Monday Reverb – 02January2023


The theme for this week is God is our glorious and benevolent king.

  • In our call to worship Psalm, we are reminded of God’s majesty and how he has crowned us with honor and glory.
  • Psalm 8:1-9   
  • The writer of Ecclesiastes acknowledges that God has done everything for us from beginning to end.
  • Ecclesiastes 3:1-13   
  • In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus talks about coming in his glory, reigning over the nations.
  • Matthew 25:31-46
  • In the book of Revelation, we see God making all things new as he dwells with us, taking his rightful place on the throne.
  • Revelations 21:1-6


Speaking of Life

  • Title:  The Least of These
  • Presenter:  Greg Williams, GCI President

While our hearts ache when we encounter a need that we aren’t able to meet, we trust that Jesus knows and will ultimately meet all of our needs.  We get the joy of participating in Jesus’ ministry by faithfully caring for one another as we are able and led.





All Things Made New

Revelations 21:1-6 NRSVUE

Did you know that there are people who will go to a bookstore, pick up a book that looks interesting, and proceed to read the last chapter?  If they like the ending, only then will they purchase the book.  To some of us, that would ruin the tension; if you give away the ending, there is no reason to read the book.

When it comes to our fate as believers, though, knowing the end of our story is of utmost importance.   As characters in this grand saga, we begin our journey of faith knowing the end of the book.   Some things in life are too important to just be left in tension.

Near the end of the book of Revelation, John is describing for us a vision of what is to come in the next age – a scene revealed by Jesus Christ that holds amazing beauty and hope.  John does three things regarding this vision.  He is first seeing, then he is hearing and finally, he is writing.  We are going to look at how these three actions involve us today regarding this vision.


Revelation 21:1-6   …

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,

“See, the home[a] of God is among mortals.   He will dwell[b] with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them and be their God.  4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes.  Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for the first things have passed away.”   

And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.”  Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.”  Then he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life.  


At the outset, it must be said that the Book of Revelation is what is considered apocalyptic literature.  Without going to great lengths to explain what that means, we need to know that John did not possess a holy crystal ball that allowed him to predict the future.  Rather, John is revealing what a future where God has restored everything from destruction and evil will look like.  We don’t know if God gave John a specific vision or dream, or just inspired the words he wrote.  Regardless, it gives us a vision of a restored creation.

John, the Revelator, starts by giving us a glorious picture of a time in which the old things have passed away.  These former things were outside of God’s design for mankindEvil, death, mourning, etc.  The things of the old order that we were plagued with are gone.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. (Revelation 21:1-2 NRSVUE)

John’s initial intended readers were still living in the former times.  A time in which trauma and conflict were their reality, as it is for us.  But he is showing that after all the human drama, after death and hades have come to an end, then all will be made new.

You may have noticed that the sea is mentioned as being no more.  The sea is the only physical feature of the “old earth.”  The sea was viewed by the Israelites as an ominous and threatening force (Psalms 69:1-3, Isaiah 27:1, 51:9-10, Jeremiah 49:23).  This passage is not talking about the literal sea.  This was symbolic for the seat of evil.  The place where the Beast and evil comes from. With the seat of evil being removed, sin and destruction goes with it.

Some feel that the stewardship of our planet isn’t necessary since God will recreate a new world after we have “blown this one to bits.”  John is not describing a world “blown to bits;” he is describing a creation that is no longer under decay.  Remember, Paul told the believers in Rome that “the creation itself will be set free from its enslavement to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God (Romans 8:21 NRSVUE).

Someone may well bring up the fact that Paul mentioned that our citizenship is in heaven. But he was not referring to a location.  Roman citizens were citizens wherever they went.  In fact, retired Roman soldiers were encouraged to live well outside of Rome.  But they were to bring their Roman citizenship with them wherever they happened to be.

John is seeing that heaven and earth are not in competition with each other, but are made for each otherHe is showing us that all things in heaven and earth are summed up in ChristAll of creation is caught up in Jesus’ resurrectionHe is not saying everything is being replacedRather, it is being made newGod has not and will not abandon what he has created.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them and be their God; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:3-4 NRSVUE)

Notice the difference in inspiration here?  John is now hearing something. And what John hears is just how intimate God is with his creation.

