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[Next][Up][Previous][Contents]
Next:The Beauty of HolinessUp:SermonsPrevious:Why Was Eve Made

Thy Will Be Done

Plans for a New Creation

I've chosen a verse from the book of Isaiah, the sixty-fifth chapter and the seventeenth verse. If you have your Bible, I would be pleased for you to follow. Isaiah 65:17--``For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former shall not be remembered nor come into mind.'' When I saw this verse a couple weeks ago it struck me so that I've turned to it many times since, often every day reading it over. To think that the Lord revealed to Isaiah so many hundreds of years before the birth of Christ, that there would be a new creation, a new heaven and a new earth. And then the rest of it was news to me, really news, that the former shall not be remembered nor come into mind. This triggered off a great feel of many thoughts, and I'd like to perhaps endeavor to answer three questions. I believe even the young people in the audience, the children might be interested in these because it has to do with all of us.

I might preface this by saying, ``What are your plans?'' ``Well, tomorrow I have work to do. There's this cleaning I have to do and then there's teaching and some office work and my car needs repairs...'' I don't know what it is, but I'm sure all of you have thoughts about tomorrow. What are your plans after tomorrow? What are your plans for ever and ever, for eternity? You have some plans for eternity? And how are we preparing for that?

Well, here are three questions that we endeavor to answer:

  1. How much can we carry into eternity with us? Of all of your possessions and all that your interested in just how much will you be able to carry with you into eternity.
  2. What will we remember about this life? Maybe you've said at times, ``I'll never forget that.'' or some people have said, ``I'll never forgive you.'' or ``I'll never get over that as long as I live.'' What will we remember about this life when we enter into eternity.
  3. What part of this present earth will exist through eternity?

God's Time Table

Right away we think of Revelation. Isaiah isn't the only one who had some insight into eternity. John did; Peter did; Paul did. Their information is very much alike; it coincides perfectly. We go to the twentieth chapter of the book of Revelation, and we have a little review here of God's time table. We sang and we heard sung tonight something about the Millennium, peace, and Christ will rule on this earth. And we're all looking forward to that. What's on beyond that. Let's go beyond that far into eternity, beyond the thousand years.

I'm looking in the book of Revelation, the twentieth chapter and the seventh verse, which tells us

And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. (Rev 20:7-8)
This is the last battle.
And they went up on the breath of the earth and compassed the camp of the saints about and the beloved city [Jerusalem]: and fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (Rev 20:9-10)
Someone said to me, ``There's no place in the Bible that says hell will last forever.''
And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the Book of Life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. (Rev 20:11-12)
This is what we call the Great White Throne judgment. Every soul that ever lived will appear at that judgment.
And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the Lake of Fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the Lake of Fire. (Rev 20:13-15)

Seven New Things

New Heaven, New Earth

Then John says, ``I saw something new.'' In your Bible, from the beginning of the twenty-first chapter you have seven new things that were revealed to John the revelator. First he says, ``I saw a new heaven and a new earth.'' (cf Rev 21:1) Where are the other heaven and the other earth? He says,
For the first heaven and the first earth were passed away, and there was no more sea. And I John saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. (Rev 21:1-2)
So there are two of the seven new things--new heaven, new earth.

New People

The third we might call, new people.
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.' (Rev 21:3)
Praise the Lord!? Amen.
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death... (Rev 21:4)
This is where death is destroyed; this is the last enemy. There is death during the Millennium, death up to this time. At this place and time God does away with death.
He that sat on the throne said, `Behold, I make all things new.' ... And he said unto me, `It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.' (Rev 21:5-6)

New Jerusalem

The fourth new thing is the new Jerusalem. We read that in the tenth verse.
He carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. (Rev 21:10)

New Temple

The fifth is the new temple. Twenty-first chapter and the twenty-second verse.
I saw no temple therein, for the Lord God Almighty, and the Lamb are the temple in it.

New Light

A new light is the sixth.
And the city had no need of sun neither of moon to shine in it, for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. (Rev 21:23)

New Paradise

Seven, a new paradise and the waters of life and the river in the midst of it, all described in the twenty-second chapter.

The testimony ends this way:

And the Spirit and the Bride say, `Come.' And let him that heareth say, `Come.' And let him that is athirst, come. And whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely. For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away him part out of the Book of Life. He that testifieth these things saith, `Surely I come quickly.' Amen. Even so come, Lord Jesus. (Rev 23:17-20)

How About the Earth?

