Preparing Now to Live in God's New World

I just finished teaching a group of about 40 high school seniors to compare Atheism with Christianity.  We've been looking specifically at how each worldview works as a "salvation system", in other words, how each worldview proposes to fix the really nasty problems of our world.

Today we focused on how we Christians implicitly agree to live our lives in tension.  That tension is between the "here and now" with all of those really nasty problems of our age, and the "not yet" of God's coming perfect kingdom.

Most interesting was the discussion of how we should carry out our vocations (college majors, future jobs and such) in light of the promise of the Coming Kingdom. In chapter 7 of his great book, the prophet Daniel makes some interesting statements about what our vocations will involve when God finally judges and brings justice to the world.
"18 'But the saints of the Highest One will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, for all ages to come.' . . . 22 until the Ancient of Days came and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom . . . 27 'Then the sovereignty, the dominion and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him.'" 
The apostle Paul later echoes Daniel's words when he speaks of us reigning with Messiah in Romans 5, I Corinthians 4 and 15, and II Timothy 2.  John does the same in Revelation 5, 11, 19, 20 and 22.  So according to the Judeo-Christian story - those who follow Messiah will be given some pretty significant responsibility in the Kingdom he's bringing.

I wonder if we'd make different choices every day (in our vocations - at work, at school and in our personal lives) if we really believed it.  :)

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