Sunday: A New Beginning
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One thing that science and the Bible do have in common is the belief that this earth, as we know it now, is not going to last forever.

Image © Steve Creitz from GoodSalt.com

Image © Steve Creitz from GoodSalt.com

For science (at least some versions of it), the same cold and mindless forces of chance that brought the earth and life on it into existence are the same cold and mindless forces of chance that are going to, eventually, destroy it. The Bible, too, teaches that this earth isn’t going to last forever, but will, indeed, be destroyed. In the scenario that science offers, however, that destruction is the end of everything forever; in contrast, in the biblical scenario, it’s the start of something brand new and wonderful, and that lasts forever, as well.

Read Revelation 21:1-5. What picture of the future is presented here? What wonderful promises await us? Why is this something that only God can do for us?

No question, one of the best promises of our new existence is that death and suffering will be forever gone. It is clear that God does not regard these experiences as positive. They were not in the Creation that God pronounced “very good” (Gen. 1:31). They are alien intruders; they were never meant to be part of the original Creation, and they won’t be part of the new one either. Jesus came to destroy these things, and we will never have to experience them again.

The new creation brings a new beginning. This wretched experiment with sin will be over. The results are in, and they are clear: sin brings death and suffering, and God’s law is the law of life.

As God created the heavens and the earth in the beginning, He will create a new heaven and a new earth, and with them we are all offered a new beginning. Only God, only the Creator, could do this for us. And it all comes to us through the work of Jesus in our behalf. Without the plan of salvation, we’d have no hope for anything beyond that which this life now offers, a pretty dismal thought.

Why are these promises of a new existence so crucial to us? What would our faith be without them?

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Sunday: A New Beginning — 16 Comments

  1. The promises of new existence is crucial because its the only promise promise of salvation we all are looking forward to, a life free of death and suffering.

    Thank you Lord for this day and all the blessing. Amen

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  2. I am so glad that the love of God makes every day on this earth "sweeter than the day before." Still, the hope that we will one day be together forever in a much better world gives hope that is so essential for living each day as it is in this one! I am so thankful for the daily salvation and presence of the Lord as well as the final rescue and total physical life made new that will certainly happen in the future.

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  3. We would have no hope or nothing to look forward to after this life as we know is over. But its strange that some of us is not home sick when it involves death.

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  4. wow! a new heaven and a new earth, only Adam new what it was like to live before sin, not a leaf fell from a tree ,talk with God, no human being after Adam knows
    what true life is, this earth and all that in it has to go we often cry, what is life? we really don't know . the life that is hid in Christ in God for us , includes a new heaven and a new earth ,what a blessed assurance.

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  5. The promise of eternal life gives us HOPE, a raison d'ettre and something to look forward. We must share this hope with folks that live believing in other non-biblical utopia. This will without doubt strengthen our faith, increase our spirituality and maintain our discipleship to Jesus Christ.

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  6. The promise of a "better life" one day bring endurance. You rejioce even in the darkest hour knowing that soon the pain and suffering will end. Holding on to GOD's promises strengthens our faith.

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  7. One thing i have realised,since God is the creator those who join HIM always have a new start.Friends let us surrender fully to our creator

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  8. Re-creation. Our spiritual life is recreating althout our body decay.
    New body - do we resurrect spiritualy now or jet to come when recive a new body ?

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  9. If the lesson author had used only Rev 21:1 then I would have nothing to comment about except perhaps to thank God for the promise but when the New Jerusalem gets involved then I feel some clarification is needed. We are all familiar with the text, "In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you" (Jn. 14:2 NKJV) but that along with the description of the New Jerusalem tend to paint a false picture of reality. It is true that sometimes the truth becomes a wet blanket of sorts but we need to know what is real and what is not.

    Translating the Greek word "μονή" into "mansions" is very unfortunate because doesn't mean palatial palaces rather it simply means, "1) a staying, abiding, dwelling, abode 2) to make an (one's) abode 3) metaph. of the God the Holy Spirit indwelling believers" (Strongs data for 3438). We are not promised wealth with gold and precious gems and costly attire. What we are promised is a government that honestly cares for its subjects; one that will not micromanage everyone for the sake of its own existence and force people to do what they don't want to do. Neither will people be stepping on one another for the sake of self aggrandizement and pride. We are also promised an unlimited number of (mostly) non material gifts from a God that loves to see His creatures happy.

