Every Living Thing Week 8: New
The final message in the “Every Living Thing” series, “New” is available here or you can watch it below. (Side note: This is probably the last sermon recap blog post for a little while, because I am going on maternity leave. Thanks for reading and pondering the messages with me each week!)
On Sunday Pastor Dan wrapped up the Every Living Thing series with a beautiful message on the new heavens and the new earth that are talked about in Revelation. It made me so excited for when all is restored and redeemed and things as are they were meant to be since the very beginning!
We walked through portions of Revelation 21-22 that talk about God’s restored creation – what believers in Jesus have to look forward to.
I loved that Pastor Dan pointed out that this is a very real, physical, material place. When I was little, I kind of dreaded heaven. In my mind, it sounded boring. I always pictured white and clouds and floating along singing all day, every day. I never pictured heaven the way the Bible actually describes it — a vibrant city with plants and animals and beauty and food. But why didn’t I picture it the right, biblical way?
Honestly, I think much of the way we tend to think has been influenced by a philosophy called Gnosticism. This is an ancient idea — we see it in Plato’s thoughts, and it was very influential in the early church. In fact, some of the New Testament writers combat this ideology in their writings. You see, people had started to believe that the physical world was bad and the spiritual world was good. This meant that anything material was “less than” anything spiritual. This wasn’t true, and it was a Greek idea that combated so much of what we see in Jewish thought all throughout the Bible. So when John writes his Gospel, he takes a lot of time to talk about Jesus’ humanity — he points out that when Jesus died on the cross, he saw a spear pierce His side and blood and water flowed out. John is trying to show the Gnostics that Jesus was God but also had a physical body.
Gnosticism has crept into some of our thinking even today, although we don’t realize it. And I think this is why I had a poor idea of heaven when I was younger. Somehow, a heaven that is void of the physical seems more “spiritual” to us. But that’s not what the Bible describes!
In the beginning, God creates a very physical world and calls it good. And in the end, He makes it all new, and it is good as well! This physical world that we are in today is marred by sin, but that doesn’t give us license to ignore our responsibility to care for it.
I’ve loved this sermon series — I’ve learned new things about caring for God’s creation, and I’ve been reminded of the great joy and delight God takes in all that He has made.
I’m having a baby quite soon, and I recently ordered a new children’s book called The Biggest Story.
It’s beautifully written and illustrated and I think I like it more than my baby will! It walks the reader through the biblical story and ends with the new heavens and earth:
The Snake Crusher is coming back again to wipe away all the bad guys and wipe away every tear. he’s coming to make a new beginning and to finish what he started. He’s coming to give us the home we once had and might have forgotten that we lost.
So let’s keep waiting for him. Keep believing in him. Keep trusting that the story isn’t over yet. God’s promises never fail and the Promised One never disappoints.
As we wrap up this series, let’s look forward to the day when all is made new. Let’s pray for those who have not yet repented of their sin and accepted Jesus’ beautiful gift of salvation. And let’s do what we can to glorify God through the beauty of all He has created.