Just as Jesus came to earth and lived among us, so too all of heaven now comes down to usChrist ascended to the Father, but in the fullness of time he will finally make his dwelling with us once again, but this time it will be forever.  

There will only exist the rulership of Christ at that time.  He will reign over us with love and mercy.  We will know his ways and live in harmony one towards another.  All of heaven will come with him.  All will be made right.

We will make our abode with Christ, not back in Eden, but in a city whose maker is God.  A place that is teeming with life and relationship.  We become a holy thriving community with Christ as our loving, just king.

Verse 4 indicates that every tear we have shed will be healed by God.  All that has ever caused us pain will be redeemedImagine never having to grieve again — to never feel pain again, to never be hurt or to suffer.  It is beyond our human comprehension, but this is what John is hearing from the voice of God.

John is hearing about a world where there is no more war or economic systems of oppression.  Where tyrants and evil rulers will no longer have their way.  God’s economy is the only system that can be sustained for eternity.  John wants us to hear that there is a world coming that will finally be made right.

And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” Also, he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Then he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.” (Revelation 21:5-6a NRSVUE)

Up until now John has been passive. He has been seeing.  He has been hearing, but now he is asked to do something.  He is asked to take action.  He is asked to testify, to write down all that has been shown to him, all that he has heard from God.

This new creation of God is happening now in a world that has little understanding of its realityWe are called to act upon what we see and what we hearWe are called to carry forth the working of the new creation.

All that we do through Christ, and by his Spirit, is in concert with the new creation. Every work of reconciliation, of healing others, of sharing God’s love, is participating with heaven coming to earth.  Of removing the old and ushering in the new.

In the midst of our mourning, of seeing all the pain and death, what gives you hope?  Though we are still going through all these things, we have a God who says that he is wiping away all our tears.  That it is a done deal!  Even now, his healing, redeeming power is breaking through.

Are you able to see the old things of your past being shed from you?  In its place, are you seeing the newness that God is bringing into your life?  Have you been listening to the voice of God that tells you about his intimate love for you?  That he makes his dwelling with you?

We can take courage knowing that what we are currently going through is not the end of our story. Far from it. We may not be exempt from the suffering in this life, but we can walk through it knowing that Jesus dwells with us and knowing that the world is being made new and right despite what we might currently see and hear.

Know this, that the former things that have damaged us are being healed.  We have his great promise that he will dwell with us and that we will be his peopleHe will be faithful to do all that he has said.  Even now, he is preparing his church as a bride that he might receive us with joyFrom beginning to end, all of this is being accomplished through Christ.  Behold, he is making all things new!






  • 1 Corinthians 15:1-5
  • Colossians 2:13
  • 1 John 2:2
  • Romans 5:8
  • Romans 5:18-21
  • John 3:16-17
  • Luke 24:46-48
  • Colossians 1:19-23
  • Acts 8:12
  • Matthew 28:19-20
  • The gospel is the good news of the kingdom of God  (Acts 8:12)
  • and salvation  (John 3:16-17)
  • by God’s grace  (Ephesians 2:8)
  • through faith in Jesus Christ  (Ephesians 2:8)
  • It is the message that Christ died for our sins  (1 Corinthians 15:1-5; 1 John 2:2; Romans 5:8)
  • and has made us his own before and apart from our believing in him  (Romans 5:8-10; Romans 5:18-21; Colossians 2:13; Colossians 1:19-23)
  • and has bound us to himself by his love in such a way that he will never let us go.  (
  • Therefore, he calls on all humans to repent and believe in him as Lord and Savior.  (






  • What is the mission of the Church?   
      • Matthew 28:19-20
  • How should the Church make disciples?
      • 2 Timothy 2:2
  • Learn what?
      • The Gospel.
  • Teach what?
      • The Gospel.
  • So, what’s the POINT ?
      • All we need to really teach is the Gospel.
      • VISION:  Leaders of Home Groups teach persons in the group well enough so that those persons can teach others.  Those others should learn the Gospel so well that they can teach it to others well enough for them to teach it to others.  


