All Things New

January 1, 2023

Series: Holiday Sermons

Topic: New Years

I got her pen so she can’t take notes. It’s time to open your Word. Okay. I want to tell you to open your Bibles to the last page. How about that? Everyone can find that, I think, whether this is your first time here or not, and I’m just I’m honored to be able to preach God’s Word here. My name is Tyler, and my wife and I Molly, we’ve led the singles here for the last two years. It’s been really awesome. Yeah, it’s an honor, man. I really hope you guys feel inspired by all you’ve seen so far this morning. But I want to say too, Happy New Year. It’s incredible to be here. The fellowship is heavenly. The party was incredible. It was so much fun. But, yeah, we have just a couple of minutes here to dive into God’s Word and submerge and come back up with a lot of hope. Amen. So God’s Word offers so much hope, but our God is a really special God. He’s incredible because he’s a God who specializes in giving people fresh starts, redo’s fresh starts, that’s his specialty. And it’s in an interesting spot, kind of standing in the gap of an old year and a new year, and you’re like, wow, you kind of are looking back, maybe the year was such a blur.

You’re like, let’s reflect. Although it’s in the past, but you’re also looking forward, and I wonder what you’re feeling this morning, right? Maybe you’re feeling like, this past year was incredible, and I don’t know if I’m about to come off the mountaintop experience, right? It was a pretty great year. And maybe you have some apprehension, like, God, what? It can’t be this good forever, right? What’s going to happen in 2023? Or maybe you’re feeling like, just bring it on. New year, fresh start. I need God to bring me out of a valley. And no matter where you’re at, I think there is a bit of apprehension and wondering about what the next year could be, because by definition, a transition is is just unsettling for the better, for the worse. Transitions are unsettling. And but I do just want to encourage you this morning because God’s Word offers a hope that the world doesn’t have. And so I hope you’re in Revelation. We’ll start in chapter 20. So flip there. But you got to be aware that your life is about to just change. It only can. Change never stays still, it’s always in flux, right?

And we can hope for the better because of the hope that Jesus sets out before us. This is where we’re going to read. And the reason I’m choosing this text here is because it is sort of the ending of something. It’s the ending in chapter 21 spells out a new beginning. And it’s kind of that gap in our Bible here. So I don’t think there’s a better place to camp out this morning because here, our text will take a break, but this one will talk about an ending. Kind of like the ball dropping, right? I warn you, it’s more of a gavel dropping. But something’s ending here with great formality and an eternal new era is about to begin. So let’s read 20, verse eleven, The Judgment of the Dead. It reads, Then I saw a great white throne, and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And then I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne. And books were open. Another book was open, which is the Book of Life. The dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books.

And the sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of Fire. The lake of Fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written just smelting away where your calendars just mean nothing anymore. At the end of time, we’re going to meet face to face as a new era dawns of endless days. We’re going to meet face to face with this terrifyingly, awesome God who sits on this throne. And he’s going to sum up my life and your life in one final swooping word and judgment. And it’s an objective, decisive and really terrifying moment that you’re going to face. And honestly, if you look here, it says that all creation will flee, or they will at least try to flee, but it says there’s no hiding from this moment. It’s coming. It’s an inevitability. You got to plan on it. So in your planners put it in there because it’s happening. And I don’t know if you got your new planner for 2023, but I did.

And it says on the front, 2023, it’s the only way I know how to make plans with intentionality and make sure things happen. But we all make plans somehow, whether it’s on your phone or on your hand. We’re always planning things and we’re always trying to at least on the front end capture our intentions and live them out the best that we can. And we hope that everything’s going to work out. That’s kind of how we live our life. But inevitably, year by year, day by day they are scarred with sin and we never intend to live them out the way we intend to live them from the get go. Some years are worse than others, right? Sometimes we’re in valleys, some years are just tough and we look back and we realize who we could have been and maybe who we want to be. But here in this text it says that our days, they’re recorded by God himself and he very much cares about how we live our life. He cares about this year ahead and he wants a relationship with you. And that’s a lot to take in, right? You see that there’s actually this book and if I had a prop that would do justice, I would bring such a book, but I don’t have access to a law office.

