Summary: Funeral sermon for a believer.
Revelation 21:1-5 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. 2And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a beautiful bride prepared for her husband.
3I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, ¡§Look, the home of God is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them.„T 4He will remove all of their sorrows, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. For the old world and its evils are gone forever.¡¨ 5And the one sitting on the throne said, ¡§Look, I am making all things new!¡¨
They called it a ¡§sneak preview¡¨. On Tuesday, February 17th at about 9 o¡¦clock in the evening, the owner of the theater opened the doors for pastors to view the movie ¡§The Passion of the Christ¡¨ before the official opening. Some had already seen it in minister¡¦s gatherings around the country, but for many of us it was the first opportunity to see what all the buzz was about. Believe me when I say that two hour preview was a deeply moving experience.
Today I am not here to tell you that these verses in Revelation 21 have already come true. One look around would be enough to know that we still live on the same old earth as before. Unless something changed from just a few minutes ago, there is no new Jerusalem descending from the sky.
However, I would encourage you today to know two things for certain: Mom & Grandma to so many, Donna Smith is experiencing today a sneak preview of what is described in these verses we just read.
The words of Jesus Christ as he sits upon that great throne in the Holy City of God are, ¡§I am making everything new!¡¨ Right now our sister in Christ is experiencing the reality of those words in her own life. After years of faithful living and service, after time untold praying for the salvation of her kids, grandkids and great-grandkids, after daily walks around her little neighborhood to ¡§take care of her ladies¡¨, after all has been said and done, she is receiving her reward in heaven. Newness of life has for Donna Smith moved to a new plane.
These verses speak to us of what was for her a blessed hope most all of her adult life. They tell of the ¡§new¡¨ things she is right now experiencing.
1. New Living Arrangements
Revelation 21:3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ¡§Now the dwelling place of God is with men, and he will live with them¡K¡¨
Earthly homes have their comforts. We learn to enjoy returning home after a long day of work or an extended trip. The idea of home gives us comfort because we know that, no matter what else might go wrong, home is a refuge.
We dare not lose sight, however, of the fact that, for all its comforts and joys, this world will never be our real home.
Hebrews 11:8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
For everyone who has trusted Christ as Savior, there are new living arrangements when this life is over. We will never need to search for a home in eternity. Jesus Christ has already taken care of our living arrangements for us, as he told his disciples in John 14.
John 14:2 In my Father¡¦s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.
2. New Sight
Some time back I distinctly remember looking back toward the place where Brother and Sister Smith always sat together. The look upon their faces was one of intense longing as we sang the words, ¡§Oh I want to see Him, look upon His face! There to sing forever of His saving grace.¡¨
One thing I know today is that her wish is come true and God has truly given her new sight today. She sees with her own eyes now what she has only believed in faith in the years before. Paul describes this experience in 1 Corinthians 13 when he says: