“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
Yet a little while (I write this, of course, in December) and a word of God will be fulfilled again, as it has countless times. I have reference to the word of God inGenesis 1:14, “And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years.”
That word of God went into effect every time the year ended and another year rolled around.
And so it will be in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and fifty four.
At the time you read this it will have taken place already.
We are entertained (?) sometimes with cartoons that are supposed to be funny. Then we see a very, very old man who is supposed to be the old year, and a very little baby which is supposed to be the new year.
That is nonsense, of course.
There is nothing new in the new year. Things go on as usual. And if we accept the style of the word of God, things are older, that is, uglier, more wicked in 1955 than they were in 1954. Confer Rev. 21:1-5, in connection with the text I wrote above these lines. The old things ofII Cor. 5:17, are the same things alluded to in Rev. 21, and called there former things. They are the things of tears, death, sorrow, crying and pain.
But in our world of today the things do not become new: they become older, deader, more painful, pregnant with sorrow and sighing.
Also attend to this: the old things of 1954 will return with faster tempo in 1955, for we are approaching the end. The tempo is stepped up by almighty God. From one fourth, to one third to a total degradation, dissolution, death.
Things, the old things, develop faster and faster, and the end will be so ugly and horrible, that man shall sit in the temple of God, proclaiming to all that he is God and that there is no other God beside Him. That is ugly, my brother.
When you take the word “new” upon your lips, you ought to be very careful, for it partakes of the miraculous.
There really should never have been any mention of “new” in this sorry earth.
At first, things were beautiful, but they were not new. That is, if you have accepted the style of the Bible. “New” in the Bible means the new heaven and the new earth. It means the new mediator, Jesus Christ. He is new and what He brings us is new. It means the life of God’s covenant. It means the concept of the knowledge of God, and then a knowledge which shines away and above the knowledge of God such as Adam knew.
No, there should never have been any mention of “new” since we fell to the devil and made common cause with him. If God would deal with us according to our deserts, we would be old and become older unto all eternity. And I have reference to the oldness of hell and damnation. There things will be older and become increasingly older.
But of the life of God’s covenant it is said that their life is renewed as the eagle’s.
No, we have not deserved to be made anew.
But such is the miraculous of the love of God.
Therefore, if any man be in Christ! I tremble when I write that line. Suppose I were not in. Christ! Then I would be old and could look forward to old age that would never stop. I would consume away as the moth. And of my unrest there would be no end.
But God remembered His covenant.
In that covenant He chose me. He foreknew me in the foreknowledge of His love, and predestinated me to be like unto the image of His Son. He included me. There is music in that “inclusion.” There is a hymn, and I know that the poet meant it different than I do when I would sing his song: When the Lord said: “Whosoever!” He included me!
When God said: “Whosoever!” He had in mind the believers, the unspeakably happy people who have faith conferred on them. For the most rabid Methodist must admit that faith is a matter of the gift of God. And God gives faith only to those that are the foreknown from before the foundation of the world: You can do nothing to that. You receive faith and become new, or you do not receive faith and you stay old and get to be older unto all eternity, in the old age of damnation.
Therefore, if any man be in Christ!
Do you not tremble when reading those words?
You should. For only God’s people are in Christ. They were given to Him, and according to the Father He was responsible for them and for them only. And He took that responsibility upon Him when coming in the world (and before that) and quit Himself of that responsibility, and you, all know that. He came and suffered and died on the accursed tree. The old age of Christ! The horrors of Jesus Christ. His terrible hell and damnation because of all the ugliness, filth and crookedness of the elect which were upon Him and which were visited upon His poor head. And He bore and suffered and died so that all this ugliness might be swallowed up in victory. And He did more than that, for He earned, merited for the elect the newness of the life of God’s covenant.
And if we are not included in the number of God’s elect, we die in our sins. And grow older, and older, and uglier as the ages roll by, the endless ages of an eternity in hell.
Should we not tremble?
I think of a song that comes to me from the past: “Juicht, vromen! om uw lot!” Ask someone to translate it for you.
How wonderful it is to be in Christ!
Then every morning when you awake you are newer than the day before. Things, the new things of Jesus Christ are continually added unto you. At the moment of your regeneration He made you a new creature. And the very next day you became newer. At the inception of the new life you became the possessor of the new life in Christ. But the next day things were added. No matter what happened on that second day, it worked together for your good. And that goes on from day to day and from year to year. Your days are renewed, and your years are growing more glorious as you progress to heaven. Is there not a hymn that sings: One step nearer Home today then I have been before? Oh yes, that’s true. Today I am nearer the sight of the new heaven and the new earth, the perfection of all things.
All things were old in my former estate, and as I am yet by nature. Old for they are, and were ugly.
But the old things are passed away.
What does that mean?
That means this: in my deepest heart there dwelled the enmity against God. There dwelled the monster that is the natural man. There in the depth of my heart I hated God and everything that smelled of God. There I hated all goodness and virtue. There was very old. I recognize all the evil of all the ages and of all the fathers and mothers that were before me.
Then God came through Jesus Christ.
And He killed that old sinner in me principally. Note that last word. In principle I died. And I can prove it. And you can prove it to yourself. There in the depth of my heart I hate sin today. And there I love all that is divine and good.
I can prove that old things are passed away, for I long for God and love the brethren.
I can prove it, for I hate my own sin the most of all. I hate my life that is still sinful.
In principle I died unto sin, but sin did not die unto me. There are the movements of sin left in me, so that I produce some very bigly things, things that make me shudder and weep unto God. O God, be merciful to me, the sinner! But it all proves that I died principally. It is my victory over sin that I hate it. It is my victory over sin and the devil that I love God and the angels.
And God deals with me in Christ. And Christ paid for my sins. And Christ has promised me that He shall thoroughly cleanse me, a fact that is very necessary for I am very sinful. But I believe His promise.
Old things are passed away.
It must be rather evident, because the Holy Ghost says at this juncture: just open your eyes! Behold! It is right before you. You cannot escape seeing it!
Behold! all things are become new!
Nineteen hundred fifty-four was new. But nineteen hundred fifty-five will be newer.
Everything in the whole universe is new with respect to me.
All things are my friends and they all unify to help me on my path to heaven and heaven’s God.
The devil and the host of hell cannot harm me, for God said, He suffered no man to do them wrong.
The seemingly darkest hour of the world’s history was when the chief elect Jesus Christ hung in darkness on Calvary’s cross. And the devils exulted.
But it was really the most beautiful hour mankind ever saw. The whole church triumphant will look upon that Calvary unto all eternity: the little lamb standing as if slain in the midst of the throne.
There at Calvary the foundation of the new heavens and the new earth was laid. And that foundation is the precious blood of my Jesus.
I do not have to fear man, devil or anything on the way to heaven, for Jesus said to my new heart: All things work together for your good, my child!
And who am I to doubt His word?
Yes, I may have to groan in 1955. I may have to suffer very much. But it all will be for my eternal welfare. Where did I read: “avert all evil or turn it to our profit”?
And so we enter 1955.
Do not fear, my brother.
All things are become new. And, according to God, they will become newer. You will go to the new Jerusalem, a new country, with a new song.
Sing a new song to Jehovah for the wonders He has wrought!
Treasure that new heart and that new spirit within you!
And worship God through Jesus, the new mediator.