The ladies of our church are studying the Book of Revelation in Ladies Bible Study. Anyone who has read through Revelation knows that it raises as many questions as it answers. Who is the Beast from the sea? Who is the Beast from the earth? Why are there two beasts? One of the questions they were wrestling with today was the question: Can someone who takes the mark of the beast ever be saved? See Revelation 14:9-11 for the answer.
Even though the Book of Revelation is difficult and scholars often disagree on their interpretations, there is still a lot of material that we can understand. One of the passages that gives us encouragement and hope is Revelation 21:1-4. Listen to what it says.
Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 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 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, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
Let me point out the obvious. In eternity we will no longer be separated from God. Three times (I’ve underlined them for you) we are told that God will be with us. The preposition means to be in company with or to accompany. The idea is that we will have a close intimate relationship with God that is different from what we presently experience. That relationship will be possible because we shall be His people and He will be their God. That is, we will be totally His, heart, mind and soul, and He will be totally ours. No sin to tempt us; no temptations to lure us away; no lust to divide our loyalties, we will be His. And He will be ours. Think about it. The Almighty God of the universe will be totally and only for us to enjoy.
The next statement is not only encouraging but it illustrates just how much He is ours. Tenderly and compassionately He will wipe away every tear from their (our) eyes. As a father I can remember the times when my children were very young and one of them would fall down or hurt themselves. All I wanted to do was to hold them and wipe away their tears until the hurt was gone. Now I feel the same about my grandchildren. I just want to make it all better. That’s what God will do for us. We often think of God as austere and authoritarian. But He is also kind and compassionate and I like to think that someday He is going to take you in His arms, wipe away your tears and hold you until all of the hurts that you have experienced in this life are gone. I don’t know how He will do that with millions of believers, but then He’s God – I’m sure He can figure it out. And life will be fundamentally different. No death, no sorrow, no crying, no pain. All of the things that bring you pain and suffering in this life will be over, never to be experienced again.
Some of you are going through trials that bring pain and suffering into your life and it’s easy for the rest of us to say, we’re praying for you. But sometimes that just isn’t enough. Two of my dear friends are battling cancer with the endless rounds of hospital stays, doctor’s appointments, chemo therapy and facing unknown futures. Neither of them have a great prognosis. They have, and are, suffering physically, emotionally and I would venture to say spiritually. To them and to you I want to hold out the hope, the assurance, of rest in the arms of God. Of a future that will know no pain or suffering, but only the blessedness of the presence of God.
God Himself will be with them and be their God.
Stay in the Word