Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Already/Not Yet (Part 3)

Another crucial passage that applies to our present age is Isaiah 65.

“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; For behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, And her people a joy. I will rejoice in Jerusalem, And joy in My people; The voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her, Nor the voice of crying” (Isaiah 65:17-19).

God says that he will create a new heavens and a new earth. Look closely at how this is described.

“No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, Nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; For the child shall die one hundred years old, But the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed. They shall build houses and inhabit them; They shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They shall not build and another inhabit; They shall not plant and another eat; For as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of My people, And My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labor in vain, Nor bring forth children for trouble; For they shall be the descendants of the blessed of Yahweh, And their offspring with them. ‘It shall come to pass That before they call, I will answer; And while they are still speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, The lion shall eat straw like the ox, And dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,’ Says Yahweh” (Isaiah 65:20-25).

While many see this as a description of the eternal state, at least two events described do not fit: giving birth (v 20, 23) and death (v. 20).

In eternity, there will be no birth and no death, so this passage must be describing the present age.

The best way to understand this is by applying the already/not yet principle. At Jesus’ first coming, he inaugurated the new heavens and the new earth. However, we do not yet see the consummation of the new heavens and the new earth.

Again, this passage invites us to take a long-term perspective on the present age. We do not appear to be anywhere close to seeing Isaiah 65:17-25 fulfilled, which means that the return of Christ must be a long ways off.


Frontier Forest said...

Long way off? That’s a new one on me? So much I don’t understand. It’s a good thing that logic and reason don’t play apart in our eternal salvation.

Karen said...

Wow, thank you for helping me sum up what I already know. Keep up the Good work of spreading the Word the way it is written. God bless!