WHEN LUCY STEPPED THROUGH THE WARDROBE TO NARNIA
A WORLD THOSE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE DOOR FOUND HARD TO BELIEVE.
YET, IT WAS TRUE.
AND ONE DAY, WE WHO ARE IN HIM,
WILL STEP INTO THE WONDERLAND ISAIAH 11 DESCRIBES.
EXACTLY WHEN THIS WILL HAPPEN IS DEBATED AMONG THEOLOGIANS,
WILL IT BE DURING THE 1000 YEAR REIGN REVELATION DESCRIBES?
IS IT HEAVEN?
WHAT MATTERS IS THAT IT IS GOING TO HAPPEN,
AND BELIEVERS WILL “STEP THROUGH THE WARDROBE” INTO ANOTHER WORLD.
A TIME IS COMING WHEN EDEN WILL BE RESTORED.
NO MORE WILL SINS AND SORROWS GROW,
NOR THORNS INFEST THE GROUND.
FOR HE COMES TO MAKE HIS BLESSINGS KNOWN
FAR AS THE CURSE IS FOUND.
HE WILL BE OUR KING
AND THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD SHALL REST UPON HIM.
HE WILL REDEEM OUR FALLEN WORLD
TO A PEACEABLE KINGDOM,
AND THE EARTH SHALL BE FULL OF THE KNOWLEDGE
OF THE LORD, AS THE WATERS COVER THE EARTH.
WHAT A WEEK THIS WILL BE,
INCLUDING A SERMON THAT WILL FILL YOU WITH AWE.
FOR THIS 3RD SUNDAY IN ADVENT,
PREPARE YOUR HEART WITH THIS,
AND LISTEN TO SEE HOW THIS CAROL IS REALLY
ABOUT CHRIST’S SECOND ADVENT,
WHEN HE RULES OVER A PEACEABLE KINGDOM,
MAKING HIS BLESSINGS KNOWN,
FAR AS THE CURSE IS FOUND!
STEVEN CURTIS CHAPMAN TELLS WHY
JOY TO THE WORLD MEANS SO MUCH TO HIM.
1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
2. Are you experiencing His presence this Advent? If so, share how.
MONDAY-WEDNESDAY: Bible Study
For those of us who were with us through Habakkuk, there are some similarities, even repeated verses. God was going to judge His rebellious people, and He was going to use a pagan nation to carry it out. But then, He was going to judge that nation: Assyria, the rod of His anger. I ponder the similarities to Islamic terrorists, and wonder what the future holds, yet I know He holds the future, and that in His time, as Ecclesiastes 3:11 tells us, He will make all things beautiful. (It actually says He has made all things beautiful, which, like Isaiah’s “unto you a child is born” has a verb tense so sure it as if it is already accomplished. God seems outside of time, as indicated by Revelation 3:18 that talks of the Lamb who was slain before the foundation of the world.)
3. Read Isaiah 10 and share anything that stands out to you.
Though it isn’t until Isaiah 40 that God tells Isaiah to Comfort His People, still, this seems appropriate here, after Isaiah 10:
Isaiah 11 tells us that a shoot will come from the stump of Jesse — as the near prophecy this was King David, but of course we see Jesus, the ultimate King. This King will usher in a “peaceable Kingdom.” When will this happen? Revelation 20 speaks of a time when Jesus will reign with his saints, mentioning “those who had been beheaded” for 1,000 years. Following this is the final judgment and a new heaven and a new earth. This may be what Isaiah 11 is referring to, or, other theologians, because of the symbolism of Revelation, are less comfortable making a timeline. R. C. Sproul says that because “Revelation 20 is the only passage that speaks of this, and because it is not obvious what is being spoken of, it has been a matter of controversy throughout the ages…Avoid the scandal of division over doctrinal nuance which is not relative to salvation.” I think it is prudent to agree that when this will happen is not as important as the fact that it will happen. The many already fulfilled prophecies of Isaiah are meant to give us confidence that the rest will be fulfilled as well.
Here is a short blog from D. A. Carson on Isaiah 10 and 11.
4. Comments on the above?
5. Read Romans 8:18-24 and describe who is waiting for the new world Christ will bring and why.
6. Read Isaiah 11 in the follow sections and share what you learn about:
A. The One who will ultimately rule (Isaiah 11:1-5).
B. The peacable Kingdom (Isaiah 11:6-9)
C. The highway of the Lord (Isaiah 11:10-16) You may want to listen to the sermon first for this one.
7. Did you learn anything new about the world that awaits you?
This is a wonderful message — I’ve also included a link to learn more about the preacher, Michael Lawrence.
8. SHARE YOUR NOTES AND COMMENTS
9. What is your take-a-way and why?
C. The highway of the Lord (Isaiah 11:10-16) You may want to listen to the sermon first for this one.
I learned that the highway is the Gospel. I love the imagery of Jesus being the banner for us! The place to go for help, hope, justice! Just like the banner held up in a war, or like Moses held up (snake on the stick) for the Israelites to be saved from the judgement of God. I especially like this too, “…God has lifted Him up as a banner, so we would know where to look for help…if we would rally to Him we would find forgiveness of our sins…do not delay, look for Christ…”
I am curious about the bible study he mentioned called “Christianity Explained,” and I ordered it to take a read then and maybe pass it to my Muslim student. Does anyone know anything about it? I think it might help me evangelize better.
Laura == your hunger is wonderful. You’ll have to let us know about Christianity Explained!
Laura–so impressed you ordered the book–do let us know how it is! I loved the banner imagery too–he explained it so well. He was simple, but so clear and profound in thought. Really liked him!
