1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and earth had passed away,
and the sea was no more. 2I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven
from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying:
“Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man,
and He will dwell with them.
They will be His people,
and God Himself will be with them as their God.
4‘He will wipe away every tear from their eyes,’
and there will be no more death
or mourning or crying or pain,
for the former things have passed away.”
5And the One seated on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” Then He said, “Write
this down, for these words are faithful and true.” 6And He told me, “It is done! I am the Alpha
and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give freely from the spring of
the water of life. 7The one who overcomes will inherit all things, and I will be his God, and he
will be My son.” Revelations 21:1 – 7
What a glorious sight! What a joyful day!
Amen and Amen, let it be so Lord.
This glorious vision that John has is our great hope. It is a day long awaited for by all saints. How often we dream of heaven and the day when there will be no more pain, sorrow or death. And it is the goal we all press on toward.
This glorious moment, which will last for eternity, is at the heart of every man truly. No one truly dreams of the end of life. Emptiness. From the moment of consciousness, people dream of a better place. A more just world. A place of peace and tranquility. The Christian longs for the day when they will walk with God freely, continually. When things will be set right and once again our God will dwell with us. This aspiration of hope keeps us going.
The reality of this world, its pain, its hunger and injustice grate against our soul. So far the year 2020 has been an abrasion that continues to grow, deeper, harsher and with more pain. We have witnessed so much in just the first six months. Human sufferings, failures and tragedies, that make it impossible to not entertain the thought, ‘has our God forsaken us’? Yet we trust He is in the midst of this with us.
It is the struggle that builds the butterflies wings. Just as the birthing of the that beautiful creature, we are in the struggle for something new. In the middle of a pandemic, a biblical world-wide plague, we as a nation are struggling for justice and a new way of being.
Some say, it is not as bad as all that. Some think that fairness, equality, is something that can be earned, but as many point out, oppression has been around as long as civilization.
Truly, sin has been prevalent since the fall from Eden and jealousy and oppression have existed since Cain and Able. All of this is the result of sin. All of this is the fall of man. And some say, it can never be changed.
Yet, Christ didn’t say that. Certainly, Paul in his many letters to the early church did not believe that. The early church came together and.
“42They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the
breaking of bread and to prayer. 43A sense of awe came over everyone, and the apostles
performed many wonders and signs.
44All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45Selling their possessions
and goods, they shared with anyone who was in need.” Acts 2:42 – 44
At that moment, in that time something of heaven came upon earth. To nullify our responsibility to this world and to say, ‘it’ll only change when God comes’ is to deny the gospel. To deny Christ, who said.
“44“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or
needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you
did not do for me.’ Matthew 25:44 – 45
We cannot hide from the commandment of our Lord. We are to Love One Another, even those different, those we see as less than ourselves. We are not to oppress; we are not to sit idly by and allow injustice.
The vision of heaven John shares in Revelations is the promise, but the hope of the world is in bringing as much of that vision to earth as we can today.
Our mission is to bring about change that leads to reconciliation with our Lord. Ignoring the state of the world is not an option. We are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus, bring not only the gospel of Jesus Christ, but the bread, the compassion and the justice that everyone of God’s children deserves.
Let us dream of the great vision of John. Let us hunger for that day, but also, let us strive with passion to make this world a better place today.
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