Summary: God is looking backward from the future eternal state and taking us on a journey through time to demonstrate how He will achieve His goal.
The God Who Gets There
1. For some reason, people who work at planners in corporations have developed a bad reputation.
2. An Engineer, a physicist, an economist and a Planner were being interviewed for a position as chief executive officer of a large Local Authority. The Engineer was interviewed first, and was asked a long list of questions, ending with: "How much is two plus two?" The Engineer excused himself, and made a series of measurements and calculations before returning to the boardroom and announcing, "Four."
The physicist was next interviewed, and was asked the same questions. Before answering the last question, he excused himself, made for the library, and did a great deal of research. After a consultation with the European Standards Authority and many calculations, he also announced, "Four."
Then the interviewers then call in the economist and ask the same question: "What do two plus two equal?" The economist says: "On average, four - give or take ten percent, but on average, four."
The Planner was interviewed last, and was asked the same questions. At the end of his interview, before answering the last question, he drew all the shades in the room, looked outside the door to see if anyone was there, checked the telephone for listening devices, and asked, "How much do you want it to be?" [source: homepage.tinet.ie]
3. Our God is a planner, and he reveals some of His plans to us, as in this text.
Main Idea: God is looking backward from the future eternal state and taking us on a journey through time to demonstrate how He will achieve His goal.
I. The Glorious Goal: The ETERNAL STATE (65:17)
A. Revelation sorts out the SEQUENCE and details
B. Notice God has His eyes FIXED on the goal
1. Jesus faced the cross with the goal in mind (Hebrews 12:2)
2. God has done things throughout millennia to advance toward the goal
3. God wants us to fix our eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:1)
4. Having the right goals helps keep us on course
C. The eternal state is so OVERWHELMING that we will never long for the past
Application: Is there such a thing as “race memory?” Defined as, “a supposedly inherited subconscious memory of events in human history.” I think there might be; we might all sort of remember Eden, and long for a return to the garden. What God will give us, however, is even better. And we will eat of the tree of life.
II. Ramping It Up: The MILLENNIUM (65:18-25)
A. Many people dream about the ideal world LEADER
• There are, I believe, 16 candidates for the Republican nomination
• America and the world wants better leaders
• Jesus ultimate leader, but he would have been creamed in an election
• Many will embrace the antichrist instead:
John 5:43, “ I have come in my Father's name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him.”
• But we know that the ultimate leader is Jesus himself!
• Needs no body guards: presidents, leaders… glass… CIA agents
• Jerusalem will be the world’s capital
B. Words in the news: JUSTICE, HEALTHCARE, and PEACE will be actualities
• Not knowing why, mankind longs for Utopia
C. Even NATURE will be changed and peaceful
• Dying at 100 will seem young
• Lion and Lamb lying down together
D. People will still be sinners, but violence virtually UNKOWN
• During the Millennium, Satan and his demons will be bound
• Human sin, however, will still be around, but not as intense
• Two of three enemies: world and the devil, pretty much removed
I Corinthians 15:24-26 “Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.”
Application: What would you say if the governor asked you to serve on his staff? Or a senator? Or a president? Wouldn’t you feel important, appreciated, honored? Folks, we serve the King of Kings. There is no higher honor.
III. The Current Age of Hope: The Time BETWEEN Messiah’s Two Comings (66:1-6)
A. A time when God seeks worshippers apart form the Temple LOCATION (1-2)
1. John 4:23 is probably a Midrash on 2b
John 4:23, “ But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.”
2. God wants us to be humble and contrite in spirit
3. The picture here is of a minority of people who are right with God
4. This is very much like the idea of the church…