Today’s blog marks my first blog for 2018. Simultaneously, it is the last blog from my more than a year long series walking through Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology. And I love how God ordains moments, for today’s blog topic seems fitting in light of the new year.
Let me begin by being a killjoy. 2018 will not live up to your expectations. This coming year will come with financial problems, health problems, emotional problems, marital problems, family problems, church problems…you name it.
Let’s be honest, this world is broken. And the reason it is broken is because of sin.
In the beginning of creation “God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.” (Genesis 1:31). This statement by God makes you wonder if God was looking at the same world that we are currently living in. The answer to that question is yes and no. It is the same world, but it is a cursed world. Because of the fall, each evening and morning now brings with it pain and tears.
I told my wife on New Year’s Eve that I believe the most depressing moment of the year is when the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Day and the song “Auld Lang Syne” is belted out by crowds everywhere. I say this because this is the moment of disappoint from years gone by, and the realization that you will sing the exact same song next year…with the same disappointment.
For Christians, there is a song that we can sing that is one of hope and one of joy. It is the song found in Revelation 5:9, “And they sang a new song, saying, ‘Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.’”
The scroll is a symbol of the authority that Christ now has over this fallen world and over God’s chosen people. Christ, through his life, death, and resurrection has achieved victory over sin and death for those who have placed their faith in Jesus. Through Christ, God is making “all things new.” (Revelation 21:5).
Ultimately, these new things culminate with a new heaven and a new earth. This new heaven and new earth are only for God’s children, whom Jesus ransomed by his blood. This new heaven and new earth is the eternal New Year that our hearts ache for on New Year’s Eve. It is an eternal year with no more tears, no more death, nor more pain. It is an eternity in the presence of our God, when the “former things have passed away” and will never be repeated again.
And this day will come not when the clock strikes midnight, but when the last trumpet of God sounds. “And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (Mathew 24:31).
Therefore, Christian, as we begin a new year, do not set your eyes upon 2018, set your eyes upon eternity with our God, for this is our destiny. This is our glorious hope.