Sir Isaac Newton had a replica of our solar system made in miniature. In the center was the sun with its retinue of planets revolving around it. A scientist entered Newton's study one day, and exclaimed, "My! What an exquisite thing this is! Who made it?" "Nobody!" replied Newton to the questioner who was an unbeliever. "You must think I am a fool. Of course somebody made it, and he is a genius."
Laying his book aside, Newton arose and laid a hand on his friend's shoulder and said: "This thing is but a puny imitation of a much grander system whose laws you and I know, and I am not able to convince you that this mere toy is without a designer and maker; yet you profess to believe that the great original from which the design is taken has come into being without either designer or maker. Now tell me, by what sort of reasoning do you reach such incongruous conclusions?"
Turn to Genesis 1:1 We're starting with the first chapter of the Bible and we're going finish with the last chapter of the Bible. Genesis 1:1, In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. There's a lot wrapped up in these ten words. "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth."
When I was a student at Collegedale Academy, I took a speech class. I had hoped that it would help me to get over my stage- fright. But I think that it made it worse! One occasion that didn't help was the day that we had to make an extemporaneous speech. That meant that just before you gave your speech you had to walk up to the board and take off a slip of paper. On the back side of that paper was the topic you were about to speak on. I hate when that happens. When my turn came, my heart sank. The topic that I received was "Sports". If you were in academy with me you would understand that. I was the least athletic of anybody. I knew less about sports than any girl in that class. And there I was, faced with all these athletes, and they knew within thirty seconds that I knew nothing about sports. I sat down before my three minutes were up. I felt like falling through the floor. You know, when you get embarrassed in a situation like that you berate yourself. I should have said this, I should have said that. If I had only thought of this I could have come out okay and I berated myself for two years.
Later, while a student at Southern Missionary College, I was required to take a speech class. Once again came the day for the extemporaneous speech. I was even more nervous than when I had been in academy. This time, after you were standing behind the little lectern, the teacher would tell you what you were about to speak about. My turn came. Dr. Dick looked at me and said, "Kent, talk to us today about Sports." I thought I would die. But then I remembered all of the things that I wish that I had said when I faced with this topic before. I gave a three point discourse complete with introduction and conclusion. They almost couldn't shut me up. I felt redeemed!
Frederick the Great needed a new court chaplain. He decided to base his selection on the way in which applicants would deliver an extemporaneous sermon. The text, in a sealed envelope, was to be handed to each applicant as he entered the pulpit.
In church, on the appointed day, a courtier handed one of the ministers a sealed envelope. Opening it, the minister found a blank sheet of paper. He held up one side and exclaimed: "My brethren, here is nothing."
Then he held up the other side, and added: "And here is nothing. It was out of nothing God created all things."
He then proceeded to deliver a dynamic discourse on the power and wonders of creation. He received the appointment.
What was it like? What was yesterday like? What was it like to live when the world was new? This is hard for us to imagine since we have never seen perfection. The closest I ever came to perfection is when I met Susan. The closest that we usually come to perfection is when we see something new, like a new leaf opening up, or new child. But all too soon the ailments and deformities if sin show up. Let's look at what the Bible says about the way things were supposed to be.
1. A New Earth We already looked at the first verse of the Bible, so let s look at Isaiah 45:18. For this is what the Lord says-he who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited-he says, "I am the Lord, and there is no other."
We were no accident! He created this world to be inhabited. Sometimes I look at my wife and tell her, "You were an accident. You shouldn't be here. Look at all the trouble you get into." But, wait... We were intended to be here!
There is a purpose. What purpose! Well, evidently there is one. He created this world to be inhabited. Let's change over to Psalm 33:8,9. Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the people of the world revere him. For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded and it stood firm. Aren't you glad it's standing firm today? It's amazing how firm this planet is standing after all we've done to it. He created it to sustain us. And it is still doing that job today but not a well as it used to. He spoke and it came to be. Can you imagine that?! Speak, and out of nothingness come something. It's beyond comprehension.
Graffiti was once seen on a washroom wall at M.I.T. It said this:
mv2 Ze2 n "And God Said, -- = --- , mvr = -- .... r r2 h And the equation went on and on, and ended, "And there was light."
Do you think God needed an equation? I don't think He did. He knew the equation but He didn't need it. He spoke and there, it happened.
