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All is New

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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.

Introduction:

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 

Sermon Body:

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.

-spiritual rebirth

-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.

Two observations:

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.

Action Steps:

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. 

Conclusion:

Does your life look like a run-down beach house?

Look at what God can do.

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