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On my phone, I have a CNN app that I use to stay up to date on what is going on in the world. It sends me notifications with major news headlines. Each morning I wake up to a depressing list of major events that took place the previous day. This morning I woke up to these headlines: “The man who drove a truck into a crowd in Nice, France, killing 84 people, plotted his attack for months” and “Trump rips GOP rivals who broke pledge.” Each morning I am reminded of the fallen condition of the world that we live in. These are just two out of hundreds of messed up events that happen around the world. Human sin and imperfection is the single most obvious fact of existence.
Because of this, one of the most difficult Gospel truths for us to believe is that one day we (and the whole creation) will be perfect. Around us we see only brokenness and imperfection. We see our leaders acting with arrogance and anger. We see CEO’s running companies into the ground. We see our friends and family disappoint us and fail us again. We see ourselves mess up a project at work. We see the dark and hateful thoughts within our own hearts. All of it is imperfect and broken. It makes it hard to believe that one day the creation will be restored and everything will be perfect. Yet this is exactly what God promises. In our passage this week, God gives us a glimpse of the future that He has in store for us, and what we see is perfection. God will restore His once perfect creation back to the beauty and goodness that existed when God first made the world. God desires for us to be perfect (Matthew 5:48), and He will not stop until He has finished this work. This is not a hopeless call to seek perfection by our own strength; it is a hopeful promise that God will continue His work in us until we are perfect.
This means two things for us now. First, we should believe that a day will come when we, as well as all of creation, are perfect, and we should long for this day. Second, we should pursue perfection. God is working in us through His Holy Spirit, and He will one day bring this work to completion. In the meantime, He is making us more and more into His image, so we should seek after perfection by the power of His Spirit within us.
Scripture: Revelation 21:9-22:5
Sermon: Perfection Comes