In the beginning God created a world where everything was in perfect harmony. The relationship between God, humans and the creation were good and whole.
Through pride, humans were enticed by Satan into rebelling against God. Their disobedient act opened the door for the “sin virus” to enter the world. This virus contaminates everything – no person, creature, institution, relationship or individual action is free from the totality of this contamination. The results of sin are evident in such things as power, greed, violence, oppression, pollution, sickness, weeds and death. The most devastating effect of sin is alienation from God. Still, sin cannot obliterate the ‘image of God’ in us that long for God and for wholeness.
God did not allow sin to have the last word in this story. Due to His great love for humans and for His creation, God set out to redeem the world from its sinful condition. God called Abraham, Sarah and their descendant, the people of Israel, to be his partners in blessing the whole world. Finally, He sent His only Son, Jesus the Messiah, to live a fully human life and then die. However, death could not defeat Jesus. God raised him from the dead to show that he had conquered sin and death and redeemed humanity. Now God’s kingdom is growing and spreading in this world and Christians, those redeemed through belief in Christ, are part of that great work.
The New Creation
One day, Jesus is coming back again to extend God’s reign on earth completely. He will do away with any traces of sin and its effects. There will be no more sickness, alienation from God or death. Evil will be eradicated. God, himself, will dwell with humans and all creation will be fully restored. Unlike nations on earth, God’s kingdom does not have defined borders. It is not restricted to a location, like a cathedral; nor can it be reduced to “religious” activity. By God’s kingdom we mean God’s sovereign rule, God’s sphere of influence. We believe that God’s Spirit is busy extending His rule over all creation.
Certainly God’s reign is evident in spiritual experiences of renewal and change (Special Grace). However, it is also evident in God’s gracious upholding of creation day-by-day, season-by-season. His reign is evident anywhere His will is done – in actions, lives, technology, artistry and institutions (Common Grace).
God calls all of us to participate in the spread of His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. The whole world is a place where we can carry out the mission of restoring God’s creation. In the memorable words of Dutch Politician and Pastor Abraham Kuyper, “There is not a square inch in the world domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: Mine!”
Our view on poverty
Robert Mohan writes that humankind “living in cultural revolution and in a world of war, violence and social upheaval, is impelled as never before to ask the hard questions of the meaning of historical existence.”