Jan Rogers From My Mountains

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is among the people, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.’ 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 21:1-5

Renewal. Newness. These are words that come to mind when spring arrives. Nature, having been created by God, understands the concept of renewal. It’s easy to see. From the happy faces of jaunty daffodils to the royal robes of weeping cherries; from the diminutive soft purples of dancing grape hyacinths to the white popcorn blossoms of Bradford pears; nature “gets it.”

These words written by the Apostle John from the Island of Patmos point forward to a future time. Before we see this New Jerusalem, this world as we know it will no longer exist. Those who have believed in Jesus Christ will have left the world. The Battle of H’armeggedon will already have taken place, Christ will have reigned on earth for 1,000 years, and Satan will have been chained in the abyss and then released and defeated. All people from the beginning of time will have been judged and those who rejected Jesus will have been sent to the lake of fire to dwell in all eternity there. And finally, after all of that, the glorious city God is preparing for us even now will be raised up and we will enter in to rejoice for all eternity because as it says, God is making ALL things new.

As I have said so often, God has a plan and this is it. This is his plan for the ages and every single person will be eternally affected by it in one way or another.

Finding newness can be a wonderful thing. But, it can be a difficult and challenging thing as well because it always involves change, and change is something that requires us to move outside of our comfort zone. Whether it’s a new job or moving to a new place or finding a “new normal” in the midst of trying circumstances, it’s still change.

In many situations change on the outside usually can come only after there are changes on the inside. I recall in my younger days moving from one place to the next just hoping change for the better would come. But I finally recognized that the issues I had simply moved with me. It wasn’t until I faced those issues and dealt with them that renewal began to take place.

There is another kind of “newness” the Bible mentions. Even though this time John writes about is future that doesn’t mean that we need to wait until then to experience renewal. Look at what Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, this person is a new creation; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” This truth applies to every single person who makes a choice to renounce the world and become a child of God.

Our God is in the restoration business. He can make beauty out of ashes. He can redeem wasted years. It doesn’t matter what your life has been up to this point. Colossians 1:13-14 illustrates this truth: “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

This truth is eternally life-saving. You don’t have to wait. The future is right now and true renewal is possible. Just come. Jesus is waiting.

Jan Rogers is a local author and Bible Study teacher. She and her husband, Michael, moved to Greeneville in 1995 and live on a mini-farm in the Camp Creek area.

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