Sunday April 21, 2019
Can man create his own Brave New World?
Will God give man a new world on man’s terms and in this current world?
Western man has often times imagined that he lives in a new world. He seems to revel in this, that things in his time are new, desirable, and unprecedentedly exciting. It is a new dawn and it’s good to be alive. He is in an age of enlightenment.
Yet, the one perfect Man in this world saw man exactly for who he was.
JOH 2:23 Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name, beholding His signs which He was doing.
JOH 2:24 But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men,
JOH 2:25 and because He did not need anyone to bear witness concerning man for He Himself knew what was in man.
In order to genuinely feel this way, western man’s view of history has to be very vague, over generalizing, and unbalanced. In order to believe he is new, man has to superficially interpret his own history imprecisely, for if he considers it thoroughly, he will find a truth depressing to him, which at the same time is wonderful to the redeemed, that man in this world, even if he is given millennia, never changes.
Enlightenment Europe: Francesco Guardi 1770
The enlightenment in Europe starting sometime in the sixteen hundreds found it so amazing to be alive in the age of science and philosophy, having rediscovered Greek and Roman sources, that they concluded that the Europe of the middle ages was in an intellectual coma and full of dark beasts. Yet we find that the time wasn’t near as dark or uncreative as they thought.
Enlightenment Europe formed a highly selective notion of the “classical man,” as they called him. He was the man of Athens and Rome, strong willed, enlightened, took pleasure in his own abilities, engaged in civic affairs, and through hard work enriched the community as well as himself. But there was a problem - Christianity.
Was the great “classical man” incompatible with Christ, and if he was, which one to choose?
COL 3:12 And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;
COL 3:13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.
COL 3:14 And beyond [on or around] all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.
COL 3:15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.
COL 3:16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
COL 3:17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
And a further question, “Do I have to have one or the other?” In other words, if I am of Christ do I have to absolve myself from all things secular, philosophical, cultural, musical, etc., or vice versa?
The answer here is simple, but it has not been simply observed by the masses who love to see themselves in a Brave New World.
God has made a new man and a new world, which was shown plainly to the world in the resurrection of Christ.
HEB 12:18 For you have not come to a mountain that may be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind,
HEB 12:19 and to the blast of a trumpet and the sound of words which sound was such that those who heard begged that no further word should be spoken to them.
HEB 12:20 For they could not bear the command, "If even a beast touches the mountain, it will be stoned."
HEB 12:21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, "I am full of fear and trembling."
Mt. Sinai is the old world.
HEB 12:22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels,
HEB 12:23 to the general assembly and church of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect,
HEB 12:24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.
HEB 12:25 See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less shall we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven [resurrected Lord].
HEB 12:26 And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, " Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven [all things will be new]."
HEB 12:27 And this expression, "Yet once more," denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken [this world], as of created things, in order that those things which cannot be shaken may remain [new world and the new man in it].
HEB 12:28 Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken [we are in it now], let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe;
HEB 12:29 for our God is a consuming fire.