  • I’m sure there are several ways to consider/divide/dissect the Gospel.
  • One that I’ve helpful is … The five ‘P’s …
      • Purpose … Problem … Provision … Potential … Promise
      • More specifically … God’s Purpose, Man’s Problem, God’s Provision, Man’s Potential & God’s Promise


1.     So what is God’s PURPOSE ?  


  • Genesis 2:7
  • Genesis 1:11-12, 20-21, 24-25 …
  • Genesis 1:26
  • God’s purpose for Man is RELATIONSHIP
  • What was the intended nature of that relationship?
  • Revelation 21:3
  • Revelation 21:7
  • Matthew 6:9,1-34
  • Genesis 3:22
  • relational
  • personal / familial
  • eternal



2.     What was Man’s PROBLEM ?  
    • Man’s problem was multi-dimensional
        • Isaiah 59:1-2
        • Romans 3:23
        • Romans 6:23
        • Romans 3:20
        • Galatians 2:16
        • James 2:10-11
        • Romans 8:7-8
        • Ephesians 2:1-5
        • Colossians 2:13
        • Romans 6:13
    • What was Man’s primary problem?   
        • Isaiah 59:1-2   Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear.  But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.  
    • What was Man’s secondary problem? 
        • Man’s secondary problem was two-dimensional … SIN and DEATH.
        • Re: SIN …
            • Rom.3:23  All have sinned
            • Rom.6:23  The wages of sin is death
        • Re: DEATH …
            • Rom.3:20  Law-keeping cannot save anyone
            • Romans 8:7-8
            • Ephesians 2:1-5
            • Colossians 2:13
            • Romans 6:13


3.     What was God’s PROVISION ?  
    • Romans 5:8-9
    • Romans 10:9
    • Romans 5:10
    • 1 Corinthians 15:
    • If there was a problem, there needed to be a solution.
    • God provided that solution … by giving us JESUS CHRIST.
    • JESUS solved the problem … by virtue of His PERSON and His WORK.
        • by His PERSON … because He is the Son of God, but He is also God the Son.
        • by His WORK …… because of His DEATH and His RESURRECTION
            • By His death, He defeated sin.
            • By His resurrection, He defeated death.
                • When He died, He made it possible for us to be saved.
                • When He rose from the dead, He saved us.
            • Romans 5:8-9 Christ died for us
            • Romans 10:9   All a person needs to do is believe (trust) in Christ
            • Romans 5:10   His death >> reconciliation;  His (resurrected) life >> salvation
4.     Man’s POTENTIAL   
    • Romans 5:1
    • 2 Corinthians 5:16-20
    • RECONCILIATION.  By faith, we mean trust in Jesus Christ, alone.
5.     God’s PROMISE   
    • Romans 10:13
    • Revelation 3:20
    • God WITH us
    • God FOR us
    • God IN us
        • Romans 10:13  Call upon the name of the Lord and you will be saved
        • Revelation 3:20










Jesus Christ did all that needed to be done for you to be saved Jesus Christ did all that needed to be done for you to be saved
Christ died … and rose … for all people Christ died … and rose … for all people
… so all people CAN BE saved. … so all people HAVE BEEN saved.
You NEED to DO something in order to be saved.  

You NEED to BELIEVE in order TO BE SAVED.  

You DON’T NEED to DO anything in order to be saved.

You NEED to believe … NOT to be saved … BUT to RECEIVE SALVATION. 

A person is SAVED BY FAITH.    

You will be saved IF you believe.

Christ died and rose … to make it possible for you to be saved. 

In order to be saved, a person must believe in what Jesus Christ did.  

A person is SAVED BY GRACE.

You have already been saved …

Christ died and rose … to save you.

You just need to believe you have already been saved.

.The TVG is about something that CAN BE DONE in order to be saved.

… b/c when Christ died and rose, He didn’t really save you … He only made it possible for you to be forgiven and saved.

You will not be saved unless you believe … You have to believe in order to be saved. ) but He didn’t really save anyone until they believed.

The VVG is about something that HAS BEEN DONE already

… b/c when Christ died and rose, you were forgiven and saved. 

You are not saved because you believe … Your belief does not save you … Your belief just causes you to know that you have been already saved.

The TVG, then, is about what A PERSON CAN DO in order TO BE SAVED. 

According to the TVG … FAITH IS HOW ONE IS SAVED.  

The VVG is about WHAT GOD DID in order TO SAVE YOU.


According to the TVG … a person is given faith SO THAT HE CAN BELIEVE IN ORDER TO BE SAVED.  According to the VVG … a person is given faith SO THAT HE CAN BELIEVE THAT HE HAS ALREADY BEEN SAVED.






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