BEYOND CHAOS TO CREATION—HEAVEN ON EARTH
April 24, 2005
The series of four messages began with the individual, then God’s love that transforms, followed by God’s purpose, and God’s process in his creation out of chaos.
God’s has a plan and strategy for us and our world. It is a plan to make the chaos of our world to fulfill His creation. In the Japanese family the parents live for the sake of their children. The Japanese term is “kodomo no tame ni.” This is the driving force of parents as they love and sacrifice for their children. For this reason, in the Japanese family every thing is focused for the sake of their children. This is God’s plan and strategy for our world and us. God’s love and Sacrifice is for the sake of his children. God longs for us to enjoy freedom, peace, joy, and love. Actually, what we associate heaven to be is God’s will for us as we are taught to pray, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
I. GOD’S CREATION IS FOR US AND THIS WORLD
God’s love, as Logos, creative transformation is for us in this world and not in the hereafter, or another world, or after we die. Much of our simplistic and popular Western Christian theology emphasizes that Christ died to take our sins away so we can be sinless in order to go to heaven. As a young man in a Baptist mission this is what I was taught. So my early evangelism was to get people into heaven.
Billy Graham, the great evangelist, with whom I played golf in Hawaii whenever he came to the Islands, urges his hearers to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior so you will not go to hell, but be sure to get to heaven. Other friends ask me to visit people who are dying to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior so they will be sure to go to heaven.
God’s creation is for us is not to get into heaven, but to have “God’s will to be done on earth.” This is probably the greatest controversy in America between the so-called “Fundamentalists” and “Liberals” Those who’s theology interpret the Gospel as Christ dying to take our sins away to make us sinless in order to get us into a sinless heaven--a salvation from our world of chaos to enter heaven. The other is salvation of God’s creation, this earth. Self-salvation or salvation of God’s creation--the entire cosmos.When we are taught to pray, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” in the Lord’s Prayer, God seeks to bring heaven on earth, not take us out of this world to bring us to heaven. Responding to God’s love, creative transformation, we become what we are meant to be, re-created in God’s image to be co-laborers with God in bringing Creation out of Chaos.We are God’s agents of love on earth: not just to bring people into the church, but to recruit people to go into all the world and continue God’s love of creation out of chaos.
Unfortunately, the simplistic popular Christian theology has affected our national politics as we hear, “God bless America” but, apparently, not the rest of the world. With the globalization of our economy, we need to have an economy that is for the common good of all people and nations and not greed. “Thy will be done on earth” must include everyone—everyone is precious, beloved of God.
II. GOD’S CREATION SEEKS THE HEALING FROM CHAOS
God’s creation means the healing from oppression, injustice, powerlessness, voicelessness, and inequity. It means making real and continuing the ministry of Jesus, even as we read: (Luke 4:18) “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
In the Bible we are reminded that God used Moses to liberate Israel from the bondage in Egypt; the oppression of the powers. God seeks the healing from cultural, spiritual, economic, and racial oppression.
In our Japanese American community, I am on the staff of the “Kansha” committee. “Kansha” in Japanese means “Thank You.” We want to publish a book to give thanks to all those who came to our aid during the unconstitutional forced evacuation and internment of the Japanese Americans during WW II. Because of this, the Japanese Americans are befriending the Arabs and Muslims now.
I give “Kansha” (thank you) to Dr. Ralph L. Mayberry of the Los Angeles City Mission Society, as he visit us many times at the Poston Internment Camp in the wilderness of the Arizona desert. He arranged for my ordination as an American Baptist minister at the Arizona Tempe First Baptist Church. We were healed by the love of so many of our American Baptist friends that we are forever
We are healed out of chaos by God’s creation of love. As we are healed by God’s creative transformation of love, we are reconciled to God and to one another. Jesus, dying on the cross, cried out, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” We are reconciled to God and to each other by the forgiving love of God incarnate in Jesus. Our Christian message is unconditional acceptance—the amazing grace of God. To accept God’s grace just for personal forgiveness of sins merely for the assurance to get into heaven would be very egocentric and erroneous. God’s love transforms us to make heaven on earth.
III. GOD’S CREATION SEEKS TO BRING HEAVEN ON EARTH
“Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” God’s ultimate goal is creation out of chaos—Heaven on earth. A world where there is freedom, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). We experience being loved by God and are transformed to freely love. We have genuine joy. We experience the peace that passes understanding. This is heaven.
Jesus, the incarnation of this love, “Logos made flesh” We hear Jesus saying, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled neither let hem be afraid.” Again, “Abide in my love . . . These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. This is my commandment that you love one another as I have loved you.” Jesus experienced love, peace, and joy and this is heaven. Isn’t this what we all long for in the midst of chaos.
We honestly cannot know or speak about what takes place after we die, but we can experience heaven on earth. We can truly experience love, joy and peace. But I believe that as we abide in God’s love, we experience creation (heaven) out of chaos. The Apostle Paul’s confidence makes sense to me when he testifies: “If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord, So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s” (Romans 14:8). “For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).
“God is Love”. “Isn’t this what it’s all about?” Our relationship with God of Love takes away the fear and anxiety of dying. As we trust our creator/God of Love in life, we can trust Him in death. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for thou art with me; . . .” (Psalm 23, 4). And as we trust our God of Love and respond to God’s love, we have heaven on earth, and continue to abide in God’s love in death.