Not only was the Earth new, there was
2. A New Race Look at Genesis 1:26-28. Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."
So God created man in His own image, in the image of God he created them.
God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."
We just finished studying this Wednesday night prayer meeting how when Noah came out of the ark, he was suddenly terrified of all the animals which he had been having in the ark. And angel was sent by God, saying, "You don't need to be afraid of them, they're going to be afraid of you. But you will no longer be the master that God intended.
Perfection! That's what God created when He created us. He created perfection. No deformities, no ailments. Can you imagine that? What was this new race to do?
They were to work, to
3. Labor for Pleasure Look at Genesis 2:15 The Lord took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. This was not work! This was a hobby, a full-time hobby! Can you imagine having all the time that you ever wanted for every hobby you wanted? How would you like unlimited hobby time? Doesn't that sound good? That's the way it was meant to be.
This new race also experienced the most perfect
4. Sabbath Look at Genesis 2:1-3. Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.
By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
Adam and Eve were there. They had just gotten married. And there we had the Sabbath and marriage, the two institutions that came from heaven. The way things were meant to be. The only thing left to fill out this picture of perfection is
5. Open Communication with God Himself. Look at Genesis 2:16. And the Lord God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die. There we have direct communication from God to Adam and Eve. They had no question about what they were supposed to do. We often spend our time looking, "Lord, what is Your will for my life?" They could go right to Him and ask Him. Wow, what a luxury!
What a creation! What a world to live in! But we messed up. We wanted something more. We did not trust that God had already given us the best of the best. We sinned and the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Nobody can deny that there is death in the world today. Because of my job, my children (ages 4 and 7) have attended more funerals than I had by the time I was 35! Death effects more than just us humans. It's for God's creatures. I don't know how many 'possums I passed this morning, but they weren't living. Death effects us all. We see the leaves turning brown. Trees are dying. The world is not the way it used to be. What happened to
1. The New Earth It's showing its age. Turn to Isaiah 51:6. Lift up your eyes to the heavens, look at the earth beneath; the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment and its inhabitants die like flies. I'm glad that verse doesn't end right there. That's all true. This world is wearing out like a garment, people are dropping like flies. But my salvation will last forever, my righteousness will never fail. I am so grateful for that. I'm glad this verse ends with good news! This Earth is showing its age. Earthquakes, floods, famines, fires, tornadoes, hurricanes. You name it. They have all increased significantly in both numbers and severity in recent years. Not to mention the effects of man through war, pollution, and mismanagement. And what about
2. The New Race. Romans 3:23 says that ...all have sinned... H.M.S. Richards once said; "Every cradle is a prophecy of the grave." Just look at what has happened to the perfect race: Cancer, Aids, Emphysema, T.B., Small Pox, Chicken Pox, Pneumonia, the common Cold, Influenza, Strep Throat, V.D., deformities, mental illness, divorce, suicide, Alcoholism, drug abuse, murder, homelessness, starvation, war, child abuse....and put yours right in there with them. That's what's going on here. This is what we asked for in the Garden of Eden.
And what happened to
3. Labor for Pleasure? - Turn to Genesis 3:17-19. To Adam He said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it,'
Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return."
So much for the hobby time! Now, people complain if they work and they complain if they don't. "I need a job. I don't like my job." We look forward to retirement only to look back at the 'good ole days' as we wonder what to do with ourselves. "I'm busier now than before I was retired." No matter what we do with work, it's always followed by a complaint. A hard week at work does make us look forward to the Sabbath more but what is happening to
4. The Sabbath Daniel 7 speaks about man's attempt to change the times and laws. Man is trying to do away with both of creations institutions. The Sabbath and Marriage are two primary targets of Satan. And it's working. Don't let Satan take either marriage or the Sabbath from you! We wouldn't spend so much of our time wondering what to do if we still had
5. Open Communication with God
God has not pulled away, we have pulled away from Him. Turn to Isaiah 59:1,2. Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear. For your iniquities have separated you from your God. Your sins have hidden His face from you so that He will not hear.
What a difference from the original plan! What plan do you like" Plan A of plan B? Is there any hope of going back to Eden?
Plan A. Look at Acts 3:19-21. Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that He may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you - even Jesus. He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as He promised long ago through His holy prophets. Restore everything! First off, your life needs to be forgiven, washed in the blood of the Lamb, made as white as this sheet of paper so that God can write your future upon that. And then He will be able to restore all things.
