Scriptural Insights from Biblical Overlooks, Pt. 10

Scriptural Insights from Biblical Overlooks, Pt. 10

Study Guide, November 12, 2023

Pastor Clay Olsen

So, besides the Earth, do you have a favorite Planet? How about Saturn? It truly is beautiful, with all those rings around it. Or what about Jupiter? Its size is amazing, for sure…Jupiter is called the Vacuum Cleaner of the Galaxy, as it absorbs much of the space debris that would bombard other planets, like our Earth. And then there’s Venus, which strangely enough is also called a star, as it’s the first star we see at night and the last star in the morning…even though it’s a planet. And the blue hue of Neptune is pretty cool, too.

But as beautiful as our planets and solar system and galaxies are, the Apostle Paul reveals a starting reality about them all. Notice: Rom 8:18-22- “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” NASU How startling to realize that, when we look into the heavens and we see the planets and stars and such, what we are seeing are planets and stars and such that are all now in a ‘corrupted’ state. That’s right…the curse of sin affected all creation, which includes the planets, stars, and galaxies, leaving all these planets in a ‘corrupted’ state with mostly inhospitable conditions for life. And therefore they, as Paul stated, are in a sense, are groaning for and longing for and are eagerly awaiting their redemption, the renewal, the resurrection of the Heavens themselves when the Creator makes all things new in the re-creation of the New Heavens and the New Earth.

So, if you think the planets and stars are stunning now, well…as they say… “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!” Just wait till God re-creates them into being the Eternal Kingdom for His eternal family who are going to rule and reign with Him over all the works of His hands. Notice what Heb 1:10-12 says about it all: “You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You remain; and they will all grow old like a garment; Like a cloak You will fold them up, and they will be changed. But You are the same, and Your years will not fail.” NKJV

Global Warming should not be the focus of the world right now, because the glaring issue before the world is the greater issue of a Global Wearing Out…both the entire world and heavens are wearing out like a garment because of the effects of sin upon the Earth and the Heavens above us! People need to be focused on repenting before their God and getting re-birthed in their Spirit by their Savior, and then serving their God as the world gets closer to being re-created since this world is wearing out under the curse of sin! The Psalmist made it all very clear: Ps 102:25-26- “Of old You founded the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. Even they will perish, but You endure; And all of them will wear out like a garment; Like clothing You will change them and they will be changed.” NASU The Earth, the Planets, the Stars, the Galaxies are all wearing out like a garment from the universal curse of sin. But that is about to change! For God is going to re-create a New Earth along with New Heavens, and this time they will be merged together as the forever Universal Home of God’s forever family!

After receiving some requests to expound on this further, let’s further look over this magnificent ‘Overlook’ of some of the amazing features of our forever Home…the New Earth and New Heavens. By the way, what time is it? No, actually, I just say that to point out an interesting feature of Heaven that is often ‘overlooked’…as in, so, will there be ‘time’ in Heaven? One of the hymns includes a verse making a common assumption about when time will be no more. Well, not exactly, for the Scriptures reveal something else that is quite remarkable. What do we mean?

Let’s take a look at what God revealed to the Revelator, the Apostle John about the ‘time’ issue in Heaven. Rev 22:1-2- “Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” NASU This is now the Eternal Kingdom, and in the Eternal Kingdom is a continuation of a ‘time cycle’… as we see that ‘months’ are still part of the orderly time cycle. Time is an orderly part of creation…it’s just that in the Eternal Kingdom, time will never end, nor run out, and will never be an issue for anything stressful. Plus, God even stated in Gen 8:22: “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” NASU So what also continues with the re-creation of the Earth, along with the monthly time cycle, are days and weeks, and even seasons! So again, what’s going to be different about ‘time’ in the Eternal Kingdom, is that, instead of ‘time’ often serving as something that is fleeting and passing away, ‘time’ in the Kingdom serves as another way for God’s perfect order of all things to be even more ‘orderly’. Everything in Heaven will not only happen in God’s perfect time, but everyone will enjoy the order of everything happening according to God’s time. God even speaks about the continuation of the ‘seasons’ of time and the order of days and nights.

However, speaking of ‘night’, there will be one particular place in the New Heavens and on the New Earth where many things will be unique, and that is in the Capitol city of the Universe…The New Jerusalem. Notice: Rev 21:23-26- “And the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light. The nations will walk in its light, and the kings of the world will enter the city in all their glory. Its gates will never be closed at the end of day because there is no night there. And all the nations will bring their glory and honor into the city.” NLT This is a unique city in the Kingdom, and it has unique features. That’s why the Apostle John spent so much time describing it.

Sometimes believers have confused the regions of the rest of the New Earth and the New Heavens with The New Jerusalem itself, and they assumed that since there is no need for sunlight in this city that there would no longer be solar bodies like the sun, moon, and stars, and such. Not at all, because John is talking about the specific features of ‘the King’s city’, the ‘Creator’s city’, and the point is that since ‘this city’ is the residence of our resurrected King, our God, who is also Creator, that His glory will illuminate the city to such a degree that the light from the sun and moon will not be needed there. As the capitol city of the New Earth and the residence of our God and King and Creator, it will be the central and brightest place in the Universe as it manifests the ‘glory of God’. As far as the rest of the New Earth and the New Heavens, God has told us that all the works of God’s hands of the planets and starts and galaxies will all continue just as they were originally planned and designed …only now, of course, they will be immeasurably better since they have been re-created into habitable places that God’s children can enjoy in their dominion and stewardship over all the works of God’s hands.

