We are each created to accomplish a work worthy of God; it is one of our deepest yearnings. And we will, in the kingdom; not just once, but many, many times over. Are we employed in the actual restoration itself? I don’t know for certain. “They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated” certainly hints at it. And we know our God is a God of process—look at how long your sanctification is taking.
You might think I am merely daydreaming about what we actually do in the kingdom. But, friends—God creates us to be creators like he is. We are promised we will reign; we are given estates; we are told we will have vital roles in the coming kingdom.
“After a long absence, the master of those three servants came back and settled up with them. The one given five thousand dollars showed him how he had doubled his investment. His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’” (Matthew 25:19–21 The Message)
Come and “be my partner”—that’s the perfect way to put it. The idea behind the parable is promotion. And notice that the servants are promoted in the very things they are good at! God puts his renewed sons and daughters—creators like he is—in a re-created world and tells us to do exactly what he told Adam and Eve to do in the beginning. N. T. Wright therefore says,
In Revelation and Paul’s letters we are told that God’s people will actually be running the new world on God’s behalf. The idea of our participation in the new creation goes back to Genesis, when humans are supposed to be running the Garden and looking after the animals. If you transpose that all the way through, it’s a picture like the one that you get at the end of Revelation.