August 11 2022
Today, Thursday August 11
“A Prepared Place”
“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, 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 heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful." And He said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.”
Yesterday, someone in their comments under our Pastor’s Chat post, reminded us of 1 Corinthians 2:9, “But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him." When I read and think about this verse, I also think about what the Lord Jesus told His disciples in John 14:1-3, "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”
I often will read this passage at the home-going celebration to the grieving family and friends of a believer who has gone to be with the Lord, and make the following comments, “God created this beautiful universe and world in which we live in only six days. Now for two-thousand years Jesus has been preparing a place for us in heaven. If He only took six days to create the world, we can’t begin to imagine what heaven will be like that He has been preparing for two-thousand years!”
I also remind them, that heaven is “prepared” place, but only for a “prepared” people. And there is only one way to prepare to go there and Jesus also made that clear in the John 14 passage. He said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father but my Me!” The only way to be “prepared” is through the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross of Calvary and His resurrection! There is no other way!
The first heaven and earth were prepared for the first man and woman and their descendants. God had readied everything for them when He placed them in the Garden. Unfortunately, our first parents sinned, ushering death and decay into God's beautiful world. Today the original creation is in bondage and travail (Rom. 8:18-23), and even the heavens "are not clean in His sight" (Job 15:15).
In Isaiah 65:17-19, God promised His people a new heaven and earth: "For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; For behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, And her people a joy. I will rejoice in Jerusalem, And joy in My people; The voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her, Nor the voice of crying.” In the very last chapter of Isaiah God said it again: "For as the new heavens and the new earth Which I will make shall remain before Me," says the LORD…” (Isaiah 66:22).
The old creation must make way for the new creation if God is to be glorified. Jesus called this event "the regeneration" of the earth (Matt. 19:28), and Peter explained it as a cleansing and renewing by fire. “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” (2 Peter 3:10-13)
Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people. Peter then asked the question, “What manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness….”, as we “look for new heavens and a new earth”.