Speaking of ‘nations’…did you notice how God specifically pointed out that the New Earth will still have designated lands and people groups that He identifies as ‘nations’? John said: “…the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations”… “The nations will walk in its light, and the kings of the world will enter the city in all their glory”… “…all the nations will bring their glory and honor into the city.” It’s pretty clear that the New Earth will still have people groups with orderly rule and designated rulers. And these groups are known as the ‘nations’ of the New Earth. Nations have things such as countryside and commerce and industry and infrastructure and cities and so on. Which causes us to harken back to what Jesus was saying when He was revealing things about His coming Kingdom and the importance of faithfulness now in preparing for it. In both Matthew and in Luke, Jesus told two parables about how service for the King now would result in service opportunities in the coming Kingdom. But note how He put it: (And we’ll just highlight the results for the sake of our context here) Matt 25:14- “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. He called together his servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone.” 20-23- “Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.’ The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’ The servant who had received the two bags of silver came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two bags of silver to invest, and I have earned two more.’ “The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’

Then, in a similar parable in Luke, Jesus includes this: Luke 19:17-19- “Well done!’ the king exclaimed. ‘You are a good servant. You have been faithful with the little I entrusted to you, so you will be governor of ten cities as your reward.’ “The next servant reported, ‘Master, I invested your money and made five times the original amount.’ “‘Well done!’ the king said. ‘You will be governor over five cities.’ NLT

Many responsibilities…ruling over cities?’ It’s pretty clear that God has lots of plans for His people to be doing lots of things that involve lots of organized works and services and responsibilities and opportunities in His coming Kingdom. And here in God’s Kingdom His people will finally carry out His will for them to manage, steward, care for, and further develop His re-created World…His Eternal Kingdom. Also remember that ‘work’ itself was part of God’s plan that has been built into man’s very nature before the Fall of Man into sin. Even in the beginning, Adam and Eve would ‘work’ in the Garden of Eden, and then walk with God in the cool of the day. It was the perfect balance of the productive use of their talents and abilities and the pleasurable fellowship with God about it all. But it was the Fall into sin and the resulting sin nature of man that put thorns into work and made ‘work’ seem like ‘work’. But in the Kingdom of God, and in our new natures that are without sin, God’s gift of work to His children, along with their gifts of their talents and abilities and opportunities, all of the ‘work’ in the Kingdom will be part of our great joy and satisfaction, as well as being part of those gifts that we offer to our King, which we will bring into the New Jerusalem on special occasions from the various lands and nations where we live as one of our ‘dwelling places’!

Did we say, ‘one of our dwelling places’? Sure did! And why did we say that? Because if we harken back again to something else Jesus said, we find that Jesus said that He was building a dwelling place for us in His capitol city as well. Remember: John 14:2-3- “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” NASU So we will have a dwelling place in the New Jerusalem when we are there. You’ll never have to look for a hotel room in the New Jerusalem…or a room at the Inn. Jesus has already prepared special dwelling places for us all when we are in Town. And, since God’s people are also part of various nation states in the New Earth, we will also have a dwelling place when we are there, too! You mean, as in, private property? Yes, that’s exactly what we mean!

When the Prophet Isaiah is revealing features of the Millennial Kingdom, which is a preview of the Eternal Kingdom, notice what he points out to us: Isa 65:21-22- “They will build houses and dwell in them; they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit. No longer will they build houses and others live in them, or plant and others eat.” NIV That last part which talks about others taking your stuff was talking about our present earthly governments…just kidding…sort of…actually, yeah…but note that the point is that in the Millennial Kingdom and the Eternal Kingdom there will be both ‘private property’ and ‘private ownership’, yet since we also have our new natures, we will love sharing what we have and serving one another with what God has given them. Showing hospitality and entertaining others in fellowship in the dwelling places God has given us will be one of the great joys of Heaven.

So then, not only will we have a dwelling place in the New Jerusalem when we are in the physical presence of the physical resurrected Lord Jesus, but we will also have a dwelling place in whatever nation of the New Earth in which we are carrying out our service assignments for the Lord while we are there. It’s like having a place in the city and a place in the country where each is your very own.

And if you would like even more confirmation of that reality, look at what Jesus said about that when He was teaching about the stewardship of our treasures, or the wise use of our finances. Notice: Luke 16:10-12- “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?” NIV Now, of course Jesus is warning us to be sure to faithfully use the physical treasures or finances that He has entrusted us with now to honor Him and bless others as well as provide for ourselves, or He will not entrust us with rewards for that part in His Kingdom because of our unfaithfulness. However, this is also a great statement and confirmation that great reward does await those who faithfully use their treasures to honor Him and to bless others and to provide for our families. He also spoke about this in His teaching about laying up treasures in Heaven, and those treasures in Heaven are to be understood to include both spiritual blessings as well as physical blessings in the Kingdom of the New Earth and New Heavens. It’s included in our ‘inheritance rewards’ for faithfulness. And yet, our point is to realize that one of the features of the Kingdom will include actual physical land and dwelling places that we can call our own. It’s absolutely astounding what God has planned for His people to enjoy.

Plus, when we also factor in that God has plans for us to rule over the New Heavens, it looks like we will have many dwelling places for sure in the Kingdom of the New Earth and the New Heavens. It will be the perfect balance of experiencing amazing times of travel and exploration of the New Heavens along with times of pleasurable work and peaceful times of fellowship in our home on the New Earth, or should we say…homes!

So get ready Brethren…for this is our future life with our Awesome God!