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A Brand New World, Part 1

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
February 17, 2023 12:00 am

A Brand New World, Part 1

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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February 17, 2023 12:00 am

By description, Heaven is out of this world! But by definition, it is still a part of it.

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God will exhibit his glory from his eternal city, recreated eternal planet which he has redeemed.

And you know what that means? He's going to fulfill his word. Not only are we longing for the day of redemption, but we're also told that nature is longing, right? The groaning will one day cease as a new earth enjoys the glory of God in all of its perfection and beauty and systems set in motion for the glory of God and for the pleasure and enjoyment of God's redeemed people. As we go about our lives, we wait and long for the eternal home that God has promised us.

In fact, the entire universe is groaning and longing for the restoration that will come. When Jesus ascended back to heaven, he promised you that he was going to prepare a place for you. But before you start looking around into the clouds to spot a glimpse of that glorious new home, you should take a closer look at Revelation 21.

You see, God's coming kingdom might not be located where you think it is. Today, Stephen begins a series called Heaven on Earth. We return today to our study through the book of Revelation. So far we've covered all the themes except this last theme, which is the grandest of all, the theme of heaven. We began by looking at the opening pages of Revelation where we studied the sovereignty of Christ in his church. And that took us from chapters 1 to chapter 5. We looked at the letters that Christ delivered to the churches representing the condition of any church in any generation, powerful challenges, powerful affirmations. We then followed the raptured church to heaven and listened in on what we called the first hymns of heaven as hundreds of millions of angels and redeemed burst into song before the throne of God. Then we moved from there into chapters 6 through 15, which is the largest component of this revelation. We called it the severity of Christ in his chastisement. And we watched as the terrible time of tribulation began.

Four horsemen appear one after another. And while the church is in heaven, the world below has entered a seven-year period of worldwide cataclysmic, horrifying disasters as the wrath of God is poured out. We watched oceans turn to blood, demons unleashed upon the world of humanity following this predicted judgment of God.

It's also a time, we discovered, of unprecedented conversions to faith in Christ for those that hear and believe the gospel of Christ presented wonderfully throughout the tribulation, 144,000 Jewish evangelists doing a remarkable job as well as eventually millions more. We watched as millions of people refused the mark of the beast because of their faith in Christ, becoming martyrs, going to their deaths at the hand of the antichrist and his government. We watched Babylon being rebuilt as the capital city of antichrist who seizes the nations and the world by his satanically induced powers.

The world finally gets its wish with a leader who provides a one-world global government and a one-world global religion. We watched the antichrist's grip weaken under the unrelenting barrage of God's judgments and the ax, the bowls, the trumpets, and all of that, and the growing frustration of the nations around him. Then as the world scene begins to turn on itself, we watched Christ visibly through the revelation of John return with his beloved. We called that study the supremacy of Christ and his coming. The antichrist and the armies are defeated by our Lord and we riding with him on our white stallions. Satan is thrown into the abyss for one thousand years.

We get our word millennium from that. During that same one thousand year period of time, our imaginations were captured, were they not, by the revelation of John the apostle as we studied a literal physical millennial kingdom with Christ on the throne of David. The millennial kingdom was an amazing time with economies and industries and the arts and education all flourishing under Christ's reign and we the immortals reigning with him, serving him. But then as the millennial kingdom came to an end, that thousand year period has ended and millions, we watched, form armies to literally try to unseat Christ.

They rebel against him. It's hard to imagine, frankly, that even though they have a generation of godliness, those who accepted Christ and survived the tribulation enter the millennial kingdom. They marry, they raise families and generations are raised during this incredible period of time and those generations further down the family tree do not believe in Christ even though they have that legacy, even though they have enjoyed the blessings of wonderful climate change and long life and marvelous health and just law, even though they can visibly see if they take the trip, Jesus Christ in his glory reigning from Jerusalem, even though they have glorified saints, we the immortals leading them in the enterprises of earth with sinless perfection as we will be glorified and sinless as we lead them with grace and wisdom representing Christ. Even after all of that, a thousand years of this golden age when Satan by the predetermined plan of God is released from the abyss, he is able to mount an army numbering as the sands of the sea who march against Jesus Christ to unseat him and overthrow we as well, the immortals who reign with him. We watched as with one word, Christ slaughtered the armies. The final judgment is swept into place at the great white throne.

