THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 12-19-10
LESSON TITLE: BEHOLD ALL THINGS HAVE BECOME NEW - A NEW HEAVEN AND EARTH
Let me begin this morning by saying Happy Holidays! It is great to have you with us today to hear the Living Word of God! We welcome you to our program as we focus on those things concerning God and His Will. So won’t you give your best to God this day as we assemble before His Throne and offer sacrifices according to His Perfect Will! May I also encourage us to do all of these things together for God, to God and unto His glory. Let’s begin our offering to God with a prayer!
As we continue to Worship before the throne of God, let’s sing a song of praise that reminds us of just how loving and wonderful our God is. So, won’t you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together, “I Will Sing the Wondrous Story?”
(SONG # 1)
I often wonder if we really understand the idea presented to us in 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God,” Inspiration is a beautiful concept which proves to us that the Bible is not just another book; rather it is the very Word of God! In fact, the word inspiration itself actually refers to the idea of a “breathing through one,” meaning that God breathed His message through those who wrote.
I think Peter helps us understand this concept a little better. In 2 Peter 3:20-21, we read, “knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” You see God actually “moved” the writers of the Bible in order that they would write exactly what He desired so that we might know His perfect Truth.
So now that we know that the Bible says that it is from God and that it is His very Word, notice what it can do for us. Back in 2 Timothy 3:16, that verse goes on to say, “And is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” Verse 17 also adds, “That the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Here we learn that God’s Word is complete and that it gives us all we need in this life to live, move and have our being - according to the way God wants us to.
A final verse I would like us to consider is found back in 2 Peter, again chapter 1, verse 3. There we read, “…His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.” God has truly given us all that we need in this life, that we might know His Will. No wonder Jesus told us that we can “know the truth and the truth will make us free.” How could Jesus make this claim? He knew that God had given all the necessary knowledge which man needs to know His divine Will. Furthermore, how wonderful it is to know that we can be saved, through the knowledge of His divine Will and an obedience to it. Do you respect, honor and obey the Bible as God’s true, complete and divine Will?
As far as our main study of the day, we will be continuing our study entitled, “Behold All Things Have Become New.” Our specific lesson of the morning will deal with, “A New Heaven and Earth.” So please stay with us this morning and after our next song together, we will be lead in our main thoughts of the day.
Today we are happy to have brother Darin Chappell with us to lead our study from God’s Word. Brother Darin is the minister for the Mt. Grove Church of Christ, as well as an instructor at the Bible Institute of Missouri. WE thank Him for being with us and look forward to him guiding our study in just a few minutes.
But for now let’s join together in our second song of the morning. The name of this hymn, “All The Way My Savior Leads Me.”
(SONG # 2)
By: Darin Chappell
As one of my duties in the Bible Institute of Missouri is teaching the students there to become preachers as they continue in their studies, one of the classes that I always teach is “Hebrew History” and “Hebrew Language” itself. Though I claim no expertise in the Hebrew language, and I am not a Hebrews scholar by any stretch of the imagination, the fact of the matter is that there is a great deal about the Bible that is difficult to understand unless we understand it within the context of the Hebrew language and culture itself so that we can comprehend what it is that the scriptures are telling us and how that we are to understand the phrases that are used so that we can apply them to our lives and be individuals in day by day living that God would have us to be.
One of the ideas that is given throughout the Hebrew language is the idea of Hebrew figurative language. It is used in books such as Daniel and Isaiah and it is also replicated in the book of Revelation as well. The book of Revelation specifically is written in what is known as apocalyptic language and that is the idea that the figurative language is used for the specific purpose of calling our or drawing out a message that is hidden to the individual who is reading it in some other way other than in the Hebrew phraseology that was used at the time of the Jews of the 1st century. We find that this is the case in part because the book of Revelation the basic message thereof is the church wins and the Roman Empire was going to be dissolved over a period of time. Had the Romans been able to find that book and discern its true meaning they would have attempted to destroy the book and the individuals who had it as well as John, the inspired penman of the book, they would have suffered greatly at the hand of the Roman Emperors and those who were subservient to them.
And so those books that are written of the Old Testament in figurative language in the book of Revelation they use figurative language that is describing various aspects concerning what it is that God would have us understand as His people and as those who would do His Will. One of those phrases that is used is going to be the focus of our lesson this morning and that is the concept of a new Heaven and a new earth. Now the phrasing is used in different ways depending on the time frame in which it was actually utilized.
