“When The Former Things Pass Away”

June 16, 2017

Ironstone Ranch barn 6/15/17
Stone barn on the Ironstone Ranch

“When The Former Things Pass Away”

Message summary: Today’s message is the fifth in a series based on Revelation 21:4 and that which we’ll not see or experience in heaven when “the former things have passed away”.

ListenListen to our message on your audio player.

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).

Today we will share the final phrase from a series of messages we have presented this week concerning the “no mores” of heaven. No more tears, no more death, no more sorrow, no more crying and no more pain. Won’t it be wonderful there! The verse ends with the reason for these blessed “no mores”, “for the former things have passed away”.

For now though we live in the season of what will be “the former things”. Yesterday we attended a Convene retreat at the Ironstone Ranch near Elizabethtown, PA. Convene is an association of Christian business owners and leaders who seek to help “each other excel at building better businesses, increasing leadership success and having greater Kingdom impact”. We especially like that last phrase, “having greater Kingdom impact”.

Christ taught us to pray, “Thy Kingdom come” and all over the world this day people who earnestly follow Christ are seeking to do just that, including many in the business world.

We are all called to have a Kingdom impact. When it’s all been said and done that’s what really matters. This present life is very temporary but it’s all we now know. From the perspective of Revelation 21:4 this life is called “the former things” which will pass away. A helpful outlook in life is to be constantly, intentionally and purposefully mindful of this. Whatever you are going through, pleasant or unpleasant, be mindful that one day these will be the former things.

When the former things pass away we will see clearly what really mattered all along.

Paul encouraged the Corinthians to live with an eternal perspective in their daily lives because “the time is short” (1 Corinthians 7:29). “The things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:17).

One of the reasons we are not to love the world is because Scripture reveals that which is in the kingdom of this world is often godless and ultimately transitory: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:15-17).

Theologian Joseph A. Seiss wrote, “Man comes into the world with a cry; and goes out of it with a groan, and all between is more or less intoned with helpless wailing . . . But the hallelujahs of the renewed world will drown out the voice of woe forever.”

While still living in what will be an age of “the former things” let us all seek to make a greater Kingdom impact. A phrase many of us have used fits well as we conclude today’s message, “Only one life will soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.”

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, one of the greatest passages that describes the earnest believer’s mission statement is Matthew 6:33, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you”. We are to pursue Your eternal kingdom which includes righteous living, in stark contrast to the things of this world where many, as in the parable Jesus told of the young rich fool, say to themselves, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’ But [You] said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’” Any achievements, accumulation of things, or affections of this world will be wholly insignificant when the “former things of this world pass away”. I don’t want to experience the greatest rejection of all time, “Depart from me… I never knew you.” Instead I want to be among those that You dry every tear from their eyes; those who experience no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying and no more pain, since the former things have passed away. I long to hear Your loving words of invitation, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You were faithful over a few things; I will set you over many things. Enter into the joy of your master!” It is by the grace of God that we are saved through Jesus’ shed blood for which we give thanks. Amen.

Matthew 6:33
Luke 12:19-20
Matthew 7:23
Matthew 25:23

Some Photos From The Convene Retreat

Ron and Bonnie Hoover, Convene retreat 6/15/17
Ron and Bonnie Hoover
Ron is chair of several local Convene forums and has been very encouraging and supportive of our chaplaincy ministry for over ten years now. We presently serve a number of Convene related companies. Ron and his wife Bonnie have a powerful mentoring ministry and have impacted many lives for God’s Kingdom, still going strong in their mid-seventies! Ron makes this point to business leaders: “When we stand before the Bema judgement (Judgment Seat Of Christ) — Christ will not be asking about our Balance Sheet and P/L–but He will be asking how we did caring for the people He gave us!”

Daniel and Alicia DeLeon 6/15/17 (Click to enlarge)
Daniel and Alicia DeLeon
Convene has a variety of both business and ministry leaders in the groups. Yesterday we visited for a few minutes with Daniel DeLeon and his wife Alicia. Daniel has quite a story of redemption.

He was living on the streets of Lancaster as a homeless man in late 2007 and then for two years at the Water Street Mission where he was converted to Christ. Discipleship followed and spiritual fruit began to develop in his life. From Daniel’s testimony he writes, “From the outset of this process I knew that God was involved in leading me to this very point, and my new motivation was to live to the fullest for Christ. From the very beginning, a thought was implanted into my heart that I was not at the mission to get my life back; rather, I was there to give it up. Since then, my enduring focus has been on seeking the kingdom and His righteousness first.”

God delivered Daniel from a life of violence, drugs, alcohol and prison. He has since graduated from Lancaster Bible College and now is developing Recovery Houses to provide recovery discipleship to those with a similar background as his.

Convene retreat 6/15/17
We gathered in a large barn that is used as a wedding and event venue. Our main speaker was Lance Witt who leads a ministry called “Replenish”.

Banner, Convene retreat 6/15/17
This banner sums up the mission of Convene well!

Ironstone Ranch barn 6/15/17
Another view of the barn shown from a distance in our lead photo today which is one of the many barns on the Ironstone Ranch property. Business leader David Abel has developed the property and really likes old barns. He is restoring old historic barns including the Star Barn.

Ironstone Ranch flower box 6/15/17
Guess who took this photo?

Convene retreat at Ironstone Ranch 6/15/17
A photo in the Christmas Tree tunnel. Notice the tunnel lights up at night. This is a photo spot for weddings so we are over 41 years late in using it.


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“Nothing Less (Great is Thy Faithfulness)”   Video  Charles Billingsley

“In a Moment”  Video   Charles Billingsley

“For Future Generations”  Video  4Him

Information about Convene

Ironstone Ranch

The Star Barn

Finally today:

Lancaster County farmhouse with balloon 6/14/17
Yesterday we shared a photo Brooksyne took Wednesday morning of a balloon over a farm near Strasburg, PA. Stephen, a friend from one of our companies. Upon seeing our photo yesterday he sent us his own photo he had taken the same morning of the same balloon over his rented farmhouse built in 1864.

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