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Good morning Evergreen,

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This Sunday is the fifth and final week of our series "Racial Diversity and the Image of God."

America today is replete with feelings of fear and anger surrounding the subject of race. When real problems arise in the world, what resources do Christians have?

One thing often overlooked about the Christian faith is the "material" nature of salvation. It's not only our souls that are saved and restored
but our bodies as well. Even more, the Bible teaches that the entire material creation, all of Earth, will be saved and restored. In a sense, the "New Heavens and the New Earth" means that the world will itself be born again.

Today's message explores our future Christian hope
what heaven really means, and what effect it will have on the hatred and anger present in the world today.
As an associated reading for today's message, see Matthew 19:23-30

23 And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” 26 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

27 Then Peter said in reply, “See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?” 28 Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name's sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.

Thoughts and Questions for Reflection
The Bible makes it clear that heaven isn't just an ethereal, spiritual existence. Rather, it's a the world as we know it, but restored and whole (much like the Garden).

Question: Jesus uses the term "the new world" or "the renewal of all things" to describe what we often call heaven. If heaven is a restored material world with no sin, what sort of things do you hope to do there?
Additional Resources

As an additional resource on heaven, the age to come, eternal life, etc, listen to our Podcast Episode 016: "The Renewal of All Things."