But it’s something quite like that, right? This massive book called The Book of Life that has all of our days and everything recorded. And maybe it’s an ebook. I think the angels might be more up on the times than us. They got their kindle out. But honestly, no matter your intentions this past year, even if it was a great year, I know you didn’t live up to your intentions this past year and God’s intentions for you fully, right? But we live in grace and that’s going to come here. But I just want to say we fail and we need something like grace, right as we look back and we have hope that there’s even worth trying again to be who God wants us to be. But we fail, right? And that’s because sin is wired into us on the deepest of levels. Sin is wired into us. And I know at least if your conscience isn’t seared that on some level you feel brokenness in your life, right? It comes, it spews out of your heart, it spews out of your mind, it spews out of the things you do. It’s our curse. And God made a beautiful new start to his universe.

And as soon as Adam and Eve come on the scene, it’s like little cracks just show and our sin breaks everything. And yet in the midst of that curse there’s an incredible gift. And I think you can see that from a different vantage point that might give you some hope that there’s some glitter in that curse, there’s some gold in it and I call it the gold and the guilt because the gift in the midst of our sin is our guilt that follows it. And it really can if we let it, it can prompt us to make resolutions and decisions to change and repent and live differently. God has promptings and whisperings that we were you’re made for something more. Like when you’re not living out how God intends. You can hear that if you listen, it’s there. And in every way, it’s a grace that God gives us direction and purpose in our life and in every way. We know and we feel it when we sin that our life was made for something different because it’s not really our own. It’s inspired and gifted by God, and it’s on loan from Him. 2023 is his year, and he breathes life into you for his purposes and whatever he wants accomplished, he is giving you the help to make it this far.

Colossians 1:16. It reads that all things have been created through Him and for Him, and that includes our year ahead. I want you guys, as you consider your hope in 2023, to ask this question for yourself. In his is God’s glory the motive for which you’re arranging and designing your days and your life as you look ahead? Is his glory the motive for which you’re arranging and designing the year ahead? On January 1, there is so much potential, and I call you to just stare at the potential of a life surrendered to God’s new possibilities for you. There’s so much there, and we need to sit with that. We need to see the opportunity and the calling that God has and really hear it clearly. It’s different for all of us. With a question you want to look back and ask, will you grow closer to Jesus? Have I grown closer to Him this year as I look back? Are you going to grow closer to Him in this year to come to the One who sits on the throne? Right? Because it’s almost like we’re on a moving sidewalk. We are moving closer to that day, and we want to be moving closer in our hearts as well as we approach Him on the throne.

If Jesus being the Lord and Master of your life is the decision that you’re on the brink of, right, and you’re facing it today, I encourage you to make that decision. And if Jesus continuing to be the Lord of your life is the decision you’re faced with today, keep making that decision. We all will need do overs, right? We all will need fresh starts, a mulligan, right? Some kind of hope that’s beyond our best behavior, because that’s just not going to cut it. But honestly, not to take the magic out of New Year, but I think that most things in life, especially this arbitrary date, the world’s agreed on, it’s a placebo, okay? There’s not much new. I’m sure you woke up feeling a lot of maybe the pains in your body that you had yesterday or a lot of the mindsets that you’re like, man, I want that gone. And you woke up with you and maybe that check engine light on your car over here, it’s still on. And you’re like, oh, man, nothing’s really new. It’s just a number. January 1, December 31, it’s all a number. It doesn’t matter. It’s not new in that sense.

It’s not where our hope lies. And I think we know that because the sin in our lives, the sin that’s been done to us and the sin that we’ve done to others. Those scars, we we carry them around even as we die to an old life, right in the waters of baptism, down, up and out again. Unfortunately, we’re still carrying the scars of sin and the setbacks and the consequences of sin, and they still haunt us. And we have to submit our thoughts to Christ and remember and call the mind that he started something new, right? Only God can truly make something new that’s true. And in Him a newness is dawn from the inside out. It started. It’s a seed. It’s in you. The Holy Spirit is there. He’s making you new. But that fullness of that hope, right? Is to be realized on a day like the one we just read about. Because Jesus has more to say for those that have their hope in Him. Our greatest hope is not in a new year, but it’s in a day to come when he will make all things new. All things new. Let’s read on in Revelation 21, one through five.

