Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Renewal of All Things

Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on His glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.” (Matthew 19:28-29 NIV)
“Renewal of all things.” Other versions have “regeneration” (KJV, NKJV, NASB, Young’s Literal Translation). The Bible in Basic English says, “in the time when all things are made new.” Weymouth has “New Creation.” The Greek word speaks of rebirth and restoration.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.(2 Corinthians 5:17)
For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the Sons of God. For the creation was subject to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. (Romans 8:19-21)
Where is the Son of Man now seated? According to Paul in Ephesians, He is seated at the right hand of the Father in the heavenlies. That’s where He has been ever since 40 days after the resurrection. He is seated on His glorious throne. Paul also said that God has seated us there with Him (Ephesians 2:6). It doesn’t get more glorious than that!

Since the Lord Jesus Christ now sits on His glorious throne, it follows that the renewal of all things has already begun. The old age is passing away, and the age of God’s kingdom is now breaking in and advancing. Everyone who is in Christ is now a new creation; old things have passed away. Paul adds, “Behold” That is very important in Scripture; it alerts us to give full attention and credence to what He is going to say next: “Behold, all things have become new.”

Jesus promised that all things would be renewed when He sat down on His glorious throne. Though it was still a future even to them at that moment, it is no longer a future event to us. It has already begun, and has been going on ever since He ascended to heaven. We are now in the time between the inauguration of His rule and reign and the time when His kingdom is fully and completely manifested on earth as it is in heaven. The old age of darkness is already passing away, and the true light of Jesus Christ is already shining (1 John 2:8).

The time of His reign is now; so also the time of hundredfold return. In a somewhat parallel passage in Mark, we read:
Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s who shall not received a hundredfold now in this time — houses and brothers and sisters ad mothers and children and lands, with persecutions — and in the age to come, eternal life. (Mark 10:29-20)
For it is our privilege as those who are in Christ, not only to become new creations ourselves, but also to participate in the renewal of all things. Just as Jesus taught us to pray, “Kingdom of God, come!”, so also He calls us to involve ourselves for His sake and the sake of the Gospel. We get to sow our lives and possessions into His kingdom work on earth. Not only that, we get to participate in the harvest of what we sow. But it is not merely about our own enlargement, although that happens as part of the process — it is about the enlargement of the kingdom of God and the rule and reign of the Lord Jesus Christ over all.

The renewal of all things has already begun, for the Lord Jesus Christ now rules and reigns on His glorious throne. Have you become a new creation through faith in Jesus Christ? Are you giving yourself for the Gospel and Kingdom of Christ? The ROI is magnificent!