Isaiah 65:17. For behold, I create new heavens
and a new earth,
Are you excited about going to heaven? Escaping this earth forever? Leaving this world behind?
But what if I told you that our eternal destiny in Christ does not lie in “going to heaven?” Our future isn’t one of escaping. It’s actually much better.
You see, God’s plan for our future is not to take us to heaven, but for “heaven” to come to us. As Isaiah says, God’s plan is for the creation of a new heavens and a new earth. Do you remember Genesis 1:1? “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The universe. The physical creation. Isaiah is telling us that God is going to do it again. This world is going to get the biggest cosmic make-over ever. It’s called the New Creation.
But won’t God destroy this earth and start over? Well, let’s think about Jesus. Was Jesus destroyed and re-created? No, he died and was resurrected. Jesus didn’t come back to life as a completely different person with a completely different body. He came back with the same body, but glorified. And Jesus still has his same human body, the same holes in his hands and side. His dead body was not tossed aside by God; it was transformed by God.
God’s New Creation isn’t a complete “do over.” It’s a resurrection. And Jesus’ own resurrection is the “first-fruits” of that final resurrection. This means that what happened to Jesus will happen to all who are in Christ. And what happened to Jesus will happen to all of creation. Christ will renew, restore, and redeem the old. Jesus himself called his final work the “renewal of all things” (Matt. 19:28-29).
What this means is that God is just as concerned with our physical being as he is our spiritual being. His plan has never been to destroy the physical and turn us all into harp playing angels floating around in a dis-embodied state in heaven forever. His plan is for us to live forever in “spiritual bodies” that are glorified and yet physical, just like Jesus’ resurrected body, forever worshiping him with all of our heart, mind, and serving him with our physical strength.
But what does all of this have to do with me today? Right now?
Understanding our full destiny in Christ as body, soul, and spirit is so important for finding real meaning and hope. Everything we do today has eternal significance. Every physical decision has an eternal spiritual impact. Everything we do is important to God. Nothing is wasted by God. Each physical need met by you today reveals a deeper spiritual need and leads someone into the spiritual presence of God through your physical presence.
And let’s also consider the goal of our life on earth today. If nothing is wasted by Jesus, and everything is returned to you in the end (and much, much more), then all “health and wealth,” all selfish pleasure, can be sacrificed today for Christ’s kingdom. You can stop clutching to the things of this life and live in the freedom of abandonment. No regrets. No bucket lists. No fear of dying without seeing the ocean, or the Himalayas, or the northern lights? No fear of a wasted life or unfulfilled dreams. You’ve got eternity. When you die, your life has barely just begun.
Knowing this should change how we see all of life, and how we live all of life. We are promised that everything we give up in this physical realm for Jesus will be restored by him on a new earth. When we live sacrificially in this life, rejecting physical sin and temptation, we can know that, through the resurrection, Jesus will restore even that physical joy and pleasure to us in his presence (Psalm 16).
How do we find the strength to live the sacrificial lives Christ calls us to today in the midst of the unknown? We find it in his resurrection power. We find it in knowing that we are already the New Creation. We are the future right now! In Christ, we are time travelers. We are living in God’s glorious future today. This is your super power: you know your future and you are already there!
“To live is Christ” means you can live fearlessly. You can love recklessly. You can give all of yourself away today. Knowing that all the earth is yours in Christ and all will be restored in his presence.
Are you living with regrets? The fear of a wasted life?
You in Christ
In Christ your physical life and your spiritual life have meaning. How does this give your life new purpose today?
Christ in you
How can knowing your future is secure allow you to live and love sacrificially today?
Playlist: New Creation
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