I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away.
The Bible says someday the world will be re-created. In Hebrews 2:5, the writer says that one day we are going to rule with Christ in the world to come. He shows our original purpose: that we were created to rule over this world, in contrast to the angels whom one day we will rule over. In Hebrews 2:6-8, the writer also quotes the psalmist in order to visualize our purpose: “What is man, that You remember him? Or the son of man, that You are concerned about him? You have made him for a little while lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, and have appointed him over the works of Your hands; You have put all things in subjection under his feet.” Who is he talking about? Some people say he is talking about Jesus. Other people say he is talking about mankind. Which is correct? He is talking about both. This is a reference to Christ and to those of us who will reign with Christ one day.
You may say: That sounds great for the future, but why aren’t I experiencing that right now? The writer of Hebrews visualizes our great purpose, but then he explains that our purpose has been temporarily compromised. Yes, someday we are going to rule over the earth, but right now that purpose has been compromised. Hebrews 2:8 says, “He left nothing that is not subject to him. But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him.” The fact that this world is right now not subjected to Christ means we are living with the painful consequences of rebellion every day. Some people have a hard time reconciling their faith with the difficulties they are going through as a result of the worldwide rebellion against God.
Why does God allow children to starve to death? Why does God allow mass shootings? Why does God allow our loved ones to be ravaged by cancer? If God is in control, what good is our Christian faith? That was what the Hebrew Christians were wondering.
Why is this world not what it was meant to be? One word: sin. Romans 5:12 says, “Through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.” Every day we live in the results of that rebellion. In Genesis 3:14-19 after Adam and Eve chose to rebel against God, God pronounced a curse that had ramifications that you and I still feel today: Women would have pain in childbirth. Work would become tedious and difficult. Relationships would be filled with strife. People would get sick. Death would separate loved ones. None of that was ever part of God’s plan. The Hebrew Christians had a hard time reconciling their present circumstances with their promised future, and they were tempted to give up their faith. But remember what the writer of Hebrews was saying: “Do not discard your faith, because your present circumstances do not reveal your true value.”
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Parable Of The Lottery Ticket” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2013.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.