FROM PASTOR MEYER’S DESK:
Have you ever heard someone say, “They just don’t make things like they used to”? Perhaps you’ve said that yourself. I know I have, especially recently. Let me explain. A couple months ago our 5 or 6 year old refrigerator began to beep. The beeping sound was caused by a built-in alarm that lets you know that your refrigerator door is not closed. The only problem was that our refrigerator door was closed. I don’t know if it was just lonely and wanted some attention, but every 30 seconds that alarm would do its beeping thing. So we finally called a repairman to come and look at it. He said the only way to fix it was to replace the computer board, which we did. And guess what? A couple hundred dollars later, it didn’t fix it. That silly refrigerator just kept right on beeping as if it was sticking out its tongue at us and saying, “You can’t fix me…You can’t fix me…beep, beep, beep!” So the repairman said the only way to stop the beeping would be to cut the wire that leads to the alarm. That was the good news. We could live with that. But then came the bad news. Cutting that wire would prevent the light from coming on. We thought we could live with that so we told him to do it. And though we went about a month with no light in our refrigerator, it finally got to the point where I was ready to bite the bullet and get a new refrigerator. I got tired of not being able to see anything in there, especially when I wanted something to snack on at night. At one point I even put a flashlight in the fridge, but Marilyn didn’t like that idea. And so began the quest for a new refrigerator.
We decided to start at Lowe’s because they have such a large selection to choose from. We spent several hours there one night examining them, pricing them, learning about their features, and so on. We finally decided on one and took the model number and price to Keith McNeil’s new store in town and he was able to match it. So we purchased it from him and right now we are very happy with our new refrigerator.
What’s so sad about all this is that down in our basement we have an old Hotpoint refrigerator (don’t even know if they make that brand anymore) that is over 20 years old and it just keeps on running and running. When I mentioned that to the salesperson at Lowe’s, he said that the days of refrigerators and other appliances lasting 20 years are long gone. One of our families who have had a similar experience to ours said that one repairman told them you can expect appliances to last only about 5 years these days. The salesman at Lowe’s said 8-10. I guess with all the technology that goes into them anymore, there are more things that can go wrong. But that doesn’t make me feel any better because even though they last less than half of what they used to, the prices have practically doubled!
Well, all this got me to thinking about God and how He doesn’t make junk. Rather, He makes things to last. Let me show you what I mean.
In 1 Peter 1:3-4 we read: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you.” Wow! As our former vicar Zach Holdorf used to say: “How cool is that!” The inheritance that Peter is talking about there is our salvation and all that it will entail for us – new home; new bodies; new friends; new life – things that will never deteriorate or wear out. All of this will reach its ultimate climax for us in what the Bible frequently refers to as “the new heavens and the new earth.” For example, in Revelation 21 John writes: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away…I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”
So our new home and our new life in the new heavens and the new earth will, in essence, be Paradise restored. In fact, what has become one of my favorite verses in Scripture describes it this way: “No longer will there be any curse.” Imagine that! A world that has been finally and forever released from the curse that Adam and Eve brought upon it when they committed that first act of rebellion against God. That curse resulted in death, decay, disease, sorrow, pain, natural disasters, and all the other imperfections that are so much a part of our daily lives. But in the new heavens and the new earth all of those “negatives” will be gone forever. And as I mentioned before, we will be able to enjoy that new life with new friends and new bodies. Among those friends we will have the opportunity to meet and visit with the greatest personalities who appear in the pages of Scripture. Imagine what it will be like to sit down with Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Daniel, Peter, John, Paul, and so many others who up until that time we could only read about. Or even better than that, imagine what an incredible experience it will be to see God face to face in all His blazing glory and majesty or to take a walk with Jesus and be able to spend some one on one time with Him.
And we’ll be able to do all this in brand new perfect glorified bodies, bodies that will no longer be subject to the aging process with all its accompanying aches and pains, weaknesses and afflictions. Instead, our bodies will be strong and healthy, vibrant and full of life and energy.
So we’ve got a lot to look forward to, don’t we? But may we never forget that not everyone will have that privilege. Rather, the only way it will be ours is by placing our faith and hope and trust in Jesus and all that He did for us through His life, death, and resurrection to rescue us from the damning and eternal consequences of our sins. And while we all want to be sure that we’re part of this incredible life someday, we surely want others to be there with us. So to that end, may God give us the opportunities and the courage to take this incredible Good News of the Gospel and share it with those who do not yet know Jesus, or who perhaps once knew Him but have long since forgotten Him.
Getting back to our new refrigerator we recently purchased, it really is nice, but I know it won’t last forever. It too will wear out eventually and need to be replaced. But nothing that God gives us in the new heavens and the new earth will ever have that problem. Instead, it and we will remain new forever!
So thankful for this hope,