Reformed Catechism Week 52 Resources

Week 52 Question:

What hope does everlasting life hold for us?

Week 52 Answer:

It reminds us that this present fallen world is not all there is; soon we will live with and enjoy God forever in the new city, in the new heaven and the new earth, where we will be fully and forever freed from all sin and will inhabit renewed, resurrection bodies in a renewed, restored creation.

Week 52 Verse:

Revelation 21:1-4

Commentary

Scripture begins with the original creation of the universe and ends in its last chapters with the creation of a new universe. And in between, the perspective is overshadowed by this Alpha and Omega, this Beginning and End. The first outspoken expression of this is God’s word in Isaiah 65: "Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth" (v.17). Then Jesus himself spoke of thepalingenesia, literally ‘the new birth,’ but translated by the NIV "the renewal of all things" (Matt. 19:28). In the rest of the New Testament the three major apostolic authors (Paul, Peter, and John) all allude to the same theme. Paul writes that the whole creation will one day be liberated from its bondage to pain and decay (Rom. 8:18–25). Peter prophesies that the present heavens will be replaced by a new heaven and earth, which will be the home of righteousness and peace (2 Pet. 3:7–13). Next, John writes that he saw the same replacement, together with the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God (Rev. 21:1–2). And in the same chapter John writes that the kings of the earth and the nations will bring their glory into the city, though "nothing impure will ever enter into it" (Rev. 21:27). We need to be cautious in our interpretation of these verses, but they seem to mean that human culture will not all be destroyed but, once purged of every taint of evil, will be preserved to beautify the New Jerusalem. To sum up, just as in the resurrection of the body, so in the renewal of the universe, the old will not all be destroyed but will be transformed. This is our living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

John Stott (1921–2011). An English Anglican preacher who for many years served as rector of All Souls Church in London, Stott was one of the principal framers of the Lausanne Covenant (1974). His numerous books include Why I Am a Christian and The Cross of Christ.

From Through the Bible, Through the Year: Daily Reflections from Genesis to Revelation (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2006), 285.

Video Commentary

NCC Q52: What hope does everlasting life hold for us? from The Gospel Coalition on Vimeo.

 

Prayer

And now to Him who purchased the church with his own blood, who walks in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks, and exercises a tender care over the weakest and meanest of his flock;—to Him…do I now desire to devote my strength, my life, my all; to be employed how, and as long, as his unerring wisdom shall direct and appoint. And the Lord grant! that I may obtain mercy to be found faithful…. And as it is in Him I desire to be found, at the last, the universal audit; so it is in his name I humbly go forth…. Oh my God! my adored Redeemer! my infinite, eternal All! Let my own soul…be ever precious in thy sight! And grant, that after the exercise of much fervent, mutual love, and the enjoyment of many spiritual comforts, in these thy lower courts; we may finally arrive at those blissful regions, where love is perfect, and joy perpetual; where hymns of holy wonder, and songs of devoutest praise, shall be our uninterrupted and everlasting employ! Amen and Amen.

Abraham Booth (1734–1806). An English Baptist minister, Booth served as pastor of Prescot Street Church in Whitechapel, London for 35 years as well as founding what is now Regents Park College for ministerial training in Oxford. He is most known for his work The Reign of Grace.

From “Confession of Faith” in Works of Abraham Booth: Late Pastor of the Baptist Church, Volume 1 (London: Button, 1813), xxxvi–xxxvii.