By Russ Ramsey
Jesus’s return will usher in a spiritual and physical reality in which the heavens and earth are fully renewed, where He reigns as faithful King with His redeemed people forever.
I used to love going roller skating. I have vivid memories of lacing up the rental skates and inching my way to the rink. It started the same way every time. At first, I was a wobbly mess, unsteady on my feet, taking that awkward, slow first lap. But after a while I got used to the skates and started zipping around like a pro.
But then came the weirdest part of all: returning the skates and slipping on my sneakers. Moments earlier I’d been gliding across the room with confidence and grace, three inches off the ground. Being back in my street shoes, suddenly pinned to the earth, left me feeling like I was meant to float above it.
We were meant for the kingdom of God in all its fullness. We feel the ache of the limitations of this life, and Scripture tells us that’s because we were made to experience the fullness of another kingdom.
Revelation 22 tells us that Jesus is coming again, and soon. When we go back to the beginning of the Bible, the first few chapters (Genesis 1–3), we find God at work creating everything we know, and calling it all “good.” We see Him make people in His image, and we see humanity rebel against Him. Then we hear the clink of the flaming swords of Eden as our first parents are cast from the garden. What follows through the rest of the Old Testament and into the New is an ongoing struggle between God and His rebellious people. Will we ever be reconciled? Will that reconciliation be the kind that lasts? Revelation 22 answers with a resounding yes.
What does God’s reconciling work in Christ look like? Scripture reassures us that God’s eternal plan for His people is one of relational intimacy. We are not merely tolerated by God. We’re loved. We’re kept. We will live in an ongoing eternal relationship with Him.
In this life, we practice the life to come by seeking to live according to the Word of our God who does not change. We practice living in a kingdom that will be forever ours. When we worship, pray, study Scripture, and participate in the local church, it’s like we’re lacing up our skates and practicing for the day when we’ll live in the fullness of His kingdom. We’re getting a taste of the deeper satisfaction and gliding grace our hearts were made to know.
We are called to persevere in obedience and live in light of the reality that Jesus is coming back, knowing that when He does, it will be as a groom coming for His bride. And all will be well. Forever. It’s a freedom we’ll never again have to exchange for these old street shoes.
“Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20).