SINGAPORE, 21 NOVEMBER 2008 — IT’S NOT THE “end of the world” as we know it. That’s a myth Kong Hee’s eye-opening message for this seventh session of Asia Conference sought to dispel. Hollywood and pop culture have spun the belief that the end of the world means the whole earth will be destroyed. But the reality could not be further from the truth, says Kong. God isn’t going to demolish the world, because “God so loved the world”.
|PHOTOS: Daniel Poh|
Hebrews 11:13-16 talks about God preparing a city for the heroes of faith. Heaven is a holy city. Our destiny is to be expressed in a heavenly city, which has two names in the Bible: “Holy City” and “New Jerusalem”.
In Isaiah 60:9, there are vessels that bring wealth to the City of the Lord: the ships of Tarshish, camels (carrying gold) and the cedars of Lebanon. These are symbols of economic power and military might — and they are also symbols of pagan worship.
Isaiah 2:9-13 says “He will bring down the tall cedars of Lebanon”. God does judge the world. Verse 14 says He will destroy the ships, which are symbols of power and greed. In Psalm 48, the psalmist says that God will break the ships of Tarshish.
But, asks Kong, do we know the heart of God? When God judges, is it for destruction or construction? When God sends fire, is it for annihilation or for refining? When God breaks, is it destroyed or is it tamed, like when a horse is broken — that is, tamed and subsequently able to do great things with its speed and strength?
How does God deal with the stuff in pagan culture? Kong reveals that first, they must be stripped of pagan nature, then they are to be used again for the glory of God.
In Isaiah 60, it says the ships of Tarshish will bring the wealth of the nation for God. Pagan things will be used to beautify the New Jerusalem.
The heart of Kong’s message is this: God does not destroy pagan things, He redeems them. All will be redeemed by the blood of Jesus for the Holy City. Everything will go back to its original purpose. Revelation 21:26 says “And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it.” This “glory and honor” are the manmade things, symbols of the development and progress of our nations.
As Christians our job is to actively seek after Heaven. How? We are to go out and bring healing and comfort to those who are hurting. In Hebrews 13:13-14, it says “Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come.”
Jesus was rejected by the religious teachers and cast out of the “camp” — but He went outside the gate of the church, and sought to redeem everything lost, and to use it for God’s glory. Likewise we are to go outside of the church and redeem people and the culture for Christ, and the way to do it is to serve.
In closing Kong shared that his favorite part in the movie The Passion was when Jesus, scourged and bearing His cross, said to His mother, “Behold, I have made all things new.” Indeed, that is what Christ came to do, and we, as Christians are called to do — to prepare the world and to usher in the new City.
It will be the end of the world as we know it now — sinful, dark, blinded — and the new world, or the New Jerusalem, will be filled with light (Rev 21:23-26). Isaiah 58:10 says: “If you extend your soul to the hungry, And satisfy the afflicted soul, Then your light shall dawn in the darkness, And your darkness shall be as the noonday.”
Jesus is the light of the world, and we are called to be like Him.