It is used in Isaiah chapter 65 and 66 and in both of those instances it is actually used to describe the coming of the church, the church that Jesus would build and purchase with His own blood as we read there in Acts chapter 20 and verse 28. It was describing a way in which the people of God, those who were faithful before Him would dwell within a new system, a new way of appealing to and approaching our God as faithful servants of His in this new era under the Law of Christ as opposed to either the Patriarchal or the Law of Moses that was given to individuals before the coming of our Lord and His death, burial and resurrection. Isaiah is there speaking in chapters 65 and 66 concerning the coming of the church. He does not spell it out specifically but he describes that there will be a new heaven and a new earth, a new place, a new opportunity to dwell with God, something that would be free from the frivolities of the old earth, the sinfulness and the wrongful ideas, some place that would be safe and secure for individuals who would be willing to be right with God in order for them to be able to be with Him and dwell with Him and for Him to be their God and for they to be His people. That is exactly what the Hebrews writer records for us in quoting Jeremiah in Hebrews chapter 8.
What we find then is this idea of a new heaven and a new earth is the description of a changing of place. Not necessarily topographical place, not necessarily a geographical region or moving from one area to another, but rather a changing of circumstances in the which the righteous people of God would be able to live and dwell with Him. There again in Isaiah 65 and 66 it is pointing toward the church. But once we read in the New Testament, after the church has been revealed and after it has been established in the Day of Pentecost, that once we look into the New Testament phrasings and the same usage of the words “the new heaven and the new earth” it is talking about heaven itself, that dwelling place of God wherein those who are faithful and righteous before Him at the judgment of all things that they will be brought in to the presence of our God to dwell with Him throughout eternity and that they would have that new condition of being able to be with God.
We find the first instance of this being used found in 2 Peter chapter 3. 2 Peter chapter 3 beginning there in verse 8 the apostle Peter is writing to these individuals of the 1st century and trying to explain to them that the things of this life don’t necessarily matter the way that individuals tend to think that they do. We all tend to get wrapped up in our lives day by day and especially it seems at this time of year when we are looking at the holiday season and being around family and friends and all of the “to do lists” and everybody just seems so wrapped up in what is going on just directly in front of them and we tend to lose focus on the larger questions of life and the things that have greater impact as life goes on, and as this life is over even greater impact still. But Peter says there in 2 Peter chapter 3 beginning in verse 8, “But beloved be not ignorant of this one thing that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promises as some men count slackness, but is longsuffering to us not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night in which the heavens shall pass away with great noise and the elements will melt with fervent heat, both the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness? Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the Day of God when the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved and the elements shall melt with fervent heat. Nevertheless, we according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth wherein dwell with righteousness.”
Peter here is describing that day in which the Lord will return in judgment to claim those who are His own and to cast judgment on those who have rejected Him in their day by day living. He described this day as, “The day in which the heavens and the earth will be dissolved with fervent heat.” That is the Lord will destroy the physical world in which we live and the physical universe in which we dwell so that it will no longer exist as we understand it today. We will no longer have a physical dwelling place as we have had since God created the world and all that is in the first six days of creation as we read in Genesis chapter 1 and Genesis chapter 2 as well. We find that this physical world in which we are currently dwelling, although it is our home and is something that we appreciate and we love the beauty of it and appreciate the fullness of it and the way it provides for our day by day needs and the ability to love and care for one another, but it is a temporary home and is not something to get attached to the point where we ignore our responsibilities to God. But that one day when the Lord returns and this world is dissolved we will be presented with a new heaven and a new earth, not a literal new heaven and a literal new earth but a spiritual connotation. That is we will have a new place to dwell with God.
Peter says there in 2 Peter chapter 3 and there in verse 13 that, “This is a place wherein dwelleth righteousness.” There won’t be any of the sin and temptation. There won’t be any of those individuals that are contrary to the Will of God who are arguing against His commandments and unwilling to submit themselves to those commandments. In this new heaven and in this new earth there will only be righteousness, and there will only be those who are acceptable before God and there will once and for all for those who are willing to submit themselves to Him there will be peace being reconciled with God in all fullness.
