“Behold, I am making all things new.”
So the Olympic Games Rio 2016 are over. It’s certainly been a success story for Team-GB, and there has rightly been great excitement surrounding medals won and world records set.
You may have seen that the organizers took, as their theme for the games this year, ‘A NEW WORLD,’ promoting the concepts of transformation through sport and changing the world for the better.
Sport certainly has a power: it entertained us; it inspired us with great sporting achievements; it moved us with stories of overcoming adversities and setbacks. However, as the Olympic flame went out in Rio, the stark reality is that we still live in the same world – a world of poverty and injustice, a world of terrorism and violence, a world of political and economic uncertainty.
In Revelation 21:5, Jesus makes this awesome declaration from his heavenly throne: “I am making all things new.” The fact that he says this from his heavenly throne underlines his absolute authority in saying it. The fact that it is then written down, at his command, confirms the saying as being trustworthy and true.
It’s not merely a noble aspiration - like the sound-byte statement of an organizing committee - but an absolute statement of divine intent. We do live in an imperfect world; a world badly in need of radical change. The problems come from within each and every one of us – through our sin.
A new world is what Christ gave himself to create.
His cross is the beginning of it – the sacrifice that pays the penalty of our sin and begins his renewing work in individual lives.
Heaven will be its completion – when Christ’s work of renewing all things is complete, and there is no more death or mourning or crying or pain.
So why not get with the programme now – and seek the change that Christ offers: the instant change whereby he redeems us, making us right with God; and the gradual change whereby (through the influence in us of his Holy Spirit) he transforms our character, making us more like himself.
A changed world is achieved by changed lives, and that’s you and me.
This present world will always be imperfect and broken until Christ returns. But we can, nevertheless, by allowing Christ to change us within, become change-makers ourselves – bringing the values of Christ and his kingdom into our homes, workplaces and communities.
A new world is coming – that’s not just a vague pipe-dream, but a sure and certain hope.
We’ll be ready for it when it comes if we’re living that new life now.