As we approach a new year – such as 2021 – many of us have our resolutions to “turn over a new leaf” when the new year rolls around. [See: Happy New Year!] It seems that God has built in us a deep sense that somehow, sometime, we can surpass our past and present troubles — our failed promises — and make a new, and better, beginning tomorrow.
And that is not far from what God’s word reveals to us!
The Alpha and the Omega
As our Creator, Jesus reveals Himself as “the Alpha and the Omega” [the first and the last letters of the Greek alphabet] — meaning, the “beginning and the ending” (Hebrews 1:3; Colossians 1:12-17; Revelation 1:8, 11; 21:6; 22:13).
An ancient “plain song” or chant captures this truth:
Of the Father’s love begotten, ere the worlds began to be,
He is Alpha and Omega; He the Source, the Ending He,
Of the things that, that have been, and that future years shall see,
Ever more and ever more. Amen.
God knows all too well that we human beings are made of dust (Psalm 103:14) – frail and prone to sin. As Paul put it: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God;” and this being so, we all are condemned to the penalty of death (Romans 3:23; 6:23). Jeremiah 17:9 puts it bluntly: “The heart [of man] is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” [See: Is There Ever Any Good in Man? and A Law-abiding Universe – But Man!]
Time and time again man’s wickedness has brought the whole of humanity and our planet earth to near-extinction, but for the grace of God (Genesis 6:1-8, etc.; Matthew 24:21-22). [See: “The Next Chapter of History.”]
The end of all things
As the perfect and righteous Judge (Psalm 7:8; John 5:30), Christ will destroy all wicked men who refuse to believe and repent – along with the present heaven and earth (2 Peter 3:7, 10-12; Revelation 21:8). As “the Alpha and the Omega” Christ will end all that He created that has grown sour and foul. But He also assures that, for all who remain faithful and righteous, they can look forward to His sure promise to make for them “new heavens and a new earth,” where only righteousness – no evil – dwells (2 Peter 3:13).
A magnificent new beginning
Revelation 21:1-5 describes that magnificent new beginning:
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. And there was no more sea [sea being symbolic of mortal mankind, Revelation 13:1-2, etc.]. Then I, John, 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 heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle [dwelling] of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death [that is, for these people], nor sorrow nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”
Those who desire to enjoy such a new beginning Jesus bids:
“Come! And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17).
Jesus had explained that such water refers to the Holy Spirit that God gives to those who believe and come to Him (John 7:38-39).
This is the new beginning that has no ending for those who will receive everlasting life – immortality! They will no longer die, for they will be in the eternal Paradise of God, where they will partake of the original “tree of life” (Revelation 22:14) – and live forever (Genesis 3:22).
Peter urges: “Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless” (2 Peter 3:14).
By our own human efforts we cannot make ourselves “without spot and blameless.” We need a higher power to become such! [See: The Higher Law of the Spirit.]
Happy new beginning!
Pedro R. Meléndez, Jr.