The Dominion lost by King Adam, the first man, will be restored by King Jesus, the Son of Man! Jesus will come again and the righteous will rise and together with the righteous living will claim Heaven. The millennium will pass and the wicked dead will meet their judgement. And then the people of God, the children of Adam who have been born again through the faith of the Second Adam - Jesus Christ - will enter Eden, once again!
Yes, there will be a
1. New Earth Look at 2 Peter 3:13. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. Can you imagine? This is going to be a better creation than before because you and I can watch it happen. We can watch God take nothing and make something out of it. We can watch Him work those grand equations in the new earth up here. Can you imagine watching this take place? We will be the
2. New Race Turn to Isaiah 35:5,6,10. Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shall shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert....and the ransomed of the Lord will return. Back to plan A. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads, Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away. Can you imagine that? A new race: no hospitals, no funeral homes! But there will be plenty to do.
We will once again
3. Labor for Pleasure Look at Isaiah 65:21-25. "They will build houses and dwell in them; they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit. No longer will they build houses and others live in them, or plant and others eat. For as long as the days of a tree, so will be the days of my people; my chosen ones will long enjoy the works of their hands. They will not toil in vain or bear children doomed to misfortune; for they will be a people blessed by the Lord, they and their descendants with them.
Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.
The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, but the dust will be the serpent's food. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain."
We will not longer be working for someone else, we'll be doing things we wish to do. Labor for pleasure. And what about
4. The Sabbath Look at Isaiah 66:22,23. "As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me," declares the Lord, "so will your name and descendants endure. From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me," says the Lord." That's what Sabbath was all about: being there before God. But we don't have to wait for Sabbath in the new earth to be before God. We can communicate with Him face to face any day that we wish.
5. Open Communication with God Turn to Revelation 22:3,4. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. Once again, face to face with God, all will be restored.
I wish that my speech teachers had given me a different topic. If, rather than saying "Sports", they had said "Sports Cars", I could have given them an earful. That was my thing. I subscribed to and read Motor Trend, Road and Track, Car and Driver, Automobile, and Auto Week! I read them cover to cover every month and every week. I was a walking encyclopedia of statistics about cars. And I still like cars. I finally have purchased my dream sports car. Do you want to see it? [He holds up a model Mustang car.] Right there. A fine Mustang. It cost me ten dollars, and it's mine! I keep it in my office. I wont be able to afford the real thing until my children finish college. By then this will be a rusty antique and so will I. Will I miss this in heaven? Many fear that Heaven (teenagers) might be a little bit boring. Look at
Isaiah 65:17 says: "Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered." Why won't they be remembered? The former things will be boring. How many of you enjoyed "Hot Wheels" after you learned how to drive? Well, I still kind of like them, but when you learned how to drive they became boring. We have the real thing. This world is not the real thing. Heaven is the real thing. This is merely a shadow of what is to come. What about you who are facing trials today? Will you be thinking about them in heaven? How great are those trials? Some of you are going through stuff other could not believe.
When Ellen White was taken in vision to heaven she looked around and some of her friends were trying to figure out what their worst trials were and the had a hard time recalling them because of what they saw around them far outweighed what had passed behind. And that's when she cried out, "Alleluia! Heaven is cheap enough!"
Do you want to be there? Be faithful here. Let your life be like this sheet of white paper, forgiven and ready to be written on by Jesus. Don't let the things and the trials of this place keep you from that world! It's not worth it. Don't let what you're going through in your family keep you from God's heavenly family. Don't get that divorce, it's only a short time left before Jesus gets here. Don't let that take up your time. Serve Jesus. Don't quit school. Time is short, you need to learn all you can. Get ready for Jesus to come. Don't go bankrupt. Give you money to Jesus. He takes care of you. Don't let the things that we deal with every day keep us from thinking of what we'll be dong for eternity. It's not worth it. Heaven is cheap enough. Don't let the things and the trials of this place keep you from that place. Hold fast till He comes because Yesterday will be Tomorrow!
Hymn of Praise: #4, Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven Scripture: Revelation 22:1-5 Hymn of Response: #428, Sweet By ad By
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last updated 10/18/2000 by Bob Beckett.