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In the past ten weeks we have been studying the book of Revelation. The focus has been on the resurrected Jesus who assures the Church that he is protecting them, who coordinates the execution of God’s plans for shutting down this current world, and who leads us into the new heaven and new earth.
Like Noah and the flood in the book of Genesis, or Moses and the ten plagues in Egypt in the book of Exodus, when God executes judgments on the earth, it is through elements of nature. When this happens, there is always a rescue for God’s people. During the flood, it was Noah’s family; during the ten plagues of Egypt, it was Israel. In the book of Revelation, it is the Church and Israel that are rescued. I hear you asking, why is this earth being shut down and replaced by a new one?
We read in Genesis 3:17-19 (NIV) (shortened): “To Adam he [God] said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit… which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat… “Cursed is the ground because of you… It will produce thorns and thistles for you… By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground… for dust you are and to dust you will return.”
God created the earth as a place where he lives with humanity in a collaborative relationship. Adam had the power of choice, and chose to live independently from God. The Bible shows how God is healing this broken relationship with Jesus as the peacemaker between God and humanity. Starting from Genesis 3, God’s plans have included, heal the relationship with humanity, shut down the current broken world of thorns, thistles and death, and replace with a new world.
Revelation 21:1-4 (NIV) (shortened) says: “Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away… I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God… And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people… ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
This is the goal starting from Genesis 3; the book of Revelation showed the early Christians and shows us that the plan is executed to the very end. A big insight from Revelation is that there are many who just like Adam are not interested in God’s plan, and they will find a friend in Satan, and together they will make war against God. The question before us is do we like God’s plan or are we against?
Lord, help us to clearly see your big, big, big plans for us, Amen!