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Looking forward to the new world

For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.

Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name. And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God...Now may the God of peace—who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, and ratified an eternal covenant with his blood—may he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen. Hebrews 13:14-16, 20-21

The writer of Hebrews provided Christians who are going through persecutions to look forward to the new world God was set out to reveal. This was not a new revelation for those who are familiar with the Scriptures especially the Hebrews. They themselves were familiar to the Old Testament prophecies that speak about this promise. “Look! I am creating new heavens and a new earth, and no one will even think about the old ones anymore” (Isaiah 65:17). “As surely as my new heavens and earth will remain, so will you always be my people, with a name that will never disappear,” says the Lord” (Isaiah 66:22). Abraham, the father of all nations, looked forward to seeing this place. “Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God” (Hebrews 11:10). Then John provided a beautiful description of this place when God allowed him to have a glimpse of this promise. “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. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband” (Revelation 21:1, 2). Christians need to hear this promise frequently. There is nothing in this world that will remain permanently and what people seek was a place of permanence. Those who trusted Jesus as Lord and Savior will be ushered in this place. It was through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross that provided access to this eternal place. While waiting for the culmination of God’s promise, Christians are admonished to remain faithful. They are called to offer sacrifices of praise that promote not their goodness but the faithfulness of God. One expression of these sacrifices of praise is doing good works to others so that the glory of God will continually be revealed to others. In the midst of what Christians are daily confronting in this temporal world, God enabled them to live in His name and for His glory. As Christians wait for the culmination of this wonderful news about this new world, the apostle Peter encouraged believers to live lives pleasing to God. “But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness. And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in his sight” (2 Peter 3:13-14).

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