That's where we left it. After two and a half years, we've studied in the sovereignty of Christ in his church, the severity of Christ in his chastisement, the supremacy of Christ in his second coming and now we begin our study of what we'll call the satisfaction of Christ in his new creation. We finally made it to these final chapters, these chapters on heaven. We finally made it.

Some of you thought you'd be there before we got here, but we're here. Now let me tell you, I have read books over the last year or two preparing for this study. This is, to me, as a teacher, one of the most intimidating subjects to teach on because it literally goes beyond our imagination. So just in terms of preparation and then, of course, getting into the text and knowing it's coming and then studying and then rereading and pulling out commentaries and all of that, let me just say at the outset, we will have more questions about heaven when we finish than we have now at our beginning. I hope this study, though, provokes you to desire to study heaven further.

There is material provided in the scriptures, but I want you to be careful, by the way. Let me just warn you that popular books on heaven often take passages from the Old Testament prophets that are describing the millennial kingdom and they attribute them to the eternal state so you end up with nations and kings and races and all sorts of problems that I don't find in John's Revelation. The majority of the prophets in the Old Testament and their revelation of God through them describe, the majority of it, the millennial kingdom. And we've referred to literally hundreds of prophecies from the Old Testament as we studied the millennial kingdom.

The majority of what we know about the eternal state, heaven, comes from, of course, there are 500 references to heaven in the Bible, but these descriptive phrases found in a couple of chapters in the Old Testament and these two chapters in the Revelation of John. We might not have all our questions answered, but we'll have a fresh and new perspective on heaven, I believe, when we're finished. We're going to have a similar problem, actually, ladies and gentlemen, that we had with the kingdom, with the grasping of the idea that we're immortals, perfected, we're reigning with Christ on earth for that thousand-year period of time.

That was hard enough to grasp. Now we're going beyond a thousand years into eternity. But it did provoke our thinking. I had a number of people responding to me as we studied the millennial kingdom that they used to just think about living here dying and going to heaven where they'd spend eternity never considering the fact that in our future is this thousand-year reign on earth with Christ and what that might look like. So as we now begin to study the eternal state of what we call heaven, we won't have all our questions answered.

Have I mentioned that yet? We won't have all of them answered. But we will be given enough to really provoke our imagination and our thinking. In fact, I'm going to make a statement here at the very outset of our study that might surprise you. In fact, after I say it, I might be tempted to duck behind this solid oak pulpit, which is solid oak for more than one reason. You might think that I'm dabbling in a little heresy because it might be the first time you've ever thought about it or heard it. And so I'm going to begin our study by simply saying this. Our future in the Father's house, the glorious city of heaven, is actually going to be on earth. In fact, I've entitled this series Heaven on Earth.

Now you're thinking stone him outside the city walls. Not so quick. Some of you look too eager.

Give me some time here. The truth is the average Christian thinks about heaven as a place up there somewhere where a city is hinged upon nothingness. But we should be happy about it because we're going to do a lot of singing. Most believers never consider the implications of what it means when we're told in Revelation that there's going to be a new heaven and a new what? A new earth.

Why does that matter? Why the focus on a new earth? Before we ever get to a description of the eternal city, God is going to create a new heaven and a new earth. In fact, I don't want you to look at your text.

That would be one of the few times I ever tell you to do that. I just want you to listen to me read what you've read many times, but maybe you've never heard it with a fresh set of ears as for the first time. Listen. Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. There's a new universe. The first heaven and the first earth passed away.

There's no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne inside that city saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and he will dwell among them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be among them, and he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there will no longer be any death. There will no longer be any mourning or crying or pain.

The first things have passed away. Where is this taking place on earth? To what does the New Jerusalem, the city of God, what we think of when we think of that which is composed of heaven, where does it descend to earth? Ladies and gentlemen, we cannot begin to discuss an eternal heaven without discussing an eternal earth. It's not the same, but they will be at this new creation connected.

It's even more surprising than that. You will not just be then experiencing the glory of your creator in the heavenly Jerusalem, the golden city of God's presence and throne. You will be experiencing the glory of his creation on a brand new earth, and with that, a new universe forever. So perhaps with some questions in your mind already, let's go to Revelation chapter 21 and begin at verse 1. Then I saw... Stop there.

