Tuesday, June 9, 2020

There Will Be No Heaven On This Earth

"Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”  – Revelation 21:1-4

 I think the hope of all people would be to live in a world like that. Imagine no wars, no crime, famine, pandemics, pain.  We would not need a police force.  We would not need hospitals or doctors or nurses. No more death or heartache. There would be no need for food programs or non-profits.  I don’t pretend to understand it, but I do long for it. But, sadly, that is not going to happen on this old earth.  We can strive for it – and people do. We can try to make up for it, and people do.  But what we do is only a band-aide.  It is not permanent. Martie and I go from place to place, from time to time, helping who we can by God’s provision.  But each period of ministry is just that – a period of time.  The only permanence that we might influence is the spiritual footprint that we leave.  Individual lives changed for eternity.

As the Body of Christ, we can point people to the “new world” that John wrote about in Revelation.  But it is God that will usher it in – not man.  Generation to generation the only thing that really changes are the clothes we wear, the things we make.  The heart does not change – generation to generation – the heart of man does not change. Sin reigns on this earth. That will not change until the Lord returns.

Sound dismal? Hopeless? It is apart from one thing.  God sent His Son – His name is Jesus!  Although man must live in this sin-filled world, we don’t have to live like the sin-filled world.  We have a new life in Christ.  We don’t have to live under our circumstances, we can live in spite of our circumstances by faith. Although the world may continue to struggle, grasping for an answer – maybe if we do this or perhaps if we do that – things will change – it is futility.  (Hey why don’t we eliminate the police forces) Man cannot devise a solution to overcome the effects of Sin. Only God can do that.  Jesus is the answer for the world today! And forever.  Changed hearts are what is necessary – I can’t change my heart or your heart – only God can.

 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” – John 3:3

The world tolerates the Church so long as the Church does not get in the way of the world having its way. On the whole, the world rejects the sovereignty of God. It craves the peace of God but does not want it on God’s terms. The other day, I was asked to pray for peace – the only way peace can be enjoyed is through revival and awakening – but even then it will only be for some for a period of time and then like a vapor in the wind – it will vanish.

My goal is not to depress or discourage you, but to quicken you spirit and for you to understand how important you presence as a Christian on this earth is. As a light your purpose is to draw others to the Cross.  To give them a glimpse of what a right world and right relationships should be like – can be like.  But this world, as a whole will never be like that. Woe to us if we have put the fire out.  Woe to us if the same sin that troubles the world runs rampant in the Body of Christ – the very thing that is supposed to be a testimony of love and unity and peace is absent - impotent. Instead the world sees division, schisms, hatred. Instead of seeing a reflection of Christ and the world to come, it only sees a reflection of itself. Woe to us Church. 

 Perhaps that is what is happening now – the Spirit is stirring the Body of Christ to repentance.  Not just white Christians – but all Christians. The world needs to see Jesus and we are the only way that will happen. So time to stop making excuses and look to heaven.  As a friend would often say – it is all about Jesus and all about grace. And to quote the opening line in the Purpose Driven Life, “It is not about you or me.”

Let your light shine!

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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