Seven new things, and not a thing is mentioned that is from this earth. All things are new, and you might say, ``How 'bout the mountains?'' The mountains are going to disappear. There's no water. ``Well,'' you might say, ``how do you know all of this?'' Well, let's turn and see what Peter adds to it. We want his input here.

How We Ought to Live

I have II Peter 3:12. He talks about what kind of people we ought to be in the way we live and the way we talk. Now here's the first instance of some kind of warning. The heavens and the earth are going to disappear, and there's going to be a new heaven and a new earth, and he says we ought to be in the way we talk and the way we live, holy. Then he says,
Looking for and hastening unto the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat. (2 P 3:12)
Love to hear a chemist talk about all the elements that are going to melt when God does away with these heavens and this earth.
Nevertheless we, according to his promise look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that you may be found in him in peace, without spot, and blameless. (2 P 3:13-14)

Things Under the Curse

Now the heavens are going to be dissolved and the elements melt, and these things are all things that fell under the curse. The earth fell under the curse. The animals fell under the curse. The plants fell under the curse. The air came under the curse. And God is going to destroy every bit of trace of the curse that came with Satan. So what's He going to destroy? and what is there to hold on to in this old earth? We need to discuss that yet. But I know this, that these things that came with Satan and came with the curse are all going to disappear. And the things that come with pride, and the things that come with ambition are all going to disappear. And you might think to yourself, ``If this be true, them why am I thinking about where I'm going to live, what I'm going to put on, what I'm going to eat, what I'm going to do for my old age.'' Shouldn't we do things like that? But what kind of attitude do we have about this? Is this first in our minds and hearts? Is it so important to have material things, if they're all going to disappear, and they're all going to be burned up? every thing! If the lovely Rocky Mountains are going to be burned up and melted, should we even have our hearts on that? ``I can't live unless I can see the mountains!'' and forget about God. Well, the Lord knows the heart, and He knows just where our priorities are, and how much certain things mean to us.

God shakes Heaven and Earth

Then I said, ``Well, what did St. Paul have to say about this?'' There's a wonderful scripture in the twelfth chapter of the book of Hebrews. He put it a little differently. I'm looking at the twelfth chapter and the twenty-fifth verse.
...if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: (He 12:25)
You have to listen to the Lord. He's given us all this information.
Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, `Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven'. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.

Wherefore, we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: (He 12:26-28)

What is St. Paul saying? He says God is going to shake the heavens and shake the earth, and everything that can be shaken is going to be removed. You can spend the rest of the time listing the things that can be shaken. Can the earth be shaken itself? Can the ground be shaken? Can the trees be shaken? Can the animals? Can the streets, the city streets and the homes, and the cars, and the airplanes? What is there that can't be shaken by the hand of God? St. Paul says only those things which cannot be shaken will remain.

What Will Remain

God's Word

So the question is, ``What's going to remain?'' I pondered over this. I really did. What is going to remain, and where should we put our attention, and what should we do about all of this? if this is God's word and we have this kind of warning? I thought first of the verse that says, ``Heaven and earth shall pass away...'' but what? ``my Word shall not pass away''. (Mt 24:35) So we want to cherish and love God's word, and hold onto it, and read it, and live by it, and feed on it, and let be our food, and our live. His word will not pass away. There's one thing.

Our Eternal Soul

What is another thing that will last forever, even if God destroys the heavens and burns up the earth, melts things, burns then, shakes them? What will remain? Well it is our soul; our eternal soul will remain. The scripture that I read from Isaiah was especially designated as being for His own. ``A new heaven and a new earth.'' (cf Is 65:17) But the soul of the wicked will live through all eternity in hell. And the soul of the righteous will live forever because we have these promises: a new heaven, a new earth, a new Jerusalem, and the soul will live forever. So the soul we need to cherish. And as the rich man with his barns talked to his soul, I thought we need to talk to our soul. ``Soul, are you thinking on the right things? Soul, are you living in Christ today? Soul, do you have the right ambitions and the right desires? And is your heart, Soul, set in the right place?''

Divine Love

Another thing that will endure through all eternity, no matter how much the Lord shakes the earth and the sky, is a wonderful quality that Jesus gives us. In the thirteenth chapter of I Corinthians we read this will vanish away, even prophecy. Tongues will cease. All these things will come and vanish away finally. But the one greatest thing that will remain is divine love. I believe this goes with us past the gates of death, through the Millennium, through the Great White Throne judgment, and into the pearly gates of heaven. I believe this quality will stay with us forever. Divine Love, comes from Jesus.

