Summary: NEW YEAR’S EVE(A,B,C) - God’s salvation will last forever even though everything keeps on changing God’s righteousness is constant.
GOD’S SALVATION WILL LAST FOREVER
12/31/02 – NEW YEAR’S EVE
. 4 "Listen to me, my people; hear me, my nation: The law will go out from me; my justice will become a light to the nations. 5 My righteousness draws near speedily, my salvation is on the way, and my arm will bring justice to the nations. The islands will look to me and wait in hope for my arm. 6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens, look at the earth beneath; the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment and its inhabitants die like flies. But my salvation will last forever, my righteousness will never fail.
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Dearest Fellow-Redeemed and Saints in the Lord:
It’s always hard to believe when we turn the page of the calendar from month to month. Sometimes it’s even harder to believe when we switch the entire calendar itself. Yet you and I stand on the threshold of another new year where the future stands before us enticing us with the excitement that is yet to come. We have to ask ourselves are we excited about what is yet to come? Are we excited at what the Lord might show us tomorrow or next month or next year? You and I do not know what that is, but we do know that the Lord always has our best interest in mind day after day, year after year and even for a lifetime. Sometimes, because we’re so bound to this earth, and our feet are so firmly fastened to the ground, we do not always look at each New Year as something exciting. We are easily tempted to think it is just another year that has quickly gone by.
Tonight the Lord would have us concentrate on the fact that there is excitement every year, every day that God gives us His grace to live. He reminds us in Matthew when He spoke to His disciples (and they thought too, what is there left in life?) He reminded them to store up treasures in heaven. “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”(MATTHEW 6:20,21) As we march along with the calendar pages and the calendar year by year, the Lord says, we too are to store up treasures in heaven. We can picture ourselves with chests of treasures, God’s righteousness, peace and joy that we store up in the future for us to enjoy.
That’s what Isaiah says in our text tonight. As he looks ahead and we look ahead, he says:
GOD’S SALVATION WILL LAST FOREVER
I. Everything keeps on changing
II. God’s righteousness is constant
Our text begins by Isaiah saying, (he wants them to pay attention), “Listen to me my people, hear me my nation.” He wanted to remind them that that word of the Lord, would sometimes not seem to do too much, was going to be effective and powerful. Just like today, we don’t see the word of the Lord knocking down buildings; we don’t see the word of the Lord coming and destroying nations for their evil and wickedness. Some would say, ‘Well, it’s not too powerful.’ So it was in the time of the children of Israel.
Isaiah goes on to say: The law will go out from me; my justice will become a light to the nations. He said the law of the Lord would go out and that people would pay attention; not just the believers, not just the children of Israel, but nations all around. As we look back, we realize that when the law was first given it was written in the hearts of men. Long before it got to the time of Isaiah, mankind’s heart had become so clouded and so full of sin that they covered up God’s perfect law written there. What happened? God had to give the law a second time and then a third time. Thus God wrote it down on tablets of stone so men were without excuse. Those Ten Commandments, which were written on tablets of stone, in reality, became the foundation for many empires—their laws, rules and regulations. Isaiah says the law would go out. Even today, even though our nation would say we aren’t based on the Ten Commandments, our laws are, aren’t they? Don’t steal, don’t kill, don’t commit adultery are some of the things the Ten Commandments say. God’s Word would have a powerful effect.
He says even more than that. 5 My righteousness draws near speedily, my salvation is on the way, and my arm will bring justice to the nations. He says all these things will happen. They may not admit that it’s the Lord’s doing, but it is. Now he’s got the people’s attention in saying that the Word of God is so important to them and it would be important to the world. Now he wants to remind them, ‘Look around. Pay attention. What you see around you is only temporary.’ 6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens, look at the earth beneath. He says look up, look below. What is going to happen? The heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment. Of course this is speaking of the last day. Speaking of the current days, how many generations have come and gone with mankind not knowing much about them. They’re buried in the sands of time. Great civilizations that once were are long gone and sometimes even forgotten. He says the earth is not kind as time passes by its inhabitants. Its inhabitants will also die. In the original translations it says they will die like flies. We think of the insignificance of a fly. The Lord is saying we’re not that insignificant but that time marches on and everything changes, doesn’t it?