The Future: We will be saved from the presence of sin
Jesus saving us from the penalty of sin and the power of sin is very good news in its own right. However, that’s not where the story ends. The Bible shows us that God also promises to save us from the very presence of sin and death. It is because of this reality that Peter can tell the scattered Christians of the first century,
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. – 1 Peter 1:3-5
As Peter sees it, the process of salvation is one that will be completed “in the last time”, the time when Jesus returns to complete the victory that was won in his life, death and resurrection. In the book of Revelation, this future without the presence of sin is described in this way:
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.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”– Revelation 21:3-5
Imagine a world filled with God’s joy inducing presence rather than a world filled with the presence of misery inducing sin, a world with no mourning, crying or pain where God himself will directly comfort his people. This blissful future is possible because of what Jesus has done on the cross and will be carried out with his power when he returns to fully and finally make everything right and whole again.
The astounding truth though is that this future hope can radically change our lives and our cities now! Knowing how the story ends, that sin and death will not ultimately have victory over us, gives us the faith to persevere through the struggles of life in a fallen, broken world. What solider wouldn’t charge straight into the fray of battle if they had unshakeable confidence that they wouldn’t be killed and would end up winning the battle? Similarly, no matter how messy and hopeless our lives, our communities or our cities become, we know this is not the end of the story. We know that sin, death and brokenness won’t last and will eventually be completely eradicated because of Jesus’ work.