Summary: Get ready to be "wowed" by the Lord our God who has prepared Heaven for we the people of God - affirmed by our Lord's Resurrection from death unto life and promised to all who are "in Christ".
PRAISING GOD FOR HIS WONDER OF WONDERS: HEAVEN
A Prepared Place for Prepared People for Living in Paradise-with-Purpose
“Wow!” That’s how some folks express their amazement when I tell them that my mother had eleven children of which I am the youngest. My usual reply is:“I was born accidentally for a purpose.”
At the age of twelve, my discovery of that purpose began . . . but continues to this day inasmuch as I learned early-on that a Christian’s fullest comprehension of life’s meaning and purpose requires a lifelong process of spiritual growth. Peter the chief apostle, speaking of the coming Day of the Lord and our need to be prepared, advised us to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).
We have been reminded in our studies over the past six weeks that the Bible is full of wonderful promises for which we praise God . . . but, for me - at my age and stage in life - the most wonderful of all is this: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor mind conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” (I Corinthians 2:9).
Folks: God’s wonder of wonders is Heaven – a prepared place for a prepared people for living in paradise – which God purposed from the beginning, i.e. Human history began in paradise, and human history will end in paradise – on purpose! What began in Genesis is brought to completion in Revelation – 21:1-8 . . .
John’s vision of “a new heaven and a new earth” was a visual confirmation of what God had told Isaiah: “Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind” (Isaiah 65:17). Wow!
Memory loss will be due not to alzheimer’s . . . sometimers . . . oldtimers status but will be due to newtimers shock caused by a re-creative act of God who, with a great voice declared from the throne, “Behold, I am making everything new” . . .
A New Prepared Place - promised by Jesus as he comforted His disciples by assuring them that He would be going to His Father’s House to prepare a place for them so that “you may be where I am” (John 14). A New Place prepared by Christ!
A Place characterized by God’s Presence as we’ve never known it before. In this life, His presence has been represented inwardly by the Holy Spirit of God . . . outwardly by the beauty of the earth, the magnificence of the skies, the grandeur of all that around us lies - but in our New Place is God Himself. You might say that:
In the here and now we see evidence of His presence. In the New Prepared Place which we call Heaven we will see the essence of His presence . . . His very Being. “Now we see through a glass darkly, but then, face to face!” Because of His abiding presence, there will have to be the absence of so much . . . Only a new heaven and a new earth will do!
The original word translated “new” in this instance means new in nature as opposed to new in time. This Old House TV Show became of interest to me when it fell my lot to update my sister’s old house (a dilapidated 1910 bungalow) and transform it into a dwelling akin to, if not actually, a mansion that would be more in line with other remodeled like0new properties in the area. The old house is still recognizable on the outside, but the interior is stunningly beautiful.
Whatever and however God has planned His “making all things new” is left to conjecture, and cannot be predicted by me with absolute certainty. But it goes without saying that “Heaven” where God now dwells in all His glory would never have to be made new again. So, there’s no telling what God can and will do with this old earth or, for that matter, with the whole universe as we know it.
The phrase “passed away” as used in this particular context is the only use of it that I feel comfortable with! Ordinarily, to hear it or have to say it makes us sad. Yet, in this context of the old having passed away, it ought to make us glad! Brings to mind the reassurance Jesus gave us: “Your grief will turn to joy!”
What a reversal of emotions! A joyous occasion! Like a full-blown, formal wedding! We’ve all been there, done that. So, we understand the glorious impact to be made on God’s Prepared People when we see the Holy City as John saw it - beautifully adorned as a bride prepared for her husband on their wedding day.