Out With the Old, In With the New

I can’t think of a more fitting time to look forward to a new day, one where all things are made right. Once again, our nation is rocked with the agony of senseless violence and more families have to cope with unthinkable loss. God help us.

It. Is. A. Broken. World.

We all grope around looking for answers – why did this happen, how can we prevent this, who is to blame? Maybe more strict gun control laws would help, but it seems like the genie is out of the bottle already. Perhaps we can get serious about addressing mental health issues, or maybe its a prescription drug problem, or possibly a breakdown in family training? I think, as a society, we should be exploring all of these possibilities and seeking to address them as best as we can. But the greater reality is: evil continues to ruin creation.

Evil expands and contracts and as hard as we try, humanity just can’t seem to get a handle on it.

That’s why God promises that a new world is coming. One that His power initiates. We’ll be looking at that new world in our study in Revelation this Sunday as we read chapter 21.

Once evil has been dealt with (ch 20), a new heavens and new earth emerge. Not that God is crumpling up the good that he created, but like one of those renovation shows, he expels all that is rotten and offensive, and rebuilds with good materials.

The vision John has is of the great restoration and redemption God has in mind. All the things that bring misery and heartache and pain are removed and we are provided with life from God’s own presence among us. It’s more than my mind can truly conjure.

Some stuff to take note of: underline all the places where John says “there is no more” and then all the places where he describes things as “new”. What is out and what is in? How does that help us understand our priorities as Christians in this world today?

Once again, John hears about a bride, but what he sees is a city. We’ll go into all the measurements and stuff on Sunday. Think about this: where does the city come from? We seem to have imagined the gospel to be about going up to heaven when we die…yet how does that seem to fit with what is described in Revelation 21?

The city of Babylon represented something besides a city a few chapters back. What do you suppose the New Jerusalem might be representing? As you consider some of the details of this city – no temple, constant light, no closed gates, all the nations included – what might those represent, and how might that influence how we understand our purpose and priorities as the church today?

I’m looking forward to this chapter – we’re finally done with monsters and flames. I think we could all use a bit of good news. Hope to see you Sunday!

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