I’ve written about the wreckage we live in, this side of Eden. Sin has messed us up, it has messed up the world; but both you (and I) and the world have hope for renewal. Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, at 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” (Matt. 19:28). He was talking to the 12 apostles, but we will experience this renewal of all things too. Heaven is no vague thing with us floating on a cloud, that’s a secular version, not what the Bible teaches. Listen, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and earth had passed away…” (Rev. 21:1). At the end of time, when Christ returns and this world ends as we know it, it won’t go away, it will be renewed! We will have a New Eden, where we live free from the impact of sin. Oh, the stories that will be told. Just imagine…
You’re sitting on the green grass looking out over the beautiful landscape. The sun feels so good, the perfect temperature. There are ocean waves crashing up against the beach in the distance, creating a soothing sound you love to hear. And then you see him, walking over the crest of the hill with a crowd. It’s Moses! What a striking figure, beard running down his chest. Everyone settles into place, Moses stands on a rock, and with acoustics that allow all to hear exactly what he says, he starts to talk. “I can remember the time when we stood in a place much like this. We could hear the waves crashing against the beach of the Red Sea. Thousands upon thousands stood behind me, anxious to know what would occur as the Egyptian army raced toward us. And then, I raised my staff toward heaven…”
Another time and you are visiting the holy land, walking the terrain, thinking about all that has happened here. As you top the hill and look out over the valley before you, with a small creek running through the valley, you hear voices over in a grove of olive trees. You walk toward the sound and find a group of people listening to the storyteller. Intrigued you set down among them, and you hear a strapping young man named David begin. “Yes, he was a big man. Stood about 9 feet tall. About the size of that statue Michelangelo made of me years later. His armor looked like it weighed more than me, his spear was long enough to pierce three men with a single throw. I would have been unable to defeat him in a normal battle. But God was with me, and I had a skill. I went to the banks of that creek you see down in the valley and picked up five smooth stones, putting them in my pouch. His forehead would be my target. I sighed deeply, then I started to run toward him…”
And as time goes by you encounter Noah, oh what tales he has for you, you listen as Methuselah speaks about all that he saw in his 969 years on earth; you set in wonder as Elijah sets the stage for his battle with the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. When he’s done, he says he wants to tell you something else that is unique, and he talks of the whirlwind and chariots of fire that took him into God’s presence without experiencing death. One day, as you have your morning coffee, you see a couple walk by. They come to your door and knock. You recognize them somehow. They want to tell you about naming all the animals, and the joyous time of the first Eden. Will there never be an end to the wonder of it all?
Then there’s Jesus! And, us ordinary folk. We have stories too. Won’t it be grand?!
“He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.” (Rev. 22)