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Study Notes: Hebrews 1. 11 – 15th April 2015

Hebrews 1.11 They will be destroyed, but You will always remain. Like a garment they will become obsolete (grow old).

There is a very famous hymn that has these words: Change and decay in all around I see, O Thou who changest not, abide with me. This was written in 1847 by Henry Lyte, after he had preached his last sermon. He died in Nice 20th November 1847. The hymn is ‘Abide with Me, fast falls the eventide’. It has been sung at FA cup finals since 1927 and Rugby League cup finals since 1929. Change and decay Someone once said that change is here to stay. This means that constant change is here to stay constantly. Everything in life is on the move. What does it mean to stagnate? Is it possible for anything to remain completely stationary? Even the sentry on guard duty can never be completely still. He breaths, he heart pumps, his brain continues to send electrical signals to the rest of his body. Even when we die our bodies keep changing. Change is happening all the time. Does change bring blessing? It depends who is bringing the change. The changes of men can have a good or detrimental effect on us. In the up-coming General Elections each political party is desperate for us to change. Each party want us to change our minds so that we will vote for them. Each party believes that they have policies that will change the way our society operates. The main problem with this is that the word of God tells us: There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. Proverbs 14.12 All the political systems of this world are constantly changing, and what is more, that are decaying as well. No political system can change the heart of sinful man. It can pass laws to try are curb anti social behaviour, but laws do not change the hearts of sinful mankind.

  1. Only Jesus can change for the good.

Only Jesus can change us for the better. Only Jesus has the power to change us for the better. Again God’s word tells us: And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.      2 Corinthians 3.18. Each of us must ask in what ways we should be being changed. Our life in Christ can never be stationary, we either go forward or we slip into reverse. Which way are we moving? It is the will of Jesus that we constantly progress. Every day brings new opportunities for us to become more like Jesus.

  1. The Heavens and Earth are to be destroyed

This is one of many times in the word of God where He tells us that the heavens and earth will be destroyed. Let’s have a look at some of them: Psalm 102.25-27: [25] In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. [26] They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded. [27] But you remain the same, and your years will never end. Once again we see that God in Jesus is the author of creation. We see that all that exists only exists because God in Christ created all things. However, we also learn that there is a time limit on the created order. It will perish, that is it will be annihilated, destroyed. it will die. Isaiah 51.6: Lift up your eyes to the heavens, look at the earth beneath; the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment and its inhabitants die like flies. But my salvation will last forever, my righteousness will never fail. There is an end to everything, except God salvation and righteousness. The salvation that Jesus won for us on the cross is eternal. It will never become ineffective. However, the heavens will disappear in the same way as smoke vanishes and is seen no more. The earth will become like a worn out garment. A garment becomes threadbare, therefore, it is useless and is thrown out. Isaiah 34.4: All the stars of the heavens will be dissolved and the sky rolled up like a scroll; all the starry host will fall like withered leaves from the vine, like shrivelled figs from the fig tree. Although the earth is not mentioned here we can see that God’s word is consistent is saying that there is to be an end of everything. 2 Peter 3.7-10 [7] By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. [8] But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. [9] The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. [10] But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Here we see that Peter is more specific as to what is to happen, and it is that heaven and earth are reserved for judgement by fire. There are other Scriptures that talk about fire being involved in the end of all things. In Revelation 8.6-12 we read: [6] Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to sound them. [7] The first angel sounded his trumpet, and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down upon the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up. [8] The second angel sounded his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood, [9] a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed. [10] The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water— [11] the name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter. [12] The fourth angel sounded his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them turned dark. A third of the day was without light, and also a third of the night. Destructive fire is involved in all the judgements of the first four angels bring. Incidentally when the fifth angel sounded his trumpet a star fell to the earth and was given the key to the Abyss. From the abyss smoke arose from a furnace. As the sixth angel sounded his trumpet a voice cried out to release the four angels that had been kept at the Euphrates river. They are to kill a third of mankind. When the seventh angel sounded his trumpet it was the signal for worship in Heaven: Revelation 11.15-19 [15] The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.” [16] And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, [17] saying: “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign. [18] The nations were angry; and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great— and for destroying those who destroy the earth.” [19] Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a great hailstorm.

The destruction of the heavens and earth is also a time of great worship and praise.

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