Awaiting the Grand Finale

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God isn’t going to abandon His Creation. He’s going to restore it

by Mark Hitchcock

The nonstop negative headlines always reflect an abundance of bad news about the condition of the culture and today’s world.

So let’s take a short break, and just for a minute or two think about the last two chapters of the book of Revelation, and the way God intends to draw a curtain on this troubled world.

Have you ever had one of those great days where everything just seemed to go perfectly? Maybe you were gathered with friends or family or the weather was just right and everything went according to plan. In fact, everything went even better than you had planned.

And you said, “Oh man, this is like heaven on earth.”

What an interesting expression! Did you know there is coming a day when heaven will literally come to earth? We tend to think of heaven as some faraway destination beyond the galaxies, and earth as some place we will leave never to see again. Sometimes people will say, “When I die, I will leave this world and go to heaven forever.”

That’s not technically true. Because according to Scripture, a day is coming when heaven and earth will become one.

The Lord of Restoration

God isn’t going to abandon His creation. He is going to restore it. Because God’s perfect plan, according to Ephesians 1:10, is to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.

Our God is into restoration: Restoration of lives, restoration of bodies, restoration of His planet. He likes to restore things to their original condition.

Isn’t it cool when you see an old classic car from the 50s or 60s that has been perfectly restored? I have a friend in our church who did a perfect restoration job on an old “woodie” vehicle. Everything was just right down to the smallest detail, but he didn’t know what the original surf stickers would have been on the windows of that era. But I did!

So I went to this surf store that actually had reproductions of these old stickers, and picked the right ones out for him so he had proper sticker placement on his restored woodie. It is a thing of beauty to behold!

But imagine, if you will, the restoration of this planet to God’s original plan. A day is coming when God will make earth into heaven and heaven into earth. It will literally be heaven on earth.

This takes place after all the climactic events we read about in the book of Revelation. After the Rapture. After the rise of the Antichrist. After the events of the Tribulation. After the Second Coming of Christ and His millennial reign. After Satan and his demons have been assigned their place in the lake of fire. After the final judgment at the Great White Throne.

You might call it “the grand finale,” and we read about it in Revelation 21:

Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

5 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.”—Revelation 21:1-5

This is the culmination of all things. Heaven and earth coming together. At this moment we will pass from the realm of time into eternity. The last marking of time is back in Revelation 20. But as we come out of the millennial reign of Christ when the New Jerusalem comes to planet earth we enter into eternal timelessness. Everything is now forever.

Service and New Beginnings

Have you ever been on vacation and gotten into that relaxed state where you forget what day it is? That’s what it will be like…times a trillion. When we are in God’s presence, reunited with loved ones, doing the work of God—serving Him and reigning with Him—we won’t care what day it is, because every day is the Lord’s day.

I think the last verse of John Newton’s hymn, “Amazing Grace,” says it perfectly.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
bright shining as the sun,
we’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
than when we first begun.

But don’t imagine we’ll be idly sitting around strumming on harps. We will be busy doing the Lord’s work. Revelation 7:15 says that we will be serving God in heaven. And Revelation 22:3 adds that  “His servants shall serve Him.”

One wonders what the Lord has in store for us on that day. Maybe you will be able to finish some of the tasks that remain uncompleted on earth. Or perhaps dreams that were shattered here will be fulfilled then.

Much of the time we act as though everything that must be done can only be done during this short span of life we experience on earth. Of course, it is very important that we live our lives well and spend our time wisely. The Bible says, “Teach us to number our days and recognize how few they are; help us to spend them as we should” (Psalm 90:12).

But what about the life that is cut short? What about when a child dies? Or a young man or a young woman? What about the person who has to live through life with a severe disability, keeping them from the things they would have loved to experience or accomplish for the Lord? Are those people just the losers of life? Not at all. God has a glorious future in store for every believer.

We need to remember this. Death for the believer is not the end of life, but the continuation of it in another place. He has other places and times when those purposes may be fulfilled.

Heaven on earth is the restoration of earth’s lost privileges. God will restore what you have lost. He won’t just compensate for the loss. He will restore it.

The Grand Finale will really be the New Beginning.