The History of Redemption

Inspired by Austin Stone Community Church’s presentation of the history of redemption, I decided to do something similar as a cap-off message to our Bible overview series, “According to Plan.”   If you’re not familiar with their presentation, it’s an overview of the Bible’s story, from creation to new creation, showing the redemption of sinful humanity.  Every word is a direct quote from Scripture.

Below is the complete text of my presentation, and here is the link if you’re interested in downloading the audio: mp3

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The History of Redemption

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.  And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness.

All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth. All things were created through him and for him.

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.  And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed.  And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat  of it you shall surely die.”

But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.  For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”  So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise,  she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.

Claiming to be wise, they became fools, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator.

Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.

Then the Lord God said to the serpent: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”  And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.  For without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.  Therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken.

For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it.

Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and she bore a son.  When man began to multiply on the face of the land, the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens.”  But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.  And God said to Noah, “Behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die.  But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you.”  Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.

On that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened. The flood continued forty days on the earth.  Only Noah was left, and those who were with him in the ark.  God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided. The fountains of the deep and the windows of the heavens were closed, the rain from the heavens was restrained, and the waters receded from the earth continually.

Then God said to Noah, “Go out from the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. Bring out with you every living thing that is with you that they may be fruitful and multiply on the earth.”  Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.”

The sons of Noah who went forth from the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the people of the whole earth were dispersed from these the nations spread abroad on the earth after the flood.

Now the Lord said to Abraham, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.  And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.  I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”  And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness. Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham.

The Lord did as he promised and Abraham fathered Isaac. The sons of Isaac: Esau and Israel.  The sons of Israel came to Egypt and the people of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly; they multiplied and grew exceedingly strong, so that the land was filled with them.

Now there arose a new king over Egypt. And he said to his people, “Behold, the people of Israel are too many and too mighty for us. Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and, if war breaks out, they join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land.”

Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with heavy burdens. But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad. And the Egyptians were in dread of the people of Israel. So they ruthlessly made the people of Israel work as slaves and made their lives bitter with hard service, in mortar and brick, and in all kinds of work in the field.  And the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel—and God knew.

Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law.  And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed.  And God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!”  And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.”  And he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.

Then the Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey. Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”

But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” He said, “I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”

Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I am has sent me to you.’”

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Let my people go, that they may serve me. But if you refuse to let them go, behold, I will plague all your country.”  But Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he would not listen. Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and moreover, I will not let Israel go.”

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell all the congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of this month every man shall take a lamb according to their fathers’ houses, a lamb for a household. Then they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. It is the Lord’s Passover.  For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord. The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt.” Thus the Lord saved Israel from the hand of the Egyptians.  Israel saw the great power that the Lord used against the Egyptians. So, the people feared the Lord, and they believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses.

Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the Lord, saying, “The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.  Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?  You have led in your steadfast love the people whom you have redeemed; you have guided them by your strength to your holy abode.”

The Lord established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God
and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments.

On the third new moon after the people of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that day they came into the wilderness of Sinai.  There Israel encamped before the mountain, while Moses went up to God. The Lord called to him out of the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the people of Israel:  You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.  Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”  All the people answered together and said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.”

Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly place of holiness.  For a tabernacle was prepared, the first section is called the Holy Place.  Behind the curtain was a second section called the Most Holy Place.  Into the second only the high priest goes, and he but once a year, and not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the sins of the people.

And Moses wrote down all the words of the Lord.  Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it in the hearing of the people. And they said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.”

But the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. They did not keep God’s covenant, but refused to walk according to his law. They forgot his works and the wonders that he had shown them.  When he killed them, they sought him; they repented and sought God earnestly. They remembered that God was their rock, the Most High God their redeemer.

But they flattered him with their mouths; they lied to him with their tongues.  They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons; they poured out innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was polluted with blood.  He gave them into the hand of the nations, so that those who hated them ruled over them.

What then? Are we any better off?  No, not at all.  For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one. Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive. The venom of asps is under their lips. Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.”  For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Yet he, being compassionate, atoned for their iniquity and did not destroy them; he restrained his anger often and did not stir up all his wrath.

“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

“Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came.  And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.’”

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  In him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.  Though he was in the form of God, he did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.  For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.  No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.

Jesus said, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.  I am the way, and the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.  Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.  I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”

And he called to him his twelve disciples. These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, “Proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’  Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons.”

So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?”  Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” But he was speaking about the temple of his body.

The Jews said to him, ‘Are you greater than our father Abraham?’  Jesus answered, ‘Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.  Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, ‘I am.’”  So they picked up stones to throw at him because he was making himself equal with God.  But Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.

And they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus, taking the twelve again, began to tell them what was to happen to him, saying, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles. And they will mock him and spit on him, and flog him and kill him. And after three days he will rise. For even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

For while we were still weak, Christ died for the ungodly.  One will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.  But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

It was now two days before the Passover, and the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to arrest him.  Then Jesus went to a place called Gethsemane.  Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized him.  Many bore false witness against him but their testimony did not agree.

As soon as it was morning, they bound Jesus and led him away and delivered him to Pilate the governor. Pilate said to them, “What shall I do with Jesus who is called the Christ?”  They all said, “Crucify him!”  And when they had crucified him, over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour.

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split.  When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Certainly this man was innocent! Truly this was the Son of God!”

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! For when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”—so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.  For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.

Now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.  This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.  And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away. It was the day of Preparation, and the Sabbath was beginning.  On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.

Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb.  And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it.  His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.  He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.  Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him.”  So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples.

Now the disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. So when they had come together, he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”

Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.  All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place.  And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.  And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language.  And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language?”

But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know—this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.  This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses.  Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing.  Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”

Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.  And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.  And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.  And all who believed were together and had all things in common.  And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.  And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied.

Now the apostles and the brothers who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God.  And they glorified God, saying, “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.”  Let it be known to all that this Jesus is the cornerstone.  There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.  For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him.  For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.  But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.  For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

He chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love, he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.

You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.  Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.  You were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

Now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.  For he himself is our peace. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near.  For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.  All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.  Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.  For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake.  And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

Therefore, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.  The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.  But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven. And the dead in Christ will rise first.  For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.  We await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body.  Therefore, stand firm in the Lord.

“I, Jesus, testify to you about these things.  Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay everyone for what he has done.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

And the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur forever and ever. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire.  And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.  And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.  He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.  It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.”

And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.  And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.  No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him.  They will see his face.

And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”

Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing! To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!

He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

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