God, without Beginning or Ending

In January we cast a vision for renewing our concept of God. I hope you have been encouraged by unpacking some of God’s marvelous qualities in four great Bible chapters: Isaiah 40, Psalm 139, Romans 8 and finally Revelation 21.

One of my favorite quotes when planning a new business venture or project is “Begin with the end in mind.” (Steven Covey) That idea has always centered my outlook. Revelation 21 introduces us to the Beginning and End, “the Alpha and the Omega” (21:6), our great God.

John penned the book of Revelation, a series of visions revealed to him by the Holy Spirit. Exiled to the island of Patmos (just west of modern Turkey), Jesus “beloved disciple” was shown amazing images of the end of human history and the beginning of a new and everlasting kingdom. It is portrayed as a completely new, beautiful city “coming down from God out of heaven.” (21:2, New Living Translation). Try to wrap your mind around the idea that human history began in a garden (Genesis 1-2) and will end (or begin again) in a city!

For the real estate developers out there, meet the original Developer, the ultimate “Place-maker.” John didn’t see cotton candy clouds (70s reference) or cherubs strumming harps. God’s messenger showed John a mind-blowing, intricately designed city, complete with incredible embellishments and specific measurements (21:15-21).

Most Bible commentators believe these details are symbolic, not literal. Regardless of how this ultimately unfolds, don’t overlook the tremendous planning and creativity that has gone into developing the future home of God’s people. Is this new or surprising information? Before His death Jesus told His disciples about His Father’s “big, big house, with lots and lots of rooms” (90s reference) that He was leaving to prepare for them before His return (John 14:2-3).

Revelation 21 describes how God will surely complete what He started. All His promises will be fulfilled. All injustices will be made right. All evil curses will be reversed. No more tears, no more pain, no more disappointment. All things will be made new.

Best of all, God will live there with His people. What a mystery to ponder! There will be no need for a temple (or church) as a place of worship since the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb of God (Christ Jesus) will be with us in Person. “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things will be gone forever.” (21:3-5, NLT)

“In the beginning God made the heavens and the earth.” He created human beings in His own image for relationship with Him. You know what happened next. Adam and Eve and all humanity afterwards, rejected God’s loving rule. Many ages later, God is still working out His redemptive plans and Jesus is gathering His people from each generation until these final things come to pass. Everyone can recognize that our world is increasingly broken, yet God continues to invite every human being to forgiveness and fellowship with Him (1 Corinthians 1:9). From beginning to end, the love of “Alpha and Omega” will prevail.

Renewing our vision of God together,

David Atchison

Lord God, one of the things I realize about myself is that I love this world much more than I should. Diminish my affection for the temporary things in this life as You enlarge my vision of all that is to come in Your new heaven and earth. Expand my imagination for the “Day of the Lord” when Your glory will be fully realized and revealed to the Universe. Every victory and success in this life falls short of all you planned from the beginning of time. You are an amazing God. I look forward to the moment when Perfection will arrive with eternal sustainability. Speed up that day! Amen.

“We won’t be going back to the garden. . . The day is going to come when we will make our home in the most livable city in the world. . . gloriously and completely filled with radiant life and rich relationship.”

Nancy Guthrie
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