Sermon at First Presbyterian Church Lockhart

"The Creation Restored”

Isaiah 65:17-25, Isaiah 12, II Thessalonians 3:6-13, Luke 21:5-19

                                                           November 14, 2010                              

by James Greene

 

           Have you ever had a friendship that was a really good one?  Then there was a separation in time and distance, and that relationship seemed gone.  One day you turn a corner (you ran into them again) and your friendship was reestablished.

There is a friend of mine that I knew in my sophomore year of high school.  He lived in the house behind ours and we really got along well.  We were both Air Force Brats, and did a lot of things together that year and in the summer.

His dad was shipped to Korea, and they left.    Four years later, he returns to Texas and is going to A&M, and came to our house for Thanksgiving. 

I go away to A&M after two years at Junior College and two years later, we both graduated from A&M together.  He goes into the Air Force, and I go into the Marine Corps.  12 years go by and one day I discover that for the last 5 years he has been living in a town 30 miles away.

After that, we decided to keep in touch.  It was a restoration of a friendship.  That friendship has gone on now for some 48 years.  He is closer than a brother.

This is what our texts this morning are focused upon – Restoration.

 

           The title of today’s sermon is “The Creation – Restored”

 

I  When God Restores The Creation  – Isaiah 62

 

In Isaiah, we see God speaking through the prophet.  It is about God acting in the future.  He says I will create a New Heaven, a New Earth, and a New Jerusalem.  It is a picture of living in that New World, that is restored and it will last forever.  It is about the quality of community (The Kingdom) created in God’s ability to create and to act. 

This is a portrait of what the initial creation was supposed to be.  It is a glimpse of the Creation, before the fall.  It is about the restored relationship not just with God, but between people, and within Creation itself. 

Think about it, – there is no pain or sorrow.  There is no dying young.  There is no injustice.  The house you build, is the house where you can will live, and it will be yours to enjoy.  The food you plant, you will be able to eat.  We will not work in vein, but will enjoy the works of our hands.

 

Think about all of the effort we put into our daily work on a production line.  Look how much time we spend building things that we will never get to use, because it goes to support the society.  We sweat and toil for a result we never actualize.  It is amazing to think how many computer chips I have helped produce in 30 years.

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This text is also speaking about, the intimate relationship with the Lord is restored, where he will hear while we are still speaking, and he will answer, before we call.  It is also restoring a righteous relationship within creation.  The animals, like God’s people, live in harmony.  There is no competition, and dog-eat-dog, or the Darwinian design of the survival-of-the-fittest relationship.  It is a picture of God’s Peace, expressed in the creation.  It is not an existence of claws and fangs and talons, but a portrait of nature in peaceful harmony and existence as God intended it.  There is no destruction, on all of God’s Holy mountain.   

 

II  Praise and Joy When Creation is Restored – Isaiah 12

 

In Isaiah 12, we see the praise, the joy, and the thanksgiving given to God, in response to His salvation.  It is a response of how God is our comfort, and our strength.  It is a praise of God’s greatness in accomplishing our salvation with the bringing in of the Kingdom.

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III Doing What Is Right - II Thessalonians

 

           In our Epistle letter, we see Paul giving us a model to follow that stands against idleness.  It reminds me of the phrase “Busy Hands are Happy Hands”.

 

           In the church, there were people who were focused on looking for the Second Coming of Christ and not focusing upon the work of the church at hand.  They were focused upon the future, and sitting around, and waiting for that revelation.  They had forgotten about Jesus’ reminder to be diligent, because they did not know when the ‘Master’ would return.  Another way to express Paul’s displeasure is that  “they were so heavenly minded that they were no earthly good”.

 

           Paul calls the church to live by the example they had set when they were with the congregation.  It is an example of that ‘right relationship’ that righteousness that calls us to be diligent in our work, and  “never tire of doing what is right.”   It is an example of restored relationship and living in The Kingdom. 

                                                                  

IV Coming of the Restoration of Creation  - Luke

 

           In Luke we see Jesus again teaching the disciples about the destruction of Jerusalem.  They typically ask for the “signs” that will come before the destruction.  He explains that many will come saying: “the time is near”, many will declare “I am He”.  He tells them not to be deceived, and not to follow.

 

           In book theThe Jewish War” Josephus, describes the siege of Jerusalem in 70AD, the destruction of the Temple, and the leveling of the entire city.  He also describes how all of the trees were cut down for a distance of 10 miles.

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           Jesus describes that there will be wars, rumors of war, nations and kingdoms fighting against each other.  The description of earthquakes, famines and great signs in the heavens all will happen.  Yet, all of these things, have happened many times over during the last 2,000 years.  

 

Jesus is preparing the disciples by describing the things that will happen to them.  But he also gives them words of encouragement.  So they understand when they are dragged before councils and kings, it will be because of ‘his name’.   They are to be witnesses to kings and councils.  He charges them to not worry, but know that he will give them words and wisdom so they may stand firm when confronted by their adversaries.

It is here that he affirms to them their salvation.  They will be redeemed and will not perish by standing firm,  because of that, they will gain life; they will see The Kingdom, and see the Creation restored.  They will be a part of the New world and the New Earth. 

 

They will gain life everlasting and be restored with the creation, and the bringing in of the Kingdom.      

 

Conclusion

 

           We must understand and realize as, the people of God, that the Creation will be restored, it is reflected through the scriptures, and affirmed by Jesus.  It is important for us to teach and to Know God, in His Law (this should be an intimate part of our identity) and in knowing God, we will know God’s Mercy.

 

     As we read in Isaiah, and hear from Jesus,   when God restores the creation, 

 

our lives and the world, will never be the same,     it will be great!

 

it will be a new heaven… and a new earth,   

 

it will be … The Creation Restored 

 

                                                                                       And it will be done

 

                      In the Name of    the Father,   the Son,   and the Holy Spirit.  Amen

 

 

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