sexta-feira, 31 de julho de 2015

PARADISE NOW


Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,”
for the first heaven and the first earth
had passed away,
and there was no longer any sea.

Revelation 21:1 (read 21:1-8) - NIV

The purpose of the Book of Revelation was not to provide a map to show future events. It was a description of the reality of that time in history. Those who use the book to project end time events miss the central message. The book’s readers were constantly in danger of being arrested, tortured and killed for their faith in Jesus and did not have the luxury to speculate about events that were to happen centuries or millennia in the future. Today’s comfortable accommodated Christians have the luxury of using the Book of Revelation for speculative purposes.

The "new heaven" and the "new earth" were already realities. The "New Jerusalem" had already descended and the dwelling place of God was already among humans. The author wrote about current realities. The focus was on the "now." "I am making everything new!” "It is done!" it was written for the "today" of that time, not for the "tomorrow or the next". The words were written for their eyes to read and for them to see beyond apparent realities.

To the eyes of faith, there are larger realities beyond immediate "facts". Science itself affirms this principle. First came Newtonian physics (classical) which interpreted the universe as being a gigantic cosmic machine governed by mathematical laws of cause and effect. This was the scientific view during three centuries until Einstein's time at the beginning of the last century. Quantum physics was developed which deals with subatomic behavior which radically changed the view of the universe. It is no longer viewed as a machine (passive mechanism), but as a body (dynamic organism). The classical laws of physics are limited in their application.

As quantum physics gave a new vision of what was viewed as a material universe, the Book of Revelation helped the persecuted Christians to have a new vision of what was really happening around them.

Within the harsh realities of a chaotic and unforgiving daily existence we can participate in a cosmic order. Amazingly, this cosmic order is within us. The author of Revelation was revealing our inner reality. It was a vision, not forecast! Our inner strength is greater than the external forces. In reality it is God and the Lamb, who reign and are more powerful than the dangers around us.

"Paradise" and "Hell" are not places out there, but conditions of the human spirit. We are building our own heavens and hells. Both are within us. Our paradise does not depend on external conditions, although these can reinforce them. Even in prison, Paul and Silas were able to sing, because they were prisoners and free at the same time! Even without understanding how it is being done, we can believe that God is making all things new!

REVELATION 21:1-8 – NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (NIV)

A NEW HEAVEN AND A NEW EARTH

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

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 without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

Nenhum comentário: