Skip to the end… Read Revelation 21:1-5
1 Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth,’ for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling-place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death” or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’
5 He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’
The Renewal of all things. That’s how the story ends. The bible starts and ends on earth. It does not end in heaven! The world is not abandoned. But renewed. The everything that is reconciled is the same everything that was made.
The good news is that God has entered the world in Jesus Christ to achieve a salvation that we could not achieve for ourselves which now converts and transforms individuals, forming them into a new humanity.
1. The gospel is the good news of a New Relationship. Jesus lived the life we should live. He also paid the penalty we owe for the rebellious life we do live. He did this in our place (Isaiah 53:4-10; 2 Cor 5:21; Mark 10:45) to restore our relationship to God the Father. We are not reconciled to God through our efforts, as in all other religions, but through his effort.
2. The gospel is the good news of a New Life. Paul wrote to those following Jesus, those who recognised him as Lord, ‘your life is hid with “Christ in God’ (Col 3:3). His life comes into us by the Spirit and shapes us into a new kind of person. The gospel is not just a truth about us that we affirm with our minds, it is also a reality we must experience in our hearts and souls.
New heart. New mind. New life
3. The gospel is the good news of the new world coming. The plot-line of the Bible is:
1) Creation: God created the world,
2) Crisis/Fall: The world and humanity fell into sin and decay,
3) Redemption: God sends his Son to redeem the world and create a new humanity
4) Renewal: Eventually the whole world will be renewed. Death, decay, injustice, and suffering will be all removed.
The gospel then is not just about our individual happiness and fulfillment. It is not just a wonderful plan for ‘my life’ but a wonderful plan for the whole world. It is about the coming of God’s kingdom to renew…
The Renewal of all things has already begun. In Jesus, the Kingdom (God’s rule and reign) has already come. It is near and present. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. – 2 Corinthians 4:16
The Kingdom is also still to come, it is delayed and future. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain. When we pray “your kingdom come” we are praying for something of the future reality of the kingdom to break into the here and now, on earth as in heaven.
Which area of your life do you need to be made new?
Where do you want God’s kingdom to come?
Today, how will you join with God in the renewal of all things?