ALL THINGS NEW

REVELATION 21:5

“He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’”

I think when we read these words that our automatic response is to restrict them to what is happening in Revelation 21 and 22. They certainly do apply to the ‘new heaven’ and the ‘new earth’ that are established at that time after the final removal of all evil and of all that evil brought into the world.

But we need to consider the possibility embedded in the present tense of this statement ‘I am making all things new!’ When God, the one seated on the throne, made this statement to the apostle John, the anticipated renewal of all things was even further in the future than it is today. Yet he said: ‘I am making everything new.’ Present tense. Present tense even then, back at the end of the first century AD.

This gives us not only a certain hope for the future beyond the judgement day, but a sure certainty that right now, even as we live today, God is already actively engaged in this process of making everything new. Once we realise this, we can find evidence of God’s renewing activity throughout the scripture, and we then understand that the renewal in Revelation 21 and 22 is the culmination, the final completion, of an action and a purpose of God [Father, Son and Spirit] that has been happening in human space and human time ever since the need for renewal began.

God is making everything new.

Already there is individual spiritual renewal.
Already there is individual spiritual restoration.
Already there is individual spiritual healing.
Already God has given us new life in Christ.
Already the new creation, the new spiritual kingdom, has begun for all who are in Christ.
Already, at the spiritual level, the old has gone, the new has come. 
Already we enter the presence of God by a new and living way through the blood of Christ.
Already he has put a new heart and a new spirit within us.
Already he has put a new song in our hearts.

For individuals God has already done the biggest and most important ‘new’ thing.

All that remains of the ‘old’ is the presence of sin and suffering.

Romans 8 clearly expresses this distinction, this tension, between the ‘new’ that God is already doing whenever a person comes to faith in his Son and the ‘new’ yet to be completed.

We have already been removed from condemnation and accusation [8:1,31-34]
We already are indwelt by Christ and by the Spirit [8:9-11]
We are already God’s children [8:14-16]

But …

We are still in the era of suffering [8:18-27]
We still wait to be redeemed (liberated) from physical suffering [8:21,23]
We still wait eagerly for our ‘adoption as sons’ [8:23].

The ‘new’ is already breaking into the ‘old’. God is already making all things new. It is easy to miss this. It is easy to be so anxious for and focused on the future new reality, or so focused on and anxious about the present old reality, that we rob ourselves of the tremendous joy, peace and contentment that is already ours in and because of Christ, and we also rob God of our present thankfulness and praise.

© Rosemary Bardsley