“The glory of Christ is the more wonderful precisely because it is twofold. He chose to walk among us with a rather paradoxical glory of humiliation, in order to save us and raise us to heaven’s heights, enabling us to see the unqualified brilliance of the divine glory rightfully His.
Thou who art God beyond all praising,
All for love’s sake becamest Man;
Stooping so low, but sinners raising
Heavenwards by Thine eternal plan.
Thou who art God beyond all praising,
All for love’s sake becamest Man.
Frank Houghton (1894–)”
–D.A. Carson, The Farewell Discourse and Final Prayer of Jesus: An Exposition of John 14–17 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1988), 205.
“The beginning of the biblical story is about God with man. It is only secondarily about the perfect world they share. Likewise the end of the biblical story is about God with man.
It is only secondarily about the renewed paradise in their midst. Heaven shines bright because the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb (Rev. 21:23; 22:5). If we want people to know heaven, we’ll do what we can to get them to know God.
We must never forget that if any are to enjoy cosmic re-creation, they must first experience personal salvation. Romans 8 must be read more carefully. Paul does not say individuals will be redeemed as the whole universe is redeemed. He says the opposite.
Creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God, and creation will be set free from its bondage to corruption only as it is carried along in the freedom of the glory of the children of God (Rom. 8:19, 21).
Universal shalom will come, but personal redemption comes first—first in temporal sequence, first in theological causality, and first in missions priority.
God will make all things new, but our job in the world is to help all peoples find a new relationship with God. We are not called to bring a broken planet back to its created glory. But we are to call broken people back to their Creator.”
–Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert, What is the Mission of the Church?(Wheaton: Crossway, 2011), 247-248.
“Just as it is God and not we who will establish His kingship over the world, so it is God and not we who will create the new earth in which that kingship is exercised. In fact, that’s really the glorious thing about the gospel of Jesus.
Everything we have—and everything we will ever have—is given to us. We will not have earned it; we will not have built it. We will simply have received it all.
When eternity finally comes, we will live in a land that was made and created for us, under a kingdom that was won and established for us by a Savior who died and was resurrected for us. Put simply, the gospel is the good news of a salvation, in all its parts, that is for us, and not in the least by us.”
–Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert, What is the Mission of the Church? (Wheaton: Crossway, 2011), 208.
“Here is the motive of our mission: the final victory awaits the completion of our task. ‘And then the end will come.’ There is no other verse in the Word of God which says, ‘And then the end will come.’
When is Christ coming again? When the Church has finished its task. When will This Age end? When the world has been evangelized.
‘What will be the sign of Your coming and of the close of the age?’ (Matt. 24:3). ‘This gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations; and then, AND THEN, the end will come.’
When? Then; when the Church has fulfilled its divinely appointed mission. Do you love the Lord’s appearing? Then you will bend every effort to take the gospel into all the world.
It troubles me in the light of the clear teaching of God’s Word, in the light of our Lord’s explicit definition of our task in The Great Commission, that we take it so lightly. ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.’ This is the Good News of the Kingdom….
His is the kingdom; He reigns in heaven, and He manifests His reign on earth in and through His church. When we have accomplished our mission, He will return and establish His kingdom in glory.
To us it is given not only to wait for but also to hasten the coming of the day of God. This is the mission of the Gospel of the Kingdom, and this is our mission.”
–George E. Ladd, The Gospel of the Kingdom (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1959), 139-140.