"I Will Make All Things New"

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.--Revelation 21:5

January 1, 1999 marks the beginning of yet another year. As with every new year, it brings the reminder of a fresh beginning, a time to re-evaluate our lives and re-dedicate ourselves to the Lord.

Our brief lives of "threescore and ten" bring only a limited number of such remembrances. Perhaps it is because of this very brevity that we value each of these new years so much.

Though our lives are short, yet God's eternal plan is not. Six thousand plus years of sin and death, followed by a millennium of re-education, are but the beginning of eternity. As one has defined it, "Picture an immense mountain at which a persistent bird pecks once a year. When that mountain is completely brought down, that will be the beginning of eternity." More reverently, the hymnist states:

When we've been there
Ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We've no less years
To sing his praise,
Then when we first begun.

In planning for that vast eternity God makes a great many things new. This is the theme of the current issue of THE HERALD. Space permits an examination of but a few of these new things in the plan of God.

This issue opens with an "Echo from the Past" written by Paul Thomson, a former editor of this journal. It is entitled To Live Is Christ. Truly the secret of happiness is in a life lived "in Christ" and fully committed to him.

Continuing on the theme of the new year, this issue's verse by verse study is Psalm 65 and is entitled The Crown of the Year. David wrote a hymn of praise for God's ever-renewing goodness to the children of men.

A "new and living way" (Hebrews 10:20) is the basis for a new creation. The article What Is So New About a New Creation looks at the many details that make Christians new and different from what they were before.

The future role of these new creatures is considered in the companion treatise, God Hears the Heavens, examining the biblical promise of a new heavens. These "new heavens" form one of the foundation stones for the future of God's plan of the ages.

Another foundation in this plan is a "new earth." This forms the second half of God's promise for mankind for which we pray, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10). The author of God's Promise for a New Earth looks at the many provisions God has made for the future of life on planet earth.

John the Revelator saw the relationship between the new heavens and the new earth when he beheld Jerusalem descending as "a bride adorned for her husband" (Revelation 21:2). The article on The New Jerusalem gives a beautiful glimpse into this inspiring vision.

The concluding article deals with yet another promise of God in the making of all things new--A New Covenant. The author considers both the Old Testament and the New Testament use of this term, analyzing the seeming discrepancies in the accounts.

All of these "new" things are but a part of the plan of God to fulfill the promise made to Abraham so many millennia ago, "That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice" (Genesis 22:17,18).

"In the beginning God created heaven and earth," preparing it for the human creation of Adam and Eve (Genesis 1). Adam sinned. The first couple was expelled from their Edenic home. But God has promised to make them anew. As he spoke parabolically through the prophet, "the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it" (Jeremiah 18:4).

As God has renewed his promises often to the human race, so let each of us renew our commitments to him in 1999 and each succeeding year. This will truly make a "happy new year."