Friday, May 13, 2011

All Things New aka New Order of Things, Revelation 21:1-8 or 21:1-8, 22-27; The Adult Sunday School Lesson for 5-22-11

ATTENTION:  Please note that this is The Adult Sunday School Lesson, All Things New aka New Order of Things, on Revelation 21:1-8 or 21:1-8, 22-27 respectively for the 5-22-11 International Sunday School Lesson.  You will find the 5-15-11 lesson, Heavenly Worship aka Perpetual Praise, directly beneath this message and on the right side.


All Things New
New Order of Things
Revelation 21:1-8
Revelation 21:1-8, 22-27
International Sunday School Lesson
May 22, 2011

Jed Greenough

Newness, clean and pure, that is what we have to anticipate.  Just as all of creation itself groans in anticipation so should we look forward with hope to what is waiting for us.
As we look at today’s scripture in Revelation 21we see that God will be wiping the slate clean.  Look over your head; look at what is under your feet, look out at night, everything will be different and new.
I have had thoughts when I have been places that I truly love in this world that move me and I wonder about this moment to come.  I think about the snowcapped peaks and the places where the sagebrush meets the aspens.  If I said that I am pretty content with their beauty it wouldn’t do justice for what I feel.  But then I think what must the new earth that we will see be like?
I know that events such as the terrible earthquake and tsunami that devastated parts of Japan will never again occur.  Nor will the horrific tornadoes and hurricanes cause terrific destruction.  Droughts will not scorch the crops from the ground.  Fires will not reduce trees and countryside to ash.   Floods will not cover the lands.
Nor will the evil that man and satan bring about have a place in this new creation.  No longer will injustice prevail.  War will not have a place.  Dictators will not plunder their countries of their resources.  Persecution will be a thing of the past.
In order to be here, everything will have to be new.  Paul told us in 1Corinthians 15 that those of us here will be raised up with glory, our bodies imperishable.  As with the new heaven and the new earth, we too will be new.  As all that was wrong with the old earth will be gone, so will it be gone from us. 
Do you wake up at night as I sometimes do anxious from the new pain in your body?  Has it kept you from doing things you once could do?  Have you lost loved ones to the ravages of cancer?  No more will these things exist, just the pure.  Just as the Holy City the New Jerusalem will be beautifully dressed, so will we be.  Gone will be those pains and sorrows because God will have wiped them all away.
This thought should give you hope.  This hope as Peter said in 1 Peter 3 is one that you should always have a ready answer for if someone should ask why you hope.  I think about that verse a lot, I prepare myself for the opportunity to answer. 
If we have Christ, then we have hope, without Him there is none.  Those whose hope is not in Christ cannot be here with us for our God is holy.  He cannot look upon sin and without the sinful among us, He will not have to and that is why He will dwell with us.
So much has been written about this book of Revelation and I suppose much more will come, most will prove to be wrong I think.  Authors, preachers and teachers write or speak of their literal teachings when the figurative will prove to be true.  Academia creates positions on the book’s symbolic characteristics when in fact it will prove to be literal.
We can determine what counts though by looking down through the millennia of scripture.  God has consistently shown us what will be literal and there is nothing figurative about God’s promises for our future, for our hope.  The “former things will not be remembered” and what we will have will be the new. 

For Discussion:
1.     Compare and discuss Revelation 20 and 21 with 2 Peter 3.
2.     Discuss why the cowardly will not have a place here?
3.     Share some of the scriptures that deal with this hope we have.
4.     Share some of those scriptures found elsewhere in the Bible that deal with how things will be.
5.     This week again we see a scripture that deals with overcoming (verse 7) be prepared to discuss this.
6.     This hope fulfilled is wonderful, but it would be negligent indeed to only consider the good that is in store for us.  Read and discuss the alternative (Revelation 20:11-15).

5-29-11:   Tree of Life (Water of Life) Revelation 22:1-9 or 22:1-9, 13-17
6-05-11:   God’s Promises Fulfilled (God Keeps His Promises) Joshua 1:1b-6; 11:16-19, 21-23 or Joshua 1:1-6; 11:16-23 respectively.
6-12-11:   God Has Expectations (God Expects Obedience) Joshua 1:7-16 or Joshua 1:7-18
6-19-11:   God Protects (God Protects His People) Joshua 2:2-9, 15-16, 22-24

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved

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