All is New
All is New
Text: Revelation 21
Big Idea: The new deal is the best deal.
Purpose: To persuade people to persevere in Christ's service.
Are you a person who can look at a mess and see potential?
-TLC has programs occasionally – Flipping a house
-buying something that is broke down – fix it up
-but you have to see what it can become
Tom was a man who could see the potential
-While I was in Seminary – I got to know Tom
-he bought an old Cottage in Grand Haven
-1/3 of the cottage had been washed away into the Lake
-hadn’t been occupied in years
-furthermore – Zoning in Grand Haven – couldn’t tear down and rebuild
-but could get a license for remodeling.
Tom had it in mind – to replace that cottage board by board,
-and raise the stilts, make it nice, vacation and rental property
-I thought Tom was silly – spent too much on a run-down shack
-but since he was willing to pay me, I worked on the demolition of the place
Tom put in hours of sweat
-paid contractors for good remodeling
-and about a year after the first purchase
-unveiled a beautiful vacation spot
I must be honest – I couldn’t see it, even while I worked on it
But Tom guided the vision – saw it to reality
Many of us need someone like Tom, to help us see the possibilities
-How God can change lives, history, World
-because we get caught thinking this world is just rotten, will always be
In the Early Church
-they thought things might not get better
-John acted as their guide
-able to see the vision – of what it will be like
-Christ in control, evil punished, and everything made new again
Today, we will make John our guide
-as we conclude series on Revelation
-to help us see – what it will be like
-because right now, it just seems like a mess
Movement 1: *This world needs remodeling.
*In General: For everyone - a desire to see things better
-even those who seem to have it all
-politicians campaign on change
-hardly ever hear - maintain the status quo as a campaign slogan
*Specifically: For Christians - we would like to see things different.
-see the effects of sin - we identify the damage as evil
-as opposed to a general malaise - we have a diagnosis
-although that does not mean we know what needs to be done
-Furthermore, we would like to join in the malaise
-because there seems to be success, enjoyment
-we hide our faith at times
-don't wear it on our sleeves
It may even make us ask
-why do I want to hold on to my faith?
-if God is so good, why is this world so bad?
Movement 2: *God promises newness.
-take off old and put on new
-you will be complete/mature/perfected
-call to holiness
-Rev. 21 - all things new
This section of scriptures rings true – we all would like newness
-things to be better
-and new is often considered better
The promise of Rev. 21 is compelling
-even for those who do not know Christ
-Most world religions – confess that there is a problem
-even atheists think that there is a problem in this world
-might be defined inaccurately, but all agree something needs to be different
-(ignorance, injustice, laziness, sin, bad language, treatment of species, etc.)
-In other places, the Bible identifies the root of the problem
-our standing in God’s presence – sin has damaged
-and sin works its evil pervasively in our lives
God promises that this problem – will be corrected
*Characteristics of the transformation: - in the city
-perfection in design (12 tribes, 12 gates, high/thick walls, symmetry - like a square)
-decorated with precious jewels - or images of jewels
-God's presence - no need for protection, no shutting down, protection, safe
-city like a bride
-no more tears, death or mourning, old things are done
-the beat-up, worn down will be no more
Movement 3: *Living in God's presence makes things new.
1. Dwelling in God's presence means perfection in so many ways.
-richness of beauty, perfection of dimensions, number 12 symbolically present
-there will be a fulfillment, satisfaction
-not merely content – even though things aren’t great
-that is our hope for today
-but fully satisfied
-marvel at the beauty
2. Dwellng in God's presence means all sadness, evil, perversion is gone
-no darkness, no enemies (need to shut gates), no need for moon
-sometimes, our lives are overwhelmed by rotten news
Ask someone how they are doing:
-relay hurts, pains, sadness, loss
Some are so accustomed to this
-that if they don’t have anything bad happening
-they don’t know what to talk about
God promises to wipe away tears, take away enemies, keep the light on
-which means His presesence
As we draw near to God today
-we get nearer to that kind of perfection
-we will see healing, protection, freedom of forgiveness
-but there will still be tears
For today – we have the hope
-Christ can heal now
-Christ will one day heal permanently
-for today - the hope of newness overwhelms the mess
-remodel kitchen - excitement in the mess, because getting better
-but during that time - the hope is what carries
-we have hope, because God is present
-His moments of healing, answered prayers, revelations, understanding, insights
-can carry the day
But that is just a down payment of hope.
-with the final payment yet to come
That remodel job will be completed
-the mess will be cleaned
All will be new.
Don't let your doubts cloud your vision.
Let Rev. 21 shape your imagination - of what the new creation will be.
God is remodeling.
Cling to hope - your life will be new
Tomorrow - Someday - you will question - why do I do this faith thing?
-will you turn away
-will you cling to Christ
-turning away - offers momentary ease - that leads to eternal disaster
-clinging to Christ - hope may ease the moment - visions may bring contentments
-but the promise is for eternal remodeling - beyond belief.
Does your life look like a run-down beach house?
Look at what God can do.