“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 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 unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful” (Revelation 21:1-5).
We are have arrived at the second Sunday of 2010, but I wonder how many New Year’s resolutions have fallen by the wayside? Many new leaves are already dead and many promises have been broken.
It is good to know that God never goes back on His word. Those who have accepted Christ as Saviour have the eternal promise of salvation and the guarantee of a new life. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). The day we acknowledged that He is the Saviour and repented of our sin was the first day of our eternal life.
The Lord Jesus did not implement the Old Covenant based upon rituals and ceremonies, but instead introduced a brand New Covenant, “Jesus the mediator of the new covenant” (Hebrews 12:24), which finds its foundation in love, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15), for “love is the fulfilling of the law” (Romans 13:10).
“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). Because the Lord promised to make everything new, we can look forward to the day Christ return to bring in a new physical creation too. After He reigns on this present world for a thousand years, He will destroy the universe and establish a new one. “Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein 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 dwelleth righteousness” (2 Peter 3:12-13). It will be so new that the old creation will never even be remembered. “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind” (Isaiah 65:17). Some believe that God will simply restore this old earth to its former glory, but Hebrews 1:10-12 reminds us that it is already too far gone to be refurbished, “Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.” The earth is reaching the end of its sell by date, “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now” (Romans 8:22).
We know next to nothing of the wonderful things God has in store for those who love and serve Him. No human words can express the wonders of the existence we will have in His presence. “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).
Scripture does reveal that we will be given a new name by Christ, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it” (Revelation 2:17); that we will be given a new song to sing, “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:9-10); and we will dwell with the Lord in the New Jerusalem, “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Revelation 21:2).
So that we can exist in the New Creation, God will give us a new body, “Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself” (Philippians 3:21). These bodies will be eternally new, that means they will never change, decay or die. “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” (Revelation 21:4).
When God speaks of new things, He is not talking about patching up the cracks or removing rotten material like a builder renovating an old house, instead “new” requires a complete change, so it is “Out with the old, in with the new”. Our new life under the New Covenant means “newness of life” in every way (Romans 6:4), because in Christ each of us is a “new creature” (Galatians 6:15). God is being “true and faithful” when He says that He will “make all things new.”