Summary: A sermon that talks about the new world of heaven and the dying process by which we come into this living hope.
Revelation chapter 21 1-7
Seafaring people -
About 150 years ago my forebears the Clarksons set out on a journey - they were seafarers and they set out to sail from England to a New World filled to the brim with promise - that world was New Zealand - What an incredible journey that must have been travelling from the Old world to the new.
But the truth is very few people enjoyed the journey it was fraught with dangers from the sea - deprivation - hunger sickness and even death - but these forebears of mine - set out to the new world despite the dangers -
Why did they do that? - Because what they left behind couldn’t hold a candle to the vision that they had of the new world.
Now whether the new world lived up to their expectation or not could well be considered an interesting point - but for many New Zealand would have been the paradise that they expected - for others I am sure it would have been a bitter disappointment hardly worth the suffering and deprivation experienced on the journey.
The Christian has a destination in mind.
The Christian lives in the Old world - for all the good moments we enjoy in this world - the special moments of love and sucking in the air of the awe inspirring beauty around us - for all of that the world - like a scorpion has a sting in it’s tail -
There are one hundred thousand examples of the terrible suffering that this world can produce in India right now as millions recover from what must surely be one of the worst earthquakes the world has ever seen and what surely makes Pompeii look like a Sunday school picnic by comparison.
The Old world is for many if not most of it’s inhabitants a place of suffering a place of war a place of disease.
it was into such a world that God sent His son two thousand years ago - His name was Jesus.
John chapter 3 and verse 16 says For God so loved the world -
Despite it’s frailties and terrors - Jesus told us God loves the world.
By that he does not mean he loves suffering - death and disorder but it does mean that he loves the world for it’s intrinsic self but not for it’s disgusting sin the result of which we see all around us.
Today I want to look at four words all starting with DE.
These words are - Demise - Death - Destination and Destiny
The first two are rather negative and the last two are rather positive. This morning I would like you to see these words as two children on either end of a see saw.
Without a view of the demise of the world and death balanced by our destination and our destiny you would end up with a very lopsided view of life - you would in fact end up in despair and depression.
Demise - In the introduction to this sermon I have already aluded to the demise of the world.
The world is inherantly a beautiful place.
Why is it so beautiful?
Because God made it - God created the world we are told in Genesis and he looked at what he made and said it is good.
The world is a rich and beautiful place.
It is amazing that today a day on which there are more people on planet earth that there has ever been before - there is enough food to feed every human being on earth - enough air for them to breath and enough water for them to bathe in -
But many eat little - breathe foul air and are without water -
Why because of what happened in Genesis chapter??? after God created the world.
A man called Adam and a Woman called Eve - rebelled against God encouraged by a fallen heavenly being appropriately called the devil or Satan. - the result of that fall was alienation between the created and the creator.
Sin came into the world and bought about it’s demise.
So although the world is reminiscent of God - he made it - it is also reminiscent of death it has fallen from the beautiful destiny that God had planned for it.
That had results and in Genesis chapter 2 we read -
The snake who is a type for the devil comes under a curse.
The woman comes under a curse - her pains in childbearing are increased
The man brings the earth under a curse - which means his labour is cursed -
but in addition to all that life itself comes to an incredible dead end in Genesis chapter 3 and verse 19 we read:-