What Will Pass Away

The Law

Then I was interested to read in the book of St. Matthew, Jesus says, ``The law is going to last until heaven and earth pass away,'' (Mt 5:18) the law, the Ten Commandments. But when heaven and earth pass away there'll be no need for these Ten Commandments any more, because the new heaven and the new earth are for righteousness, and righteous souls. There'll be no need any more for this guideline, the Ten Commandments. So Jesus said they are good until heaven and earth pass away.

Memories, and the Parable of Lazarus

What will we remember in eternity? I know that we've talked in the past about, Oh, when we get there we'll say, ``Remember that hard time we had and how we got through it,'' and so forth. Now I'm wondering, from the book of Isaiah and that verse, if we indeed will remember these hard times. I thought of the rich man and the poor man. (cf Lk 16:19-31) If you recall, the rich man had a great deal. He had fine cloths. He had fine food every day. He lived in a mansion. He evidently drove in a lovely carriage, and he lived sumptuously every day, whatever that means. He might have had strawberries and cream when nobody else had any. He had every thing his heart could desire.

Then there was the poor man Lazarus. Jesus told this and I do not believe that this is a parable. I believe this is somebody Jesus knew, because he in no other place ever mentioned a name in a parable, never gave anybody a name. This poor man's name was Lazarus. He didn't even have a Band-Aid or a bandage for his raw sores. One commentator says he begged for the crusts of bread, but this commentator thinks that from the original translation, the rich man did not give him these crusts of bread. He begged for them, but he may not have had them.

Well, the rich man died, and he had a funeral, probably a fine funeral, all the trappings of a fine funeral. Probably they paid for mourners to cry and weep over his body, and they carried in great splendor to his grave. It just says the poor man died. Imagine they through him in a pauper's grave and nobody thought anything else about him. They went to their rewards, and the rich man certainly remembered a great deal. He was almost evangelistic in what he had to say, ``Send somebody to warn my brothers so they don't come to this terrible place!'' ``Oh, give me a drop of water, just one drop for my tongue, my parched tongue!'' The Bible says he was in torment, and all of these things going through his mind, and nobody to ease his conscience or help him. He remembered lots of things.

But the poor man was in Abraham's bosom, the Bible says, and he was comforted. You don't see a thing about his remembering these hard times he went through. It doesn't mention that he remembers a thing about it; and I don't believe he did. I believe he was at peace and comforted and set for everlasting joy for ever and ever with the Lord.

Earthly Treasures

Then we remember the man that built the barn. (cf Lk 12:16-21) I've always thought about him as having a very fine type of work. I look up to the farmer working with the soil and growing things, a wonderful thing to do. And all he wanted was a bigger barn to put his crops in or his grain. He says, ``I think I'll build bigger barns.'' But the scripture says he was a fool. And that night his soul was required of him, and he didn't go to heaven. You say, ``What's the matter? He had a good occupation, and he just wanted to take care of these things he grew. What's the matter?'' Well, the Lord saw his heart, and He evidently saw his whole heart and life was in this barn, and in these crops. Couldn't think about anything else. Never thought about the Lord. Didn't think about eternity. Didn't think about the poor. It's just, ``How can I make some more money with my crops and my barn.'' Jesus told this, and the Bible says, ``This indeed is a parable.'' And Jesus ended up by saying, ``Where your treasure is there will your heart be also.''

Where is Your Heart?

So if there's nothing to remember about this earth, all of this energy that we put into things that perish, and all of this energy that we put into making ourselves comfortable and happy, why should we work like that and ponder on those things and think about them, when they're all going to fade away? We won't even have the pleasure of thinking about them in eternity. They're not important! Jesus said, ``Don't worry about tomorrow, and about what you're going to wear and what you're going to eat.'' (cf Mt 6:34) And He wants us to have faith in Him.

Somebody said this and I quote it to you: ``It's a great law of God's kingdom that the nature of our present desires shall rule that of our future bliss.'' Is that too complicated? It's a great law of God's kingdom that the nature of our present desires--What do we desire? What is our heart thinking about, and what is our heart on? Do we really love the Lord? and put Him first? Or are there other things?--The nature of our present desires shall rule that of our future bliss.

I'd like to close by just repeating this verse in Isaiah 65:17.

For behold I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former shall not be remembered nor come into mind.

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