21st October 2011

What Lies Ahead

…we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth”
1 Peter 3:13 (NIV UK)

Are you optimistic about the future?

Perhaps you’ve heard of the writer H G Wells? He penned The War of the Worlds. When it was adapted for radio in the US in late October 1938, some listeners thought that we were actually being invaded by aliens from Mars.

H G Wells also wrote The Time Machine, which has been made twice into a film and into a TV mini-series. In it a scientist imagines that the future must be a better place, and he invents a time machine to transport him there. When he arrives hundreds of thousands of years into the future, he is disillusioned. The world has become inhospitable to humankind. Only annihilation lies ahead for the few warring men and women who remain. So the hero returns back to his own time. Once home he tries to warn everyone that something needs to be done in order to avoid such a grim future.

One wonders whether, if left to our own devices, we would all end up on the brink of extinction as he described. Thankfully Jesus has saved us from that potential destiny.

God declares that in Jesus he is “making everything new!” (Revelation 21:5). “Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth…be glad and rejoice forever in what I create” (Isaiah 65:17-18). This is talking about changing our world completely into something better than what we see around us. “The former things will not be remembered”, and “the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more” (vs 18-19). In fact, says the Bible, this transformation has begun already in us Christians. We are the forerunners of God’s new world.

Christians at the time of Peter and Paul had got so distracted that they lost their spiritual perspective. They got so caught up in what was happening around them that they forgot what matters. We are just like them, are we not?  “What counts”, said Paul to them and now to us, “is a new creation” (Galatians 6:15).

So, are you optimistic about the future? I know I am. The future is safe in God’s hands.

“See”, says God, “I am doing a new thing!” (Isaiah 43:19).

Great Father, who promises the new heavens and the new earth, thank you that the work of this new creation has begun is us through Jesus. Guide us through the Spirit to walk in our newness of life.

Study by James Henderson

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