Just this past Saturday I went and saw N.T. Wright, probably my favorite living author, speak at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Newport, California. He was brilliant as usual! This was the first time I actually got to see him in person but despite the fact that this was a first time experience, there was something quite nostalgic about the whole thing. As Tom spoke about "Paul for Tomorrow's World" he was speaking my language. He talked, in the first half, about 1 Corinthians 15 and the Kingdom of God. "The world revolves around the sun," he said, challenging the whole perspective that the gospel is all about "me, me getting into heaven" as though the sun revolved around the world. The truth is that it's really all about God and God's world, which, in the end, turns out to be a much more compelling gospel. Since we're not at the center of this thing, that means we can have some part in God's work in the world. We actually can do work with God in his glorious work of redemption; the renewal of all things, heaven and earth. God is using us to bear his image in the world, to do the work through Jesus Christ that Adam and Eve were supposed to do from the very beginning: be the glorious masterpiece of God's hand. It's not about us going to heaven but about heaven coming to Earth, so that when we do work for the kingdom of God here and now we are not “oiling the wheels of a machine that is soon going over a cliff” but we are indeed chiseling designs in a blocks of stone that God will one day gather up and put together to build a temple big enough for all the nations (Is. 56:7).
"Therefore, my dear brothers, be steadfast, unmovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that the work that you do for the Lord isn't wasted." _1 Corinthians 15:58