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 away 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 this, I am making. We love new toys. Just the novelty fascinates us. And things just grow old so fast, right? Like your Christmas gift last week. That’s old. It’s a week old. And that was last week old news. But here on this day, we are always excited to welcome a new year, right? As though maybe it’s better just simply because it’s new. Might not be better, circumstantially, but we are willing to give it all the fuzzy happy feelings that come with something new because it’s a new year.

And so it’s a happy new year. But true or truth be told, sometimes, though, the old things, they prove to be better, don’t they? The old things that are tried and true, the old things that have long endured, right? They’ve stood the test of time. And as Christians, we actually prize as Christians truths that are unchanging and have stood forever in ages. Like an eternal God who always extends the same faithfulness to you, day after day, yesterday, today and forever. Like the Good News Gospel that although it’s thousands of years old by now, even still, the old, old gospel is the newest thing in the world. The boundary of an old year and a new year, it’s just hazy, right? Like, welcome to Orlando. You see that sign? You’re like, was I in Orlando? Was it this street or that street? I’m sure there’s something some city planners agreed upon, but it’s more of a feeling, right? It’s like, welcome to Florida. I know some of you guys probably saw that sign this weekend or thanks for visiting. And we truly thank you for visiting. But if you’ve noticed this morning, you are much the same.

Even though you’ve crossed the line, right? 2023. You’re still you. And the magic. There was no magic boop at midnight. It just didn’t happen. But I am all for taking advantage of the moment, okay? Because if the world will, we will, too. Amen. Because today, you might just need to hear that if never before, Christ can make you new. He can. Or maybe you just need a reminder as a Christian that Christ has already begun something new in you. And you are new. You are new. No matter what you’re carrying, you are new. Let those words and their weight sink in. As Jesus says, behold, I am making everything new. Behold, I who’s that? No one else but Jesus. God’s son. Eternal son. Behold, I make who can make except for God? He’s the creator. He’s the one who started making on the first page of your Bible and ended making on the last page of your Bible. He makes all things. Nothing stands outside of his scope. Nothing doesn’t have his signature. All of it is his design. Behold, I make all things new. That’s an incredible blessing. The newness that if it starts from anywhere, it comes from God.

It’s his. So let yes, let us get caught up in the newness. Let’s get caught up in it because it’s real. This is real. This is lasting. If there ever was something new, this is it. A life with Jesus. And to advertise this newness, this actual newness, he says before he says, behold. Behold, I make all things new, saying, look at this. Let this get your attention. Consider this transformation. It’s a new life built on a new covenant, right? Hebrews. Read Hebrews. You are under something so new it’s beautiful. Not something where we have to be perfect, right? We break our New Year’s resolutions, and they’re self imposed laws. How could we ever live up to God’s laws? Imperfection. I give you the January. Like, till January. Most of you will not. I’m not trying to burst your bubble. You have hope. But with Jesus, we don’t have to be perfect. That’s cool, right? We don’t have to tick off like X. Got it. Got it. No streak is our hope, okay? No streak of goodness. It’s God’s grace. The old covenant is broken, but it’s old, right? It was good for a time, but it’s not our hope.

Our hope is this new covenant through Christ. And that’s the foundation of our new life. Jesus and all he’s done on the cross as we meditated on that, it has changed everything. Everything for me in my life, everything for you in your life if you are in Him. And it has the potential to turn your life upside down if you’re considering following Him. But it’s amazing. And for all that are going to behold it on the cross, it leaves you with a new outlook on life, something completely new. I recall studying the Bible with a friend, and we sat down to look at the cross of Christ, and when we got up, we thought, all right, we’re going towards something like this is clicking. He couldn’t get up. He was like, Where is your mind, right? He was staring off into the distance and we had kind of noticed like, Are you okay? And he’s like, yeah, but I feel like I can never see things the same way again. This changes everything. Beholding Jesus in his work for us. It changes us the way we see the world, the way we see our lives. We tend to just lose joy in worthless pursuits that used to bring us so much joy.

