Wednesday, November 28, 2018

And earth and Heav’n be one - the renewal of all things.

Where is the hope that does not disappoint? If that is what you are looking for then read on. 

This is my Father’s world:
Oh, let me ne’er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the ruler yet.

This is my Father’s world,
The battle is not done:
Jesus who died shall be satisfied,
And earth and Heav’n be one.
Maltbie Babcock - 1901 

Christian’s hope is not based on a study of the end - for he looks forward in hope to the beginning again of creation. The fire of God - for His elect purpose - is not a fire of annihilation, but one of refinement. Its purpose is to present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. Refiner’s fire!

Instead of the end - I much prefer to use the word consummation. We are looking toward the summing up of all things in Him.

Let us look to another of the great anthems of the church.

'Mid toil and tribulation,
and tumult of her war,
she waits the consummation
of peace for evermore;
till with the vision glorious
her longing eyes are blest,
and the great church victorious
shall be the church at rest.
Samuel J. Stone 

The prophetic romantic quill of King Solomon scribes. 

“Who is this coming up from the wilderness
            Leaning on her beloved?”
“Put me like a seal over your heart,
            Like a seal on your arm.
            For love is as strong as death,
            Jealousy is as severe as Sheol;
            Its flashes are flashes of fire,
            The very flame of the LORD.”
Song of Solomon 8:5-6

Turning to the Gospel account we read these somewhat perplexing words of our Savior. Yet may we more than read - let us hear in the very depths of our being this anchor of our soul..

"Truly I say to you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God." Mark 14:25 

A contemporary author postulates, “Jesus assumes a day is coming when very real things like drinking wine together will take place in the kingdom of God. When all things are made new.“

Another expresses a similar surety.

O I am my Beloved’s 
And my Beloved is mine! 
He brings a poor vile sinner 
Into His house of wine 
I stand upon His merit - 
I know no other stand, 
Anne Cousin 

Our Lord here refers to the time of the regeneration of all things, when the heavenly kingdom shall appear in the fullness of its glory; and when his disciples, who now feed upon him sacramentally and by faith, shall then eat at his table in his kingdom, and drink of the river of his pleasures for ever. Pulpit Commentary .

Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, in the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on His glorious throne, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” Matthew 19:28  (Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! 1 Corinthians 6:3) 

The Greek word used here for “renewal” is palingenesia, which is derived from two root words: paling, meaning “again,” and genesia, meaning “beginning,” which of course hearkens back to Genesis. Genesis again. Eden restored. Could it possibly be?

This word is used in only one other place n the New Testament: “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,“ Titus 3:5 The reference is to be born-again. 

Beginning again - or born again!  Yet it is accompanied by travail - or birth pangs. The Lord is not just addressing individuals - but all of creation. “and God saw that it was good.” Genesis 1:25b 

The word eschatology is incorrect. The Church of God should not be concerned about the end, but the renewal of all things where finally righteousness and justice reign supreme as the very foundation of the Living Temple of God. “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Lovingkindness and truth go before You.” Psalm 89:14 

For what else could these words of Paul mean?: “that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.” Romans 8:21-22

Jesus declares of Himself, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end." Revelation 22:13  What He starts He brings to fulfillment. His purpose as the Creator of all things cannot fail of realization. The end is implanted in the beginning. The divine Alpha guarantees the attainment of the divine Omega.1  Philip E. Hughes

In anticipation of the return of Christ the Early Church was not looking for the end - but the beginning again. The conclusion of one age would be the beginning again of a new and eternal one. 

And He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." And He said, "Write, for these words are faithful and true." Revelation 21:5 Is He faithful or not? 

These are the words that emanated from Patmos to bring hope and encouragement to a persecuted church. “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.” Revelation 1:3 This is not doom and gloom - it is hope and joy. Apocalypse does not mean destruction - it means revelation, vision. "Prophecy" must not be narrowed down to the vulgar meaning of foretelling future events; it is the forth telling of the mind of God. Pulpit Commentary

The Revelation of Jesus Christ,... Rev 1:1 And please do not refer to it as revelations!  It is not plural, but singular. The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of this prophecy, as of all others. The Father gives this to the Son whom He loves, and shows Him all things that Himself doeth. Charles Ellicott 

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, Hebrews 6:19 An anchor cannot find a grip on an ethereal prospect - its surety is found only in the rock of ages. 

And with the hymnist we exult in hope.

The church's one Foundation
is Jesus Christ her Lord;
she is His new creation,
by water and the Word;
from heav'n He came and sought her
to be His holy bride;
with His own blood He bought her,
and for her life He died.

Samuel J. Stone

And from a contemporary psalmist.

For I know that my eyes shall see You, 
In the latter days to come. 
When You stand on the earth, 
With my lips, I will confess 
That the hope of my heart is come, 
That the hope of my heart is come. 

Robin Mark 

Then the seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and loud voices called out in heaven: "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign forever and ever." Revelation 11:15 

1 As the seed is to the harvest, so the omega (destiny) is already present in the alpha (origin), for it is both the promise and the achievement, both the potential and the goal, the end that lies hidden in the beginning; and the unbreakable line that connects the first and the last is “the purpose of him who works (accomplishes) all things according to the counsel of his will,...” (Eph 1:11).