May 02, 2021
Pastor Clint Ziemer
Audio of the sermon preached on May 2, 2021, at Cable Community Church, Sherrard, IL
All Things New
Revelation 21:1-5, 22-27
The famous explorer Marco Polo after completing his journeys went back to his home in Venice. When he got back to his home he began to describe some of the things he had seen. But his close friends thought he had gone mad. He told then about black stones that you could actually set on fire and they would provide heat for you. But they could not imagine what he was talking about .... they had never heard of charcoal. He told them about a piece of cloth that as hard as he tried he could not set it on fire. But they could not imagine what he was talking about ... they had never heard of asbestos. He told them about large animals that were almost 20 feet long. Had jaws large enough to swallow a man but they could not imagine what he was talking about .. they had never seen a crocodile. Then he told them of a substance that came spewing out of the ground that if you lit it, it would catch on fire and actually provide light but they could not imagine because they had never heard of crude oil.
Years later when Marco Polo was lying on his death bed one of the few men who actually believed him was there and he said tell me all of those stories again. I want to hear them again. But he refused and simply said it’s all true ... every bit of it. In fact, I have not told you half of what I saw.
In AD 90 John the apostle was sent to an island called Patmos. He was sent as punishment to live in isolation because of his witness for Christ. It was while he was there that he was given a vision and he wrote down the book of Revelation. I believe if John could speak to us today that he would tell us that he has not told us half of what he saw. When Paul was caught up into the 3rd heaven he said that he heard inexpressible things; things that man is not permitted to tell.
Today I want to talk about a future of hope -- a hope for tomorrow. A day when God makes all things new.. Turn with me to the book of Revelation, chapter 21, v. 1. [READ REV. 21: 1-5, 22-27]
- A new heaven and a new earth
- We are the first-fruits of a new creation
- The former things are passed away
- Some of you may be grimacing there. Everything on this earth, everything of this earth, will pass away. It will all be gone.
- Often times what most hinders a Christian's spiritual development and witness is where he has his heart.
- If your heart is on the things of this world, your focus is off of God's plan.
- If your heart is on the things of heaven, you're right in tune with God.
- Ray Stedman in Talking to My Father, writes:
- An old missionary couple had been working in Africa for years, and they were returning to New York City to retire. They had no pension; their health was broken; they were defeated, discouraged, and afraid. They discovered they were booked on the same ship as President Teddy Roosevelt, who was returning from one õof his big-game hunting expeditions.
- No one paid attention to them. They watched the fanfare that accompanied the President’s entourage, with passengers trying to catch a glimpse of the great man.
- As the ship moved across the ocean, the old missionary said to his wife, “Something is wrong. Why should we have given our lives in faithful service for God in Africa all these many years and have no one care a thing about us? Here this man comes back from a hunting trip and everybody makes much over him, but nobody gives two hoots about us.”
- “Dear, you shouldn’t feel that way,” his wife said.
- “I can’t help it; it doesn’t seem right.”
- When the ship docked in New York, a band was waiting to greet the President. The mayor and other dignitaries were there. The papers were full of the President’s arrival, but no one noticed this missionary couple. They slipped off the ship and found a cheap flat on the East side, hopingó the next day to see what they could do to make a living in the city.
- That night the man’s spirit broke. He said to his wife, “I can’t take this; God is not treating us fairly.”
- His wife replied, “Why don’t you go in the bedroom and tell that to the Lord?”
- A short time later he came out from the bedroom, but now his face was completely different. His wife asked, “Dear, what happened?”
- “The Lord settled it with me,” he said. “I told him how bitter I was that the President should receive this tremendous homecoming, when no one met us as we returned home. And when I finished, it seemed as though the Lord put his hand on my shoulder and simply said, ‘But you’re not home yet!’”
- All vestiges of sin are erased
- Look at what's missing
- No temple
- no sacrifice
- no need for instruction
- The church, the Body of Christ will have a new function in heaven.
- No longer will we be witnesses to the lost, no longer the sole channel of God's love, no more prophecies, no more prayers for healing. God will be working directly. No more intermediaries.
- No sun nor moon
- no opportunity for sin
- no variableness nor shadow
- No doors on the gates
- no enemies to ward off
- no access denied
- Nothing impure will ever enter there
- it will remain pure
- it will retain its splendor to everlastingThe holy city -- The new Jerusalem
- Its origin and decoration
- from heaven - not of human design, will or origin
- from God - his handiwork, his creation, his splendor
- appeared as a bride
- What a beautiful picture. A Bride. Nothing is more thoroughly prepared than a bride for her wedding day.
- Nothing is more beautiful.
- Described as a city
- The final proclamation
- God dwells with man - tabernacles - "pitches His tent" - with men
- Direct ministry of God
- The old order gone - not like it is today
- In today's world of hopelessness, it's great to understand that we believers have hope for tomorrow. That our problems of today will not be carried into eternity. All of the sin of this world will be thrown away and a new world is being prepared for us.
- A world in which God dwells with men and ministers directly to us. A city where all of God's creation is living together in his love. A new life, where access to God is never denied.
- Can you share in that hope this morning?
- All who's names are written in the Lamb's book of life do. In just a few moments I want to sing that song on page 404, "My hope is built on nothing less…"
- But before we do, I want to offer you an invitation to prayer. Many people today have no hope. They are caught up with worry, given over to drinking, and drug abuse - which the despair of these times fosters.
- These are all sure signs of their hopelessness. I want to invite you to do two things. First, after we sing this song, and before we begin our communion service, let us pray for those caught up in the things that I just mentioned, above. Let us pray for people all around us who are hurting and need the healing that only Jesus brings.
- Finally, I want to pray for our nation. Pray for a realignment of our national priorities. Pray for a reevaluation of our school's teaching methods. Pray for unity across the races. Pray for God's love to be known by all.
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