Beauty Destroyed For A Greater Treasure

IMG_0757So much about life overflows with goodness! My husband rests in the next room, four years after his ordeal with cancer and a heart attack. Yesterday we enjoyed a romantic day exploring the Rose Kennedy Greenway in Boston, taking beautiful photographs  like this one. And now, as I sit at my computer blogging, I hear the songs of birds outside the living room window.

Yet beautiful afternoons like yesterday and today can’t compare with the new heavens and the new earth that will come after the Lord destroys this present universe.

10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.
11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12  waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! 13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. ~~2 Peter 3:10-13 (ESV)

As I listened to the hope-filled speeches at the Republican National Convention last night,  my emotions tempted me to believe that voting for Donald Trump really could “make America great again.” Doubtless, next week’s Democratic Convention will cause Hillary Clinton’s supporters to experience similar feelings of hope. Our world will get better, we assure ourselves. We’ll make it a beautiful place for our grandchildren.  And for their grandchildren.

Despite all the beauty and promise in this present world, however, the horrible infection of sin permeates it, seeping even into churches that claim to believe the Bible. Instead of fleeing from immorality, we sanction same sex marriage. Instead of running to God’s Word as a lamp to our feet and a light to our paths (Psalm 119:105), we resort to subjective spiritual experiences and “Christian” psychology. Instead of accepting that America compromised whatever Christian principles it may have held with the false teachings of Freemasonry, Deism and whatever it was Jefferson believed, we join with Mormons and Catholics to “restore our nation to it’s Biblical roots.”

We cling to this world. I agree that our present world has pockets of tremendous beauty, such as John and I savored on the Greenway yesterday. This world, however, is beyond repair.The environmentalists may pass all the laws they want in order to protect endangered species and fight global warming, but look back at the text. The Lord, finally unleashing His righteous wrath, promises to consume the entire universe by causing it to  burn itself up. This world that we insist that we can preserve and improve is, in God’s estimation, temporary and destined to burn like rubbish.

One day, the Lord will come bringing judgment, dissolving the universe to replace it with new heavens and a new earth. Holiness will characterize this new realm, and all will worship and adore Jesus without the distractions of sin. How much more beautiful His Kingdom will be than this present creation, which bears the scars of sickness, poverty and sin! In destroying the universe as we know it, the Lord will bring in a restored creation far more beautiful than we can imagine. Best of all, that Kingdom will be permeated with His glorious beauty!

Appreciating the blessings of this life may demonstrate thankfulness to God. And such thankfulness pleases Him. But we err when we invest too much in the here-and-now, forgetting that our treasure lies in spending eternity praising and adoring the Lord Jesus Christ in holiness. How wonderful that we can begin living holy lives now.

 
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