This same concept is given to us in Revelation chapter 21. This same word usage of new heaven and new earth there in Revelation 21 beginning in verse 1 tells us exactly what it is that God is describing to us in this statement concerning a new dwelling place. John here says, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth for the first heaven and the first earth was passed away and there was no more sea,” talking about the very same destruction of the physical world in which we are currently living as described by Peter in 2 Peter chapter 3. He goes on in verse 2 and he says, “And I John saw the Holy City, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven prepared as a bride adorned for her husband and I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, ‘Behold the tabernacle of God is with men and He will dwell with them and they shall be His people and God Himself shall be with them and be their God, and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain for the former things are passed away,’ and He that sat upon the throne said, ‘Behold I make all things new.’ And He said, ‘Write for these things are true and faithful,’ and He said unto me, ‘It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him the thirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He who overcomes shall inherit all things and I will be his God and he shall be My son, but the fearful and unbelieving and the abominable and murderers and whoremongers and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone which is the second death.’” T
This passage here in this book of Revelation which is written to us in such a way that we can see the scenes that John was able to witness in his vision that the Lord gave him and be able from this to be able to understand how it is that heaven is being explained to us in such a way that we can get even a small glimpse of it and when you consider the intricacies of what the spiritual existence in heaven must be like as opposed to what it is in this physical realm, we have to be able to understand that the things of God is referring to here through John are beyond our comprehension simply because none of us have ever been there. None of us have ever seen it. John is expressing himself to the very best of language’s capability to explain that which cannot be described with words in a way that we can begin to comprehend the wonders and glories that God has waiting for those who are His own. He says here in these few verses, there in verses 1-3 he says that, “God has prepared a place for us,” just exactly what Jesus said He was going to go and do there in John chapter 14 verses 1-2 that He “went to prepare a place for us,” and He went on to say that, “If He went to prepare a place for us that He would return and take us to Him where He is that we might be with Him forever.”
We’re told there in 1 Thessalonians chapter 4 verses 13-18 that there was a time when the Lord would return and that we who are faithful would be caught up together with Him in the air and so would we ever be with the Lord and would always be with Him when this world is over and should be comforted by those words there in verse 18.
He continues to go on and suggest what heaven is going to be like wherein there are no sorrows, there are no pains, there are no tears, there are no fearfulness, or things that are brought upon us of which we are to be concerned because we will be with our God and He will be with us and we will be His people. He even says the surety of how this is going to be established because He declares Himself to be both Alpha and Omega, the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet where He says, “I am the beginning and the end.” He says, “You can count on Me. I have declared it so.” That is the wording that He uses there to instruct us in this.
He even describes how it is that we can know whether or not an individual is going to be accepted or not to enter into that new heaven and the new earth or whether this is someone who is going to be set aside in the judgment of all things. This is what we are told there in Matthew chapter 25 in the division of the sheep and the goats and the right hand and the left. We find therefore that Jesus says that through John there in verse 7 and 8 in Revelation 21, that he that overcome and inherit shall inherit all things and He shall be my God and I shall be His son but the fearful and unbelieving and the abominable and murderers and whoremongers and sorcerers and all liars shall have their part which burneth with fire and brimstone which is the second death, and that is the judgment of all of those that are contrary to the Will of God. Not only do we all go through physical death, that first death, but those who are unwilling to submit themselves to the Will of God they go through that second death which is the judgment of all things, and notice that he has a list of individuals there and it is not all inclusive. There are other sins that are contrary to the Will of God that are not included in this but when he describes those who are murderers and adulterers and whoremongers and all liars, those individuals who simply will not yield themselves to the Truth of God’s Word and will not live it in their lives and will not have within their day by day activities a sense of truthfulness, a sense of honesty and sincerity. Those individuals are not going to be acceptable to God and they will not be partakers of that new heaven and that new earth.
But of course, we are the ones who determine whether or not we are going to be on one side or the other of the judgment of all things. God has given to us within His Word those things which we need in order for us to be able to know whether or not we have eternal life in Christ Jesus, (1 John chapter 5 and verse 3). All things pertaining to life and godliness are given to us here in the Bible (2 Peter chapter 1 and verse 3). Also we are told that all things that are of faith, all things that are righteous, all things that are spiritual blessings are found only in Christ Jesus (Ephesians chapter 1 and verse 3). What we have available to us through the Word of God is a plan for us to be able to become acceptable in His sight, that we must hear the Word of God, believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God, be willing to confess Jesus Christ as the Son of God before others, be willing to repent of our sins so we no longer live the ways of the world, and to be baptized for the remission of our sins so that we can be added to the church, the church that Jesus purchased with His own blood that we might be His children and that He might be our God and that we might live with Him forever in that new heaven and that new earth.
I thank you so much for your time this morning.
(SONG # 3 - “Is It For Me Dear Savior!”)
Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today, in this offering to God. I hope our time together has been an encouragement and blessing to all of us. We invite you back every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this worship to God!
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Are we living every day with an eye on the great reward which awaits the faithful? Surely the beautiful thought and promise of Heaven will make all of our labors on this earth worthwhile. Won’t you give God your very best today?