So on Wednesday of this week I was asked by our High School pastor if I have ever preached on heaven. I thought about it for less then 1/10th of a second and said “No I have not. Why?” He let me know that they were wrapping up a series on Revelation and they unexpectedly needed someone to close up the series by speaking on Heaven. I told him I would think about doing it. After engaging in some prayer and worship I felt led to tackle the challenge. I have never preached on Heaven but there is a first for everything… right?
One of the things that I am very big on is “New Creation.” That sounds vague and ethereal, but the concept begins with the idea that the world, starting with us humans, is not as it ought to be. You don’t have to look far to know this is true. In fact if you look at yourself you know this is true. You probably have believed that you “should” do one thing but actually end up not doing it. And chances are the majority of your life is like this. So the world isn’t as it ought to be, and everybody knows it. But we all hope that one day it will be as it ought to be. We all hope that one day all the wrongs in this world will be set to right. That’s where “Heaven” enters the discussion. Many of us have placed our hope in heaven. In Heaven we will escape all the bad things in this world. At least that’s the hope. But that isn’t the way the Bible talks about heaven…. in fact the Bible doesn’t talk about heaven much. There are a few references to Heaven here and there (Paul might be talking about Heaven when he talks about departing and being with the Lord in Philippians). But what the Bible does talk about a lot is new creation. New Creation is creation as it ought to be. Its the world in its perfect state. The OT is full of New Creation references (think of all the prophecies people refer to as millennial Kingdom prophecies, these are probably new creation prophecies). The NT, especially Paul’s writings, heavily focuses on New Creation. Paul is pretty insistent on the fact that the resurrection of Christ is the first act of new creation, followed by the conversion of believers. So according to Paul each Christian is a little piece of the new creation. As a Christian you are a foretaste of what is to come! You are a coming attraction…. you are a preview! You get to model it for the world to see. But more than that you are also an agent of New Creation. Jesus calls us to come alongside him as he works to make his kingdom come. When you are doing Kingdom work you are doing new creation work. Because all work that is done for the sake of Christ and the Kingdom will last. It will last for eternity. It will reverberate into new creation.
So here is the challenge: today live out the truth. Live out the fact that you are a preview of New Creation. Live in light of the fact that New Creation is coming and that you are a part of it.