Extreme Makeover (Restoration and the Church)
Have you ever stopped and wondered: "why are we here? What is the purpose of the church? Why did God send Christ? What's it all about?" I'm glad you asked. I don't have each and every answer, but the simplest ones I can offer are this: we are here for God's glory, he delights in us, and the Church should exist as a beacon of hope and restoration to that God who so dearly loves His creation, which then gives Him even more glory! Yes, that answer is extremely simple. There's far more to it, and there's more that I don't understand. But we exist for God's glory, pleasure and purposes, and His Holy Spirit living in us should draw all humanity back to Him. Consider this passage from Revelation (21:5-8): "And he who was seated on the throne said, 'Behold, I am making all things new.' Also he said, 'Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.' And he said to me, 'It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.'"
God is making all things new. To those who believe, who endure this life, He is returning us to His original design; what does this require? Nothing short of an extreme makeover. We have to first recognize that we have a problem: we have sinned and rebelled against our designer, and are now living dangerously away from His design. Our bodies, which were meant to house our souls eternally now die, because our design has been broken; we will all die some day. Jesus came to resolve those problems: He came and lived as one of us, perfectly obedient to the Father, yet He died a sinners death on the cross, consequently becoming our sin, and nailing it there! He was buried for 3 days, and yet He rose again, not only taking care of our sin problem, but taking care of our future death problem! He ascended to heaven, rising to the Right Hand of the Father, and He is coming back again some day to make all things new. He's done so much! What is there left to do?
Here is what we must do: "Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of sins and to receive the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38). By this we are born again (John 3:3), and God's Holy Spirit within us will begin remodeling us from the inside out, returning us to the original design. This is why we're here, to show God's glory, that no matter what mess we've made of our lives, He is still in the business of resurrection and restoration!