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Christians hope for a better future – for restoration and renewal. They place their faith in God through Jesus and entrust themselves in obedient service to God believing that God is going to ‘put things right’. Though many agree that the world could be a better place, they dismiss the Christian hope as misguided or childish or both. ‘Where is this better future?’ they say, ‘The world has always been the same and when you get down to basics, people’s lives carry on in the same way that they have always done, and religion causes more problems than it solves.’
So what is the basis of this Christian hope for a better world and what kind of future does the bible say that will it be? Christians talk about heaven, but does heaven exist and if so where is it? God promised a Kingdom – but where is it? Is it merely a mystical place deep ‘within’ each and every one of us or is it a place ‘out there’ – somewhere? Some Christians say that at the culmination of all things they will go to heaven but others seem to think that the Kingdom of God to be on earth. Who, if any, are right? What is the ‘culmination of all things’? And what about Israel? The Jews are supposed to be God’s chosen nation but their recent history does not seem to be very enviable. If the Jews have rejected Jesus as their Messiah, then what does this mean? What about God’s promises to the Jews? Most of them seem to have ended in failure. Has God forgotten them or given up on them? Has God ‘retired’ to some distant corner of the universe and left the world to its own devices?
In this book author Robert Laynton takes an overview of what scripture has to say about God’s Plan of restoration, renewal and reconciliation and in the process considers what it means for each and every one of us – whether we are Christian or not. This is explored as part of the historical narrative of creation itself – humanity’s fall into disobedience, God’s promise of a Deliverer and God’s selection of Israel as His chosen people through whom the rest of the nations would be blessed. This narrative is followed through beyond the time of Jesus, and beyond our present age, in order to consider what we can expect in the future as God’s Plan moves to completion.
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