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Beyond the Walls - The Gospel Story: Restoration

Beyond the Walls is a weekly email to help Christ followers move beyond the walls of their church buildings, homes, comfort zones, and culture to engage those we live among with the Gospel.

 

Over the past three weeks, we have been looking at The Gospel Story.  As I pointed out at the beginning of this series, the Gospel Story – the story of God’s redemption and restoration – is not a story limited to the New Testament.  It is a story that encompasses all of Scripture. 

I am convinced that many Christians do not really understand why the Good News is such Good News because they have a deficient view of the Gospel Story.  They think it is the story of Jesus’ life, death, burial, and resurrection.  And it is….but that part of the Gospel Story is the climatic solution to the curse of sin and death which came into existence back in Genesis. 

So when we talk about the Gospel Story, we have to begin where every story begins…at the beginning which is exactly what we did three weeks ago.

This week, we want to look at the climactic ending of The Gospel Story:  Restoration.  Before we do, let’s do a quick review.

The Gospel Story begins at Creation.  In Genesis 1, we discover God’s original plan for all of creation and for mankind, the masterpiece of His creation.  God made man in His image to have a personal relationship with Him and gave man authority over all His creation.  The Garden was a place of perfect harmony between God and man, man and creation, and man and woman.

But then everything falls apart. In the story of the Fall, we discover the answer to the question…”What went wrong?”  Man chose to rebel against God.  In spite of God’s clear instructions, they believe Satan’s lie that God is holding out on them.  And so they eat of the tree God told them never to eat from for it would only bring death.

With the crunch of the first bite, sin made its entrance. Their intimacy with God and each other was broken. The consequences were severe – spiritual and physical death, pain in childbearing for Eve, pain in physical labor for Adam, a desire to rule over and dominate each other, and being cast out of the garden.

But their sin didn’t affect them alone.  It also impacted all of creation as it was subjected to brokenness, death, and decay as well.

And throughout the rest of the OT, we see how sin and death corrupts all of creation and man.  We see man’s futile attempts of trying to save himself, to fix what went wrong in the Garden.  And at the same time, we watch God, beginning in Genesis 3, preparing the way for the coming of His Son, the Messiah.

And so after hundreds of years and hundreds of prophecies detailing the coming of the Messiah, we see God’s rescue plan come to life as Jesus comes on the scene.  It is through His life and death and resurrection that we are rescued from the power of sin and death, making a way for us to once again have a relationship with God. 

But the story doesn’t end there.  

In Revelation chapter 21, verse 5, God makes an incredible statement. “Behold, I am making all things new.”  And with those words, we come to the climatic ending of the Gospel Story which in all reality is the real beginning for all of us who know Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior!

In Revelation chapter 21:1, we read… Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away…

In other words, everything will be completely restored.  It will be just like it was in the Garden of Eden but better.  The harmony that existed in the Garden of Eden before the Fall will be completely restored.

In Revelation 21:3-4, John writes… And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

Just imagine…we will forever be with God and He will forever be with us!

And as followers of Jesus Christ, we have the incredible privilege to tell others this amazing story.  The key is understanding how to tell it well.  All of us have heard great stories ruined because the way it was told was so dry and boring. 

Therefore, it is imperative that we learn how to tell The Gospel Story in a way that is compelling…that draws people into the story.  I know what you are thinking…I am not a good storyteller. That’s okay because I am going to tell you about a wonderful resource that will help you discover a great way to tell the story – www.thestoryfilm.com.

On this website, you will find some great resources including a short film that you can share with others and an app called The Story.   What I really like about the website and the app is that you are able to translate it automatically into dozens of languages. 

I hope that these teachings on the Gospel Story have been helpful as you pursue Joining Jesus in His Mission.  If you have any questions or a story about someone you have engaged with the Gospel recently, don't hesitate to contact me.

For the Fame of His Name!

John Whaley
The Rooftop US

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