We find a greater joy the way we see our relationships with each other, right? That they can be mended when we hurt each other, that forgiveness is a thing or pure ways to relate. Guys and girls like a new concept entirely, right? We see the emptiness of the world as clear as day when before we just had a hunch that it was like that, but we see it clearly. A whole new reason for living. Death and dying just do not scare us anymore. And if you hear that and you think, I want that, give me that, I’ll take that. Thank you. If you think, man, if only I could have that. If only I wasn’t too far gone, right? If only. Just know there’s nothing too old that Jesus Christ cannot make new. Nothing too old, nothing too stuck, too dead to rotting, decaying in your heart. Nothing is too old for Jesus to make new. Nothing that he can’t resurrect in your life. Remember Ezekiel’s dry bones? That was God’s power that rose and the thief on the cross. His dying hope was just that Jesus would do something. He wasn’t too late. The adulterous woman with Jesus, right?

He saw hope in her when no one did, and Saul, the murderer of more Christians than you know. God made him new. New. So no matter what you think of yourself, and if this is like, man, I don’t know if I can undergo this, I don’t know if I can be made new or I don’t know if I can be made new again. There’s something just so wrong. And I appreciate Kareem’s vulnerability and how God has hoped to change us again and again and again. Don’t lose sight of this truth here. Look in your Bible and see that. It says that this is something he does for us. We can’t do this on our own. We have no hope to do so. He gives us new birth. Behold, I make all things new. Not you. Jesus does it. It’s his work in us. And he’s not in the business of just fixing you up. Bandaging you right. Triage send you out? No. He’s set on making you new. You are too far gone. If you’re on the other side of the spectrum, like, I don’t need to be made new. I’m good enough. No, you’re not.

You need to be made new. New a new creature. One that dies with Christ and is raised with Him in baptism. Amen. Just through faith in his resurrection power, he’s going to make all things new. For a minute here, I’m going to call up the worship and we’re going to do a last song. But I want to just get practical for you here to help you out that because while God makes us new, we also are to live out these new lives. And the change that God is working in us, if it’s real. There’s things in our life that should look different because he’s making us new. And as a Christian, it might just be that you need again to live like you’re new, like you know it now. Hold on to this scripture, but live it out, right? Show that God is making you new in your prayer life in this year to come. Maybe you’re waking up a little bit earlier, like Jesus in the dark, alone with God, maybe showing that God is making your relationships new, right? That you’re seeking others, being open, walking in the light, just getting open with someone and saying, help me follow Christ as I follow Christ and let me help you, right?

Discipleship together. Maybe if you’re single here and that’s a lot of us this morning, showing that your singleness in that God has made you new. You know, not getting stuck on maybe how you want to be married, which is the case, but for many, but rather maybe being captivated just by how incredible God, all his opportunities are for you during this season in your life, right? That you could be undivided for his glory. Like a new you that just gets more wrapped up in giving Him glory than any longing unfulfilled. Maybe you need that. Maybe God, he wants to show that he’s making me new in the way you’re wanting to help others be made new, right? Making disciples. Maybe you need to make your schedule and your calendar new so you have room to help someone get to know Jesus. That’s not too hard. That’s not beyond us, right? Showing that maybe in repentance and baptism that God needs to make you new, right? Faithfully making those decisions with a new sense of urgency that waits for nothing to be made a new person. Not holding on to the old this morning, guys. So I just want you guys to know you’re new or can be new in Jesus.

That’s what you should leave with. We fail and sin and all of that. We have an old life, but sometimes we start entertaining Satan’s lives that our newness has faded and it’s over. Right? You need the reminder that you are still new. Don’t turn back to an old way of life. That is a lie from Satan. If you think newness is done, it’s not. Every day, every year, you have a new shot. Every minute you have a new shot. His mercies are new every morning. And a morning is happening at every moment on some part of the globe, right? So all you need to do is get on a plane and go find a morning. No, you don’t need that. You got it right now. Right now. We are new in Christ. And with that, we’re going to go ahead and celebrate all that he’s doing, right? Our God is the one who makes all things new. He can make our circumstances new. He can make your heart new. He can make all the details of your life that you want changed. He can do that too. Amen. So pray. Ask God to do what you want him to do but be surrendered to what he wants to do in your life this year.

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