    As for the New Jerusalem, long ago a well known Adventist theologian once told me that it was a description of the saved church. If we would think of Rev 21 in those terms, as symbolism instead of literalism, then I believe we would understand what His people will be like when everything is made new.

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  10. Tyler's comment reminds me of a song made popular decades below by quite a few Christian singers:

    I'm satisfied with just a cottage below
    A little silver and a little gold
    But in that city where the ransomed will shine
    I want a gold one that's silver lined

    I've got a mansion just over the hilltop
    In that bright land where we'll never grow old
    And some day yonder we will never more wander
    But walk the streets that are purest gold
    (Lyrics by George Morgan)
    You can listen to the whole song on Youtube by someone who didn't wait till heaven for his mansion.

    I suspect that the song was inspired by the KJV translation of John 14:2. My current Bible reads "dwelling places" instead of "mansions." (John 14:2 NASB) The English Standard version reads "rooms" instead of mansions. (John 14:2 ESV) Come to think of it, "rooms" does make more sense within the "Father's house."

    I think God must smile at our imaginings, because we can't begin to comprehend what He really has in store for us!

    “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
    Nor have entered into the heart of man
    The things which God has prepared
    for those who love Him.” (1 Corinthians 2:10 NKJV)

    I don't think God minds at all when the best we can imagine is a "mansion" that is "silver-lined," when He has much better things in store. (For that matter, I rather think that the author and many who sang the song used the "mansion" as a symbol of what God has in store for us, just as I did and do.)

    When "John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband," (Rev. 21:2), I believe he was including both the people of God who are the "bride" and the city which is their home -- the New Jerusalem which is described in such detail in Rev. 21:10-27.

    I think we should not be too fearful of making the heavenly homes or the New Jerusalem too "real." As a familiar writer put it:

    A fear of making the future inheritance seem too material has led many to spiritualize away the very truths which lead us to look upon it as our home. Christ assured His disciples that He went to prepare mansions for them in the Father’s house. Those who accept the teachings of God’s Word will not be wholly ignorant concerning the heavenly abode. And yet, “eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9. Human language is inadequate to describe the reward of the righteous. It will be known only to those who behold it. No finite mind can comprehend the glory of the Paradise of God.— Ellen White, The Great Controversy, 674, 675.)

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  11. I would also like to affirm what Tyler suggested about the promises of heaven not being primarily about material things, but about relational issues. Yes, we are promised "a government that honestly cares for its subjects," and there is much more. The more is an effect of every being in heaven being motivated and acting on the principle of self-renouncing love. We can think of the most intimate and confiding relationship we have ever had in this world, and heavenly relationships will be like that, only much better. While on this planet, it is not likely that we will have several such relationships, but in eternity, we will be able to continually develop such relationships. Each one will be intimate and confiding.

    It seems to me that in the light of such relationships, any material benefits fade into insignificance. After all, life in this world has conclusively demonstrated that happiness is not assured by an abundance of material benefits. In this world our happiness is directly proportional to the loving service we render to others, and so it will be in heaven, as I understand it.

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  12. I understand the hope that restoration gives us and look forward to it with eager anticipation. However I sometimes feel somewhat selfish wanting eternal life, heaven, and the new earth for myself. I sometimes wonder if we ask ourselves whether we would be willing to give up our place in heaven so that someone else could be there. My question is not without precedent. That is what Jesus did. Sometimes I think we are so protective of our own salvation that we forget that the message of salvation is something that we should bring to others. And that responsibility comes with risks.

    Heaven in eternity only has meaning if we make it meaningful in this life.

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  13. Adam sinned and God immediately lowered us. So if we follow the foot steps Christ we shall join and enjoy the new coming kingdom of God

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  14. Suffering has been confered upon us by our first parents from the beginning so in the midst of this suffering, God in His infinite mercy made a plan of redemption for us. We all have to embrace this opportunity to make a new beginning.

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  15. Without the promise, there is no hope for our future, God promise is sure and it will come to pass amen.

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  16. Like our biological parents do to us by forgiving us when we offend them, so has God promised to do and this is a true manifestation that he created man in his own image.cHe has again promised us a new heaven and a new earth and also life everlasting, what a God we serve.

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