We sometimes make much of a new year. But if truth be told, the only thing new about January 1, 2022, will be the date on the calendar. We will still experience the same old climate, the same old government, the same old personal circumstances in our lives. In short, nothing will have changed simply because we have turned the page on another year. As much as we might long for something new, specifically a change for the better, the vast majority of people will find their situation on January 1 to be just what it was on December 31. Undeniably, some of those conditions will be very pleasant: good health, happy family, financial security, and so forth. But even at their very best, those circumstances have been imbued with the consequences of Adam’s sin and the fall, and God’s subsequent curse on mankind and the earth.
Viewing the reality that life is fraught with trouble, the poet William Earnest Henley called life “this place of wrath and tears” and in a testimony of unbelief confessed that beyond it “looms but the horror of the shade.” Clearly, he was not acquainted with the living God of the universe, nor was he familiar with the true and stirring declaration which that God recorded in the last book of the Bible: “I am making all things new” (Rev. 21:5b). The Spirit of God surrounds these words with three testaments to their importance and authenticity. First, He prefaces the statement with these words: “And He who sits on the throne said . . .” (v. 5a). We are to recognize that the sovereign and omnipotent God, creator of heaven and earth, seated on the throne in unchallenged authority, speaks these words. Second, He follows the statement with these words addressed to John: “Write, for these words are faithful and true” (v. 5c). What a remarkable declaration! God, the God of all truth, has spoken. That should be sufficient. But no; He is pleased to add a further confirmation, saying in effect, “You can and you must believe these words.” Third, He gives us that word, Behold, which is intended to make us stand up and take special notice.
This declaration with its combination of emphases serves as a warning against imitating the “mockers” in Peter’s day, who scornfully declared that “ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation” (II Pet. 3:4b). No, the Lord assures us. Sin and its consequences will not forever predominate in the world. God is going to eradicate each and every last vestige of sin and its perverted fruit. All things will be made anew—all things.
Where to start? In the chapter previous to our text, we read that at the end of the millennial kingdom, a “great white throne” will appear with Christ seated upon it as judge, “from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them” (v. 11). Those words describe the destruction of the present universe which God will replace with completely new heavens and a new earth. We cannot possibly conceive the changes that will exist in that new universe, created in perfection and untouched by sin and the curse. But it will contain nothing deadly, poisonous, hurtful, or harmful in any way. Its beauty will be unmarred. It will be free of pestilence. And night and darkness will be forever banished.
Saints from both the old covenant and the new covenant dispensations will live in their new glorified bodies. Death will not exist, nor aging, nor weakness and infirmities. Pain, sickness, suffering, sorrow, and sadness will be gone. When everything is new there will be no sin, no guilt, no shame, no embarrassment, no regret, nor remorse. All will be truly loved, genuinely lovable, and openly loving. No dark memory of sin will cast its shadow. No temptation to sin will wrap its icy fingers about our throats. Every thought will be focused on Christ; every desire will be pure and holy and instantly gratified when the Lord makes all things new. When Christ makes all things new, it will be an unmitigated delight to fellowship with the Lord. To serve Him will be our greatest joy and provide our deepest satisfaction. And moment by moment we will bask in the deep, deep love of our Savior, when Christ makes all things new.
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