By Pat Russell
“New Heavens and a New Earth”– Isaiah 65:17-25
Sermon by Bruce Spear
This week Pastor Bruce gave several scriptural pictures of the “New Heaven and a New Earth.” Our God created the first heaven and earth from nothing and will keep on creating into eternity. It is his nature to take the old and make the new. Pastor Bruce put it something like this, “God moves creation from all that is old and dysfunctional to what is new and wholly functional.”
If you would like to move in the direction of a new creation, one way is to read each Scripture verse or passage on the handout, underlining at least one aspect of the “new” that you are excited to think about happening. For instance, from the Revelation 21:1, 3-4 passage I would underline “God’s dwelling place is now among the people.” Then reflect on why that makes you excited. Example: “I am excited to experience the direct presence of God like it might have been with Jesus.”
Another way to become a new creation is to meditate on this phrase from Isaiah chapter 11: “…for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord.” Consider this thought about knowledge from Dallas Willard in Renovation of the Heart: “Knowledge, in the biblical language never refers to what we today call ‘head knowledge,’ but always to experiential involvement with what is known – to actual engagement with it.” What would be the difference in the earth if it were filled with the knowledge OF the Lord instead of the knowledge ABOUT the Lord? What about your knowledge of the Lord – is it OF or ABOUT him? Express your desire to the Lord.
Lastly, read this quote by Karl Barth again: “If man does not seriously wait for Jesus Christ, at bottom he will not be hopeful about anything else. Daily hope can persist only where it is itself eternal hope… The promised future is not only that of the day of the Lord at the end of all days, but it is also for today and tomorrow.” Pastor Bruce put it like this, “The great hope leads to small hopes.” How does your “great hope” impact your “daily hope”? Pray about this connection.
By Pat Russell in follow-up to the sermon.
Feel free to email me to express your thoughts and experience with this passage.