You need to know what that means. This particular phrase, I saw, is used throughout the book of Revelation to indicate chronological progression. That is, we're going to move from one event to the next event. You find these words, the same phrase in chapter 5, verse 1, chapter 6, verse 2, chapter 7, verse 2, chapter 8, verse 2, chapter 10, verse 1. You find it at the beginning of chapters 13, 15, 18, in chapter 19, verse 11, now in chapter 20, verse 1 and verse 11, and here at this point, we've discovered this same phrase at the beginning of chapter 21. I say all of that to underscore for you that there are not thousands or even millions or billions of years between events. These are consecutive events with one event following another, sort of like the consecutive vow of Genesis chapter 1. There aren't billions of years in between each verse.

It's a consecutive order of events, one following the other. John is seeing something happening. Chapter 21, verse 1 says, I saw a new heaven and a new earth. He's effectively saying, I saw a new universe. In other words, there aren't millions or billions of years elapsing in order for John to see a completed new universe.

Revelation 21 and Genesis 1 are in some ways similar. There are no defenses. There are no arguments. There's no statement of how God could do it, that he has enough power and creative ability to accomplish this. It's simply announced.

It's just announced. In the beginning, say it with me, God created the heavens and the earth, just announced. Believe it or don't. Take it by faith or not. John says, now I saw a new heaven and a new earth.

Believe it or not. Take it by faith or no. God doesn't need and didn't need billions of years to allow things to evolve on earth to the point where they could sustain life for the first time around and he won't need billions of years to create a new heaven and a new earth the second time around. In fact, if you've got problems with Genesis 1, you're going to have problems with Revelation 21, 1. But if you believe that God created the first universe from nothing, you can certainly believe that God can take the elements of the former universe and create from them a new universe, new heavens and new earth. Now you might wonder why God didn't keep the first universe. What's wrong with this one? Why not refurbish it? Why not clean it up or dust it off? Why didn't he not keep it?

What happened? If John sees a new earth being created, what happened to the old one? Well, if you turn back in your Bibles 10 pages, you have my translation. 10 pages to 2 Peter chapter 3. Listen to that sound. Isn't it marvelous?

Isn't that wonderful? The sign of a church headed in the right direction. The pages of God's Word turned. 2 Peter 3, verse 3. Know this, first of all, that in the last days, mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lust, saying, Where is the promise of his coming?

For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation. The word translated, mocker, is a word that refers to someone who makes fun of, someone who mocks. It was used in the Greek language for a child playing with a toy. In other words, the unbelievers are going to make fun of those who believe that somehow God will interrupt the normal laws of the universe and bring judgment. You've got to be kidding. That's silly. They treat it, they view it like a child might play with a toy. So that's why you'll see Christians invited on talk shows and the unbelievers will interview them and toy with them and patronize them and you can almost hear the collective chuckle of the world as they say anything about the gospel. They don't treat them any more seriously than a child should treat a toy.

The world would say that there's absolutely no way that there is a creator God and certainly not one that will judge us. You're just trying to scare us. What you need to do is just look around you. Everything's been going on just like it's always been going on. It's called the scientific theory of uniformitarianism. Uniformitarianism. That is, it's the naturalist theory that the same laws of nature have been in operation since the beginning of time. Peter referred to that, didn't he?

Unchanged, unchangeable and they follow a uniform pattern. They've never been interrupted and certainly not by anything supernaturally. That's just silly.

I mean, that's like a toy to think of that. In other words, God has not been around for billions of years and he isn't going to show up anytime soon and for you to believe that is just childish. See, Peter refers to their belief in uniformitarianism.

It's just going to keep going like it's always been going. The only problem is Peter points out something that they've overlooked. Verse 5, when they maintain this, that is this theory, it escapes their notice that by the word of God, the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water by water through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. God did interrupt the systems of natural law. He did unleash this canopy of water surrounding the globe. He came crushing down, erupting from beneath and so the warnings of Noah that it's going to rain and flood and they're going, we've never seen rain. It hadn't rained up to that point. We don't know what you're talking about. That's never happened and so it will never happen.

