God With Us
Read Revelation 21:1-4 (ESV)
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.”
What detail of this description of heaven encourages you the most?
What do you think of when you think about heaven? Do you think about chubby angel babies playing harps on the clouds? Do you think about Saint Peter holding a list by a pearly gates making checkmarks next to the names of those he’s going to let in? Do you wonder if you’ll be assigned a brand-new pair of angel wings? If you think about these things, your view of heaven (like many people’s view of heaven) has been greatly influenced by the culture. But what does God actually reveal to us about what heaven will be like through His Word?
In today’s passage, John told us that the first heaven and the first earth had passed away and the sea was no more. Sin had corrupted this world. It wouldn’t do for the redeemed of the Lord to live in a place where natural disasters and such still occur. The world that was subject to the consequences of sin had to go. Jesus confirmed this in Luke 21:33 when He said: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”
So God will create a new heaven and a new earth unstained by sin that will have a new capital city—the new Jerusalem. The bride of Christ is His church, the people He redeemed. Only the redeemed can live there because it is a holy city. And because it is untainted by sin, there will be no reason to cry. No one will ever die. No one will ever be in need. There will be more fatal accidents. No more terminal diseases. In fact, no more sickness at all. Not even a sniffle. A natural disaster will never strike and destroy. We will be in paradise.
And the best part is often the most overlooked. We get so preoccupied with wondering about all of the details of heaven that we lose our focus on the most important aspect of heaven. He will be there! Jesus! We’ll be able to walk with Him and talk with Him. Revelation 22:4 says that we will see His face.
Think about that! Before Adam and Eve sinned, they were able to walk around the Garden of Eden in His presence. They had a perfect relationship with the God of the universe. The promise of the new heaven and the new earth is that we will be able to walk with God, too. Our broken relationship with Him has been restored through Jesus Christ and because of that, we can look forward to perfect fellowship with Him again one day.
Friends, we may still have questions about what heaven will be like. But we know the most important thing for sure. We will live with Him. He’ll wipe away all of the tears that we’ve shed over the heartbreak of this present world and we’ll never cry again. We will see His face. In heaven, God will be with us.
God, I have a lot of questions about what heaven will be like. But I am so thankful that You have answered the most important ones. Thank You for the promise of being with You in a perfect world for all eternity. I am longing for that day, Lord. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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