I feel I should apologize — I just got caught up in too many things and could not get back to the blog in a timely way. I did listen to the sermon by Michael Lawrence and love it. The following are my notes. I have to give a disclaimer, as I was taking notes on a pad that each sheet tears off ( and I didn’t notice that was happening as I flipped the pages upward, rapidly taking notes). So the end result was that some of the pages tore off without my wanting them to, and therefore the order of my notes may not match up with the order in the sermon.
What Lucy experienced going through the wardrobe in C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia is something we all can relate to in our own minds. We magine being in a better world. We all have utopian dreams – we long for a better world and then want somehow to get there.
He read all of Isaiah 11 (which includes the Peaceable Kingdom passage).
What better world are you longing for and how do you get there?
THREE THINGS ABOUT CHRISTIANITY’S HEAVEN: ]
1. It is a world of peace (vss. 6-9)
2. It is inhabited by a people at rest (vss. 7-16) ]
3. It is ruled by a righteous king (vss. 1-5)
What is this world’s wardrobe that will get me through to heaven?
Vs. 6 – Like a return to the Garden of Eden before the fall. It is a world in which violence is gone (It is hospitable – invites you to come in and lie down). A little boy is in charge of it all. The very nature of things has been changed. Heaven will be a world in which the curse has been removed.
We recoil from images of vipers and cobra. Enmity has been placed between the seed of woman and the serpent. “They will neither harm or destroy on Mount Zion.” Mt. Zion was one place like that because God was there. The hostility and strife of this world is not an accident or mistake or sign of God’s impotence. It is God’s judgment on the world. The cessation of hostility is a fundamental change in the nature of this world.
Israel was not faithful, and God judges Israel. It is torn apart – never has peace inside or from outside. Finally God sent them into exile. In the midst of that history, Isaiah’s vision begins to make sense. He pictures the removal of the curse of exile. Next comes an exodus from Assyria and all nations – from all four points of the globe. Heaven will be where God gathers his people from where they have been to be with Him. Now the hostility will end – they will live together in unity with those who had been their enemies.
A vision of a messianic king: Uniquely endowed with the spirit of Yahweh. The new king would be anointed. Seven times the spirit of God rests on this king. He has the ability to see things as they are. He has the Spirit of counsel and power, the Spirit of knowledge of the Lord, and the Spirit of the fear of the Lord. The King will not delight in the usual things of the world. The King will delight in God Himself. None of the kings ever lived up to this, but eventually a child was born who did. He was God incarnate.
In John 1, Jesus demonstrates himself to be this King that Isaiah foretold. What Jesus will do: (1) Rule with justice and righteous ness. (2) Will not be corrupted, but will be fair. He will be able to see through a person and see what is in a person’s heart. He cannot be swayed or corrupted. (3) At the end of verse 4: He will judge the wicked and injustice will never prevail. We do not find this description attractive. If we are honest, we are no sure how we will fare in this king’s courtroom.
What most discourages us? Frailty or health. In heaven there will be no disease or old age. In heaven fruitless labor goes away. We will have meaningful work. We need to understand that pain, sickness, frustration and toil are the results of sin. So if they are not in heaven, sin isn’t either. This is your hope of heaven. Build up within yourselves and others a longing for it. Talk to others and share.
God promised Abraham that they would possess the promised land, and this was fulfilled during the Exodus. Isaiah may have looked for it to be fulfilled in the return after the Babylonian exile. Ephraim never returned with Judah. Some might think the vision would apply to the modern Israel. But in verse 10: The root of Jessee will stand…. It will not just be for the Jews, but it will be for all nations – the gentiles. Israel is promised to be a blessing to all nations – the whole world.
All have a common problem – all are at war with God and one another. All have earned our exile from being in rebellion with God. All will be forgiven and brought into a true rest and right relationship with God – regardless of ethnicity. Hebrews 4 says the nature of rest promised to Jews and Gentiles is based on relationship with Jesus Christ.
Evangelism is an opportunity to invite others. Have you forgotten what it was like to live outside of Christ? As a church we have an opportunity to offer a foretaste of what heaven is like. Where can you begin to bring unity in the church. Places where we are different – these can be places where envy, jealousy and strife develop. After church just go up to talk to someone who is different from you. Pray your way through the church directory. If we did, our church would be a picture of heaven.
Isaiah talks about a shoot from the stump of Jesse. At the end of the previous chapter he summarizes the prophecy of judgment with a might ax chopping down the greatest tree. But Isaiah sees a shoot.
Jesus was not self-righteous – He was righteous. His delight is in God. Injustice will not be tolerated. What chance do we have of getting into heaven? Praise God it has not been left up to you and me. Jesus is the Root of Jesse. When Jesus is lifted up, he says, he will draw all unto Him. We know where to look for help from misery and sin. If we rally to Jesus, we will find forgiveness, healing, and rest. Jesus is the way through to a better world – rest and joy in the presence of the Lord.
OH DEANNA! I’ve missed you for YOU, but I’ve also missed your excellent notes–oh how you bless us!
Deanna, thanks for your notes! I really like Michael Lawrence and will read some more of his articles in the future.
Lizzy and Bing, Thank you for your kind words. I am so glad Dee had us listen to Michael Lawrence!
Deanna — this is the best. Thank you so much!
Wanda and Dee, the Jesse Tree is something we only started last year. It is fresh and meaningful to us. We used to do the advent wreath in our home. Now that our kids are grown and have kids of their own, I gave my advent wreath to one of my daughters for her to use with her family. I would love to know who wrote the Advent/Narnia book someone mentioned on an earlier post.