But it did. God literally brought the water down and from beneath and drowned mankind in judgment. The only people who were saved were those in the ark, Genesis 7. God now warns through the apostle Peter's letter, just as I disrupted the planet I created so that the world was flooded, there is another judgment coming. Look at what Peter reveals in verse 7. But by his word, the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. Look down at verse 10, the middle part. The heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed, literally loosed.

The Greek word means it comes apart. The atoms split, so to speak, with this intense heat and the earth and its works will be burned up. Now if you go back to verse 7, you could translate Peter's words, the present heavens and earth are being, they have been stored with fire, kept for the day of judgment. Peter doesn't know then what we know now, but we now know that just about everything about us, the major elements of our world, are flammable. Just as God allowed the canopy of water to collapse, the reserves of water beneath to erupt, drowning the earth's inhabitants, God has already built into planet earth the fire, so to speak, which he will simply allow to erupt.

Think about it. The earth we live on is about 200 or 25,000 miles in circumference and 8,000 miles in diameter. The earth, as you know, is formed like a hollow ball. The outer shell are crossed and eventually you get to a liquid core that is seething and boiling at the center of the earth.

Temperatures there are estimated to be as high as 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit, about the same as the surface of the sun. In some places of the earth's crust, the molten super-heated elements are near enough the surface and the pressure is so great that suddenly a piece of crust blows apart, usually at some mountain whose roots reach, as it were, into the cauldron of fire. We refer to that mountain as a volcano. And suddenly millions of tons of burning rock and earth and fire shoot heavenward, flames hundreds of feet into the air, emitting this stream of glowing red-hot lava, as well as sending a plume of ash high into the air. You may remember, if you're old enough, on May 18th, 1980, I almost said 1880, none of you are that old, 1980, Mount St. Helens in the Pacific Northwest erupted. It left an area three times the size of the District of Columbia, an utter wasteland. That volcanic eruption, which lasted for nine hours, spewed out 13,000 metric tons of gas and rock every single second.

Now you talk about pressure, the pressure inside this planet. Perhaps you've just seen the news recently of the volcano erupting in Iceland, right? One article that I read said that it has shut down air travel across Europe. It's sent an ash plume more than five miles into the air. World leaders have been forced to govern by phone from airport lounges, this article said. Even world militaries have been forced to alter their flight patterns.

This article said the wider fear is that the invisible microscopic particles could clog airplane engines and cancellations have become the world's biggest flight disruption since 9-11. That's just one volcano. That's just one volcano erupting. And it shuts down the business of world empires. I thought it was interesting that the same news magazine that I read this article in, that of course would have scoffed at the idea that these are warnings of a coming judgment of a planet that literally is winding down, destined for judgment.

They would probably mock at that and think that's silly, and yet that same magazine, I looked over to the left-hand margin, and there was an article where astronomers were figuring out new ways to come in contact with aliens. Are we reverse or what? We're captivated by the wrong thing. My friend, listen to this. Every hot spring is a warning. Enjoy it, but it's a warning. Every spouting geyser of steam is a sermon. Every volcanic eruption is a reminder that this Earth contains a sea of fire, and God knew exactly what he was talking about when he promised Noah it would flood one day, and he knows exactly what he's talking about when he promises the planet will disappear in a fiery explosion. Earth is literally a ticking time bomb. Mankind, however, ignores it, thinks that somehow we're going to save it, rescue it, whatever, it's going to last forever, and it's all up to us.

Oh, no, no, no. Mankind ignores the warning signals that creation is fallen. Nature, we're told, is longing for the day of redemption.

It's groaning. Every time there's an earthquake or a tsunami or a volcanic eruption, it's a message, are we really ready to leave this planet? The destructive forces that you see and experience in nature were not part of God's original design. Even nature longs for the restoration that God will bring. We're just getting started with this series called Heaven on Earth. Stephen is taking you through Revelation 21 as you learn more about your eternal home. In the meantime, Stephen has a resource called The Coming Tribulation.

He provides answers from the Bible about some of the most important questions people have about that time. This is a free digital resource that we'll email to you upon request. Sign up at wisdomonline.org and then join us again next time. Thank you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-22 01:30:10 / 2023-02-22 01:39:57 / 10

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