“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.” (Romans8:18-23)
God’s eschatological (end times) salvation will include the whole created order. Just as the created order was affected by the advent of human sin, so it will be by future human redemption. A cosmic liberation from decay awaits the final, full redemption of the children of God. The redemption of nature is to be associated with that of believer’ bodies. Three statements underlie the eager expectation of creation: because of human sin, God subjected the created order to frustration (Genesis 3:17-19); the created order is presently in bondage to decay; and it has been and yet continues to groan with birth pains.
The analogy of travail suggests the coming to be of something new. Creation is not what it should be due to human sin. It cannot serve its true function of glorifying God. It decays and thus goes nowhere. It is temporary rather than eternal. It suffers pain rather than being the arena of peace. It can look forward to a new glory whem God creates a mew earth!
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, there will be two separate and distinct end time experiences. One is for believers who have accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior and we will indeed, witness and new created world, without blemish. The second is for those who refuse Christ and ultimately You, thus entering the place prepared for those who refused to humble themselves and serve You. I pray that all those who have refused You up to this point, will finally turn towards You and accept you in light of the second experience that they have been heading headlong towards and enjoy the new world. In Jesus’ precious name that we pray. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Many books inform, but the Bible transforms!”
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” (2nd Corinthians5:17-19)
The inclusion of the world (Greek – kosmos) in the message and ministry of reconciliation lifts the thought beyond only individualistic reconciliation. Clearly, individual believers, being by faith “in Christ,” are new creations, reconciled to God through Christ. This, however, is part of the large cosmic reconciliation that happens “in Christ.”
The final expression of creation’s future share in redemption is the new heavens and new earth which emerge after the first heaven and first earth have passed away. The light of revelation enables believers to look for such cosmic newness (2nd Peter 3:13). The work of transformation has begun in Christ. Creation, human history, and salvation will finally converge in the consummation of all things in the advent of the eternal order.
“Jesus said to them, ‘I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.’” (Matthew19:28)
Personal redemption is a present foretaste in miniature of future cosmic renewal. The time at which Christ sits enthroned is called “the renewal of all things” (Greek – palingenesia). The broad sweep of the term suggests a new beginning for all creation. Titus 3:5 is the only other New Testament occurrence of the Greek word. The eschatological (end times) renewal of all things matches the spiritual renewal that properly follows the rebirth of believers through the Spirit. The meaning of the apostles siting on thrones and judging the twelve tribes has variously interpreted.
SECOND THOUGHT of the DAY:
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.” (Revelation21:1)
The final vision of the age to come is told in terms of a new heaven and a new earth. Newness is the ultimate expression of the full accomplishment of redemption. As applied to heaven and earth, the newness means total liberation from the bondage to sin and decay. Whether this is correctly interpreted as being a cosmological change, a spiritual change, or both, the new heaven and earth express an eschatological newness that will be accomplished only the victory of Christ. He new creation is God’s environment provision for the final redemption of humans.