-23 And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them. Then the LORD God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever-" therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken.
Genesis 3:15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel."
Genesis 6:5 The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Ephesians 3:9-11 to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord,
Galatians 3:8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "In you shall all the nations be blessed."
Genesis 15:17-18 When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram
Genesis 22:17-18 I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice."
Exodus 13:3 Then Moses said to the people, "Remember this day in which you came out from Egypt, out of the house of slavery, for by a strong hand the LORD brought you out from this place.
Exodus 24:6-7 And Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and half of the blood he threw against the altar. Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it in the hearing of the people. And they said, "All that the LORD has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient
Exodus 19:5-6 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel."
Leviticus 20:24 But I have said to you, 'You shall inherit their land, and I will give it to you to possess, a land flowing with milk and honey.' I am the LORD your God, who have separated you from the peoples.
Galatians 4:4-5 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
Acts 7:51-52 "You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did not your fathers persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered,
2 Samuel 7:8-11 Now, therefore, thus you shall say to my servant David, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over my people Israel... from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel. And I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover, the LORD declares to you that the LORD will make you a house.
Malachi 3:1 "Behold, I send my messenger and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts.
Galatians 3:24-26 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.
John 1:1-14 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men... And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Philippians 2:5-8 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Mark 12:28-31 "Which commandment is the most important of all?" Jesus answered, "The most important is, 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."
Acts 10:38 ...how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.
Hebrews 1:1-3 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.
John 3:16-17 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
1 Corinthians 1:18-27 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God... but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God... But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;
Hebrews 12:2 Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Luke 22:20 And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”
Matthew 6:10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Matthew 16:18-19 I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
2 Corinthians 5:20-21 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Revelation 5:9-10 And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth."
1 John 3:14-16 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.
Romans 16:20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
1 John 4:4 Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
Luke 24:5-7 "Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise."
2 Timothy 1:10 which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,
1 Corinthians 15:24-26 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
1 Corinthians 15:53-57 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory." "O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?" The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Revelation 5:10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth."
Acts 2:17-18 “And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.”
Acts 10:45 ...because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles.
Galatians 3:28-29 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.
1 Corinthians 12:11-13 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body- Jews or Greeks, slaves or free- and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
2 Corinthians 12:10 For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Romans 12:4-16 For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be conceited.
Hebrews 10:22-25 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Colossians 3:14-17 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
1 Thessalonians 4:14-17 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.
Philippians 3:20-21 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.
Romans 8:18-23 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
2 Peter 3:13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
Revelation 20:14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.
Revelation 21:1-4 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away."
Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations...
That is my shot at the Story of my Theology. There is lots left out. But, there is lots left in.
The experiment of freely given love happens in your life. Will you choose to love him? Or, will you choose arrogance?
Let me challenge you to let your story merge with The Story to make the choice to love!Tim Stidham
September 2, 2018
Los Alamos Church of Christ