Yesterday following a robust discussion in our local bible study, I was asked a question by a fellow student of the Word of God who was trying to grasp HOW a person can possibly live in eternity and never morn unsaved loved-ones who are forever tormented and separated from those who live with God. I respect for this person’s investment into the their individual study of – and – meditation on Scripture. The depth at which they contemplate a Scripture (that many take for granted – myself included) is admirable. I should mention that I am so very thankful for each person attending the study for each of their gifts and personalities – they are a gift from God for the body of Christ. Believers blossom and are encouraged in the company of small groups for in the midst of two or three, His Spirit is there.
“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.”
Rev 21:4 KNJV
Not that I understand “how” God will actually complete the elimination of all tears and grieving, but I have come to realize that if God can be can trusted for my salvation (which I an experiencing now after He imparted a new spiritual heart to me by His Holy Spirit – and this new heart was devoid of any action on my part), then he can certainly cause the elimination of sorrow. Rather than making a failing attempt to explain how God accomplishes His transformations, I thought I would review the basis for the righteousness of it. My fellow learner was referring to the a passage about the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21 which can be quite complex in study yet simple to accept.
Revelation 21 is referring to a point in the dispensation of the ages when God has already:
- judged the pardoned church to assess eternal assignments and reward –see 1Co 3:12-15; 2Co 5:10 and celebrated at the Marriage Super of the Lamb – see Rev 19:5-9
- fulfilled final judgment of opposing creature (fallen angels and unrepentant humans – see Rev 20) which is after King Jesus’ millennial reign on earth;
- purified the earth by fire and brought the Heavenly Kingdom to earth (the New Jerusalem – see Rev 21);
- brought to fruition His Spirit’s perpetual filling of those who exist in Him. (The concept of being in Him while He is in us (in the most simplified terms) can be likened to the air we breath right now: it is all around us; we are in it and is in us; it sustains us. God’s Spirit is the eternal BEING that generates all that is.
- granted the Kingdom of Heaven access to eternity (the Kingdom of God) having perfected all through Christ (see -1Co 15:24-28).
It is at this point that those pardoned by God (because of the Priestly Service of Jesus Christ) are dwelling in God’s eternity under the Kingdom rule of King Jesus (who is the manifestation of the Godhead bodily – See Col 1:15-21). Holy God is able to dwell with His purified creation because former things will no longer remembered. We will forever experience eternal joy and gladness.
Just imagine what an awesome existence that will be when the fullness of wisdom, understand, reverence, love joy and peace permeates our spirits – there will be no more strife and we will have a unified purpose that brings eternal glory to the Holy and Self-Existing God, Creator. Just as it was when God created time and the universe that exists in it, there was no need of the sun to illuminate the earth (see Rev 21:22-23; Isa 60:19-20). Have you noticed in the Genesis account that there was light on the earth prior to the fourth day? The fourth day was when the lights were placed in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from night.
When we have the mind of Christ; when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power; when all enemies are under His feet; when death has been destroyed – then He delivers the Kingdom of Heaven to God the Father. Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all (see 1Co 15:24-28). In this state I believe we will understand the plan of the ages, the purposes of God AND His complete goodness.
In my mind on that day when we actually begin to understand His goodness, we will recognize that anything that contradicts Him is evil, and we will not want any part of it. While we may have loved-ones here and now that we want to come to the knowledge of Christ, in reality in eternity we will not have loved-ones who have not accepted Him. We will love what He loves and not remember the former. Based on being human in this earthly existence we are of course sympathetic to others who are merely human too; it can be very difficult to reconcile with His eternal goodness and righteousness with how love of others currently makes us feel.
True repentance is recognizing your depravity is worthy of death, accepting Jesus Christ as the only sufficient payment for your pardon, and then loving God without selfish motives which causes you to submit your will to Him. This means that Christians (imperfectly here and now) should feel the way He feels, love what He loves, and detest what He detest with the same reasons He feels, loves, hates. In eternity, we will submit perfectly because we will be filled with Him completely. He is the standard of goodness, He is the only good.
- Psa 53:2-3 NKJV – God looks down from heaven upon the children of men, To see if there are any who understand, who seek God. Every one of them has turned aside; They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one.
- Heb 7:24-26 NKJV – But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens;
True goodness is perfection – and – to allow sin to exist and to continue to be infectious would be imperfection.
In closing, I think of these two passages of scripture:
- 1Co 15:57-58 NKJV – But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
- 2Pe 1:2-8 NKJV – Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither
All Things Made New
|Rev. 21:1-8||Cross References by Verse|
|Rev 21:1 NKJV – 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.||Isa 65:17 – “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.|
Luk 11:2 – So He said to them, “When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.
2Pe 3:10-13 – But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
|Rev 21:2 NKJV – Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.||Heb 11:10 – for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.|
Heb 12:22 – But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels,
Rev 3:12 – “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.
|Rev 21:3 NKJV – 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.||2Co 6:16 – And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.”|
|Rev 21:4 NKJV – “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.”||Rev 7:17 – “for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”|
1Co 15:26 – The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.
Isa 35:10 – And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, And come to Zion with singing, With everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, And sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
Isa 65:17-19 NKJV – “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; For behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, And her people a joy. I will rejoice in Jerusalem, And joy in My people; The voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her, Nor the voice of crying.
|Rev 21:5 NKJV – 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.“||Rev 4:9 – Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever,|
Rev 19:9 – Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’ ” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.”
|Rev 21:6 NKJV – And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.||Rev 16:17 – Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, “It is done!”|
Rev 1:8 – “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Rev 22:13 – “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”
Jhn 4:10 – Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”
|Rev 21:7 NKJV – “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.||Rev 2:11 – “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.” ‘|