Summary: God is interested in new creations, not in just changing the outside.
April 28, 2002 2 Corinthians 5:17
“More than a makeover”
[read 2 Cor. 5:17] Another pastor told the story of an interesting classmate that he had while he was in Bible college. His name was Shannon. What made him interesting was his looks. His hair was a different color each week, his ears were loaded with earrings, and he wore the big loose grunge style clothing. But the most interesting point of style was his shorts, and he always wore shorts regardless of the weather. What made his shorts so odd was the way he wore them. You see he always wore his shorts backwards. As you could imagine anyone who dressed like that at a Bible College stuck out like a sore thumb. One day this pastor in training couldn’t stand it any longer and his judgmental sarcasm got the best of him and he had to make a crack about Shannon’s shorts. To his surprise Shannon was ready for that criticism. Shannon turned to him and said, “I’ll tell you just like I tell everyone else who asks me why I wear my shorts backwards. I tell them that God turned my life around so fast that my shorts couldn’t keep up.”
For the past month, we’ve been talking about what it takes to get a fresh start in life. We saw that God is the only source of fresh start and that He offers it to all who will come to Him. We learned that in order to get a fresh start, you have to deal with who you are and the past you’ve lived and receive the forgiveness that God offers. Two weeks ago, we saw that in order for a fresh start to have real meaning, you have to go in a totally new direction. You don’t get a fresh start just so you can live the way that you used to live and mess everything up all over again. And then, last week, we saw that in order to go God’s way, you have to allow your thinking to be changed by putting God’s thoughts – God’s Word – into your mind. This morning, we’re going to examine the changes that God wants to make in the lives of every individual.
When the world wants a change, they get a new hair-do, new clothes or a new spouse. As soon as the novelty of that wears off, they get bored and change something else about themselves. “Wouldn’t it be great as you got older if you could get new parts? Yes, I know that through the magic of modern medicine you can [get a makeover. You can] have all kind of things stretched, pulled, pinched, tucked, tweaked, enhanced, suctioned and peeled. But all that is only a matter of moving pieces and parts around so that no one can see the effects of how badly we have treated our bodies.” - J. Douglas Duty, jr. God wants to give you more than a makeover – God wants to create a brand new person. God isn’t interested in re-decorating. God wants to change you so radically that everyone around you notices a difference – not because you wear your shorts backwards, but because you live life backwards. You live life totally different from the way you used to live it and totally the opposite of the way the rest of the world lives it. Let’s take a look at what these changes are, and then I’ll tell you how you can have them for yourself.
1. You get a new home in heaven (5:1) – eternal, not temporary
Of all the changes that God makes in the lives of the believer, this is the only one that you have to wait until later to enjoy BUT you have a great guarantee (i.e. the Holy Spirit). Add to that the fact that when Jesus went away to heaven, He went there to prepare a home for us. And He said that when He returns, He will carry us with him to that new home.
The home here is also a new home for your spirit in a new body. The body will be like Jesus’ body. The purpose of a makeover is to get someone to say, “Wow! I didn’t even recognize you!” That is exactly what happened with Jesus.
God made the original bodies beautiful. They were so beautiful that Adam and Eve could go around naked and show every part of their body without embarrassment. I mean there was a reason that Adam called Eve “woman”. He took one look at her and the first words out of his mouth were “Woe man!” Now think about your own body. What part of your body will you be embarrassed for others to see when you put on that bathing suit this summer – the belly that hangs out, the hair that covers every part of your body, the scars that you’ve had since you were a kid, or the stretch marks from your pregnancies. When God creates a new body for you, it will be perfect. There will be no reason to hide anything.