“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.
“We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous (1 John 2:1). Our Lord Jesus is in heaven pleading our case, so that whenever Satan accuses us in our conscience or dares to lay a charge against us before the Father, Jesus Christ, God’s own Son and our flawless advocate, stands ready to defend us and plead His own blood for our sakes.
Think about that. Christ is our prayer partner in heaven. He intercedes for us before the throne (Rom. 8:34).
–Kevin DeYoung, The Good News We Almost Forgot (Chicago: Moody, 2010), 96.
“There is nothing more important in Christian theology than our theology of the cross. We must speak clearly that the heart of the gospel is the good news of divine self-satisfaction through self-substitution. Never compromise on the cross. Never dilute the message of the cross.
And never stop glorying in the cross where Christ accepted the penalties that should belong to us so that we can claim the blessings that would otherwise belong only to Him.”
–Kevin DeYoung, The Good News We Almost Forgot (Chicago: Moody, 2010), 43.
“The only thing more difficult than finding the truth is not losing it. What starts out as new and precious becomes plain and old. What begins a thrilling discovery becomes a rote exercise. What provokes one generation to sacrifice and passion becomes in the next generation a cause for rebellion and apathy.
Why is it that denominations and church movements almost always drift from their theological moorings? Why is it that people who grow up in the church are often less articulate about their faith than the new Christian who converted at forty-five? Why is it that those who grow up with creeds and confessions are usually the ones who hate them most?
Perhaps it’s because truth is like the tip of your nose—it’s hardest to see when it’s right in front of you. No doubt, the church in the West has many new things to learn. But for the most part, everything we need to learn is what we’ve already forgotten. The chief theological task now facing the Western church is not to reinvent or to be relevant but to remember.
We must remember the old, old story. We must remember the faith once delivered to the saints. We must remember the truths that spark reformation, revival, and regeneration. And because we want to remember all this, we must also remember—if we are fortunate enough to have ever heard of them in the first place—our creeds, confessions, and catechisms.”
–Kevin DeYoung, The Good News We Almost Forgot (Chicago: Moody, 2010), 13.