The Reconciled World (6)
Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” Revelation 21.5
What in heaven is Jesus doing on earth?
The question arises: Since Jesus, having ascended to the Father’s right hand, has reconciled the world to God, and is now ruling in the heavenly places (Ps. 110), what in heaven is Jesus doing on earth?
He answers that question simply: “I am making all things new.” Having reconciled all things to God, and begun the plundering of Satan’s holdings, Jesus is bringing the newness of His Kingdom to “all things”. He is making all things new; all that He has reconciled to the Father, He is now investing with Kingdom newness, polishing it to a sheen of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14.17, 18).
And how is He doing that? He is at work within all who believe in Him, willing and doing of God’s good pleasure (Phil. 2.13), poised and ready to do exceedingly abundantly beyond all we have ever dared to ask or think (Eph. 3.20).
This broken, sad, and weary world is not running down, as evolutionary naturalists insist. The law of entropy, which declares that everything tends to decay toward disorder and disarray, is simply a mirage. It looks only at the three-dimensional world of stuff and time; while Jesus rules a four-dimensional world, where the Spirit is advancing His rule on earth as in heaven. Jesus is making all things new. He is making sinful people new, as you have perhaps experienced. He is remaking fallen men and women into His own likeness, increasing daily in them even as their old selves decrease. He is giving them new ideas, new vision, new words to speak, and new works to do, the effect of which is to bring His grace, truth, and dominion to bear on the things of their lives. Thus their relationships are renewed in Jesus. Their daily tasks, duties, work, and other responsibilities take on a newness and freshness that advertises the hope of glory in which they live (Rom. 5.1; 1 Pet. 3.15). All the roles they fulfill in life – spouse, worker, parent, child, colleague, neighbor – shine with the newness of the indwelling Christ, making them light, salt, and leaven for a new world order.
What in heaven is Jesus doing on earth? He is making all things new, through the people He has renewed in His Spirit, and according to the ever-new and always reliable truth of His Word.
Which is just to say that Jesus is carrying out in and through us the ministry of reconciliation which has been given to us, that of restoring the world to its proper freedom and flourishing for the glory of God.
A restoration vision
Jesus holds a vision of the world He made being made new in all things. He sees the world not as a cup half-empty, but one that is full of potential, with the goodness of the Lord everywhere present (Ps. 33.5), and everywhere ready to be brought to light in the land of the living (Ps. 27.13). Jesus sees us as new creatures, growing in grace to become more like Him every day, living and bearing witness to Him for the progress of His righteous, peaceable, and joyous rule on earth. He sees our marriages as abounding in mutual love, edification, and support (Eph. 5.22-33); our churches as cities on a hill, bringing peace, beauty, and joy to their communities (Mic. 4.1-8; Ps. 48.1-3); and all our involvement in the everyday activities of life, work, culture, and community being done in such a way as to glorify our Father and His (1 Cor. 10.31).
And this means Jesus sees the world rather differently than the way most of His people do. Jesus sees the world as fraught with potential to abound in goodness and glory, whereas we tend to see the world as something that grinds us down, something we long to escape, and yet something we can’t quite seem to shed. To Jesus, the world is a wheat field to be sown, cultivated, and harvested for an abundance of holy fruit. To many of us, the world is weed field, waiting to be burned. Jesus sees the world, like a wondrous stereogram, gradually and increasingly yielding the knowledge of the glory of the Lord to all the peoples of the earth (Hab. 2.14; Ps. 67). We tend to see it as a disaster, going to hell in a hand bucket.
Jesus sees the world as a vast and glorious make-over project, for which He daily enlists those in whom He is bringing forth the fruit of new life in the Kingdom. We see it as a place to make a living, eke out some measure of happiness, and leave behind when the Lord finally comes to take us home.
Clearly, we need a new vision. We need Jesus’ vision of restoration, and with that vision, the willingness – no, eagerness – to tap into that exceedingly-abundant-working-within-us power for making all things new.
According to His Word
The words of our Lord Jesus are true and faithful. He says His Word is sufficient to equip us for every good work (2 Tim. 3.15-17). He says His Word is powerful and active (Heb. 4.12); that it brings life and newness (Jn. 6.63); radiates His glory, and transforms us into His likeness (2 Cor. 3.12-18); illuminates the path of righteousness and good works (Ps. 25.4, 5, 10-14); and has power not only to uphold the entire cosmos, but to transform it for the glory of God (Heb. 1.3; Matt. 5.13-16).
Jesus commands us to receive His Word and to learn from Him. He expects us to delight in His Word, to feed on and devour it, to learn it line upon line and precept upon precept, to plant ourselves by it and root ourselves deeply in it so that we bring forth fruit for His glory in-season and out. The reason the work of restoration – of making all things new – does not appeal to so many of us is that we do not have the vision of Jesus for His world, and His Word is not living and active within us. The sooner we admit this, and begin to take steps to redress this situation, the sooner we will discover the excitement, joy, wonder, power, and fruitfulness that come from pursuing the ministry of reconciliation that has been given to us.
This world is not what many of us think it is. It is not a thing to be avoided, despised, or simply used. While we eschew worldliness, we must love the world, and “all things” in it, as God the Father does. He gave His very Best to save, reconcile, and restore this world (Jn. 3.16), and He is looking to us to do the same.
Jesus is making all things new, and He calls us to step in the yoke with Him, plow new furrows, sow new seeds, and participate with Him in nurturing the world to fruitfulness in the glory of God the Father.
1. Where is Jesus “making all things new”? What does this include?
2. What evidence do you see that Jesus is making all things new in your life?
3. How does your view of the world compare with that of our Lord Jesus?
Next Steps – Transformation: In prayer, thank Jesus for everything in your world – your own part of His wheat field. Thank Him, and ask Him to show you one area where He can use you to make something new today.
T. M. Moore
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.