Reading: Revelation 21:5-27
Chapter 21 is one of the most beautiful chapters in the Bible, our tears are wiped away and all things are made new. The New Heavens and the New Earth are completed and God’s dwelling is with humanity. He is our light, our source and the relationship broken in Genesis is restored. Our relationships with one another are healed too; they will now be pure, with no more manipulation, lust or lies. John tells us the great news that nothing impure will be in the New Heaven or on the New Earth.
However, within all this beauty and wonder there is warning. We have noticed over the last month that one of the major themes of Revelation is idolatry, and here we see that idol worship too is destroyed, once and for all. With the destruction of evil and death comes the judgement of those who thoroughly resist the works of God and refuse to repent of their sin. John tells us Jesus words,
“But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars–their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulphur. This is the second death.” (Verse 8).
Max Lucado writes of this concept, that we commonly understand as hell,
“One phrase summarises the horror of hell. “God isn’t there.”
Think for a moment about this question: What if God weren’t here on earth? You think people can be cruel now, imagine us without the presence of God. You think we are brutal to each other now, imagine the world without the Holy Spirit. You think there is loneliness and despair and guilt now, imagine life without the touch of Jesus. No forgiveness. No hope. No acts of kindness. No words of love. No more food given in His name. No more songs sung to His praise. No more deeds done in His honour. If God took away His angels, His grace, His promise of eternity, and His servants, what would the world be like?
In a word, hell. No one to comfort you and no music to soothe you. A world where poets don’t write of love and minstrels don’t sing of hope, for love and hope were passengers on the last ship. The final vessel has departed, and the anthem of hell has only two words: “if only.”
According to Jesus hell knows only one sound, the “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 22:13). From hell comes a woeful, unending moan as its inhabitants realise the opportunity they have missed. What they would give for one more chance. But that chance is gone (Hebrews 9:27).
Can you see now why the angels rejoice when one sinner repents? Jesus knows what awaits the saved. He also knows what awaits the condemned. Can you see why we should rejoice as well? How can we? How can our hearts be changed so we rejoice like Jesus rejoices?
Ask God to help you have his eternal view of the world. His view of humanity is starkly simple. From His perspective every person is either:
Entering through the small gate or the wide gate (Matthew 7:13, 14)
Traveling the narrow road or the wide road (Matthew 7:13, 14)
Building on rock or sand (Matthew 7:24–27) wise or foolish (Matthew 25:2)
Prepared or unprepared (Matthew 24:45–51)
Fruitful or fruitless (Matthew 25:14–27)
Heaven called or hell bound (Mark 16:15, 16) “(From Just Like Jesus by Max Lucado)
Are you prepared for the moment in your history that Revelation 22 speaks of? If you are not a follower of Jesus Christ, you will be separated from God for all eternity. Please, don’t allow that to happen. Repent of your sins and turn to Jesus Christ for rescue right now. If you are a believer, make yourself available to share the good news of Jesus to a dying and hurting world through word and love.
John tells us,
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” (John 3:16-18)
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.” (Revelation 21:6)
Father, I can only imagine what eternity will be like. When there is an end to mourning and pain. When all things are made new. Lord, I give myself to see your kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven. Help me never to tire of doing good, help to have ever deeper faith and trust in you. I lift up to you those I love who don’t know you, who don’t believe in you and don’t follow you. Lord, I ask that you would tear down the ideas and thoughts that are against you in their hearts and minds. Would you open their hearts to you so that they may see you, know you and follow you. In Jesus name. Amen
Please note: Any comments containing links may not appear immediately, as they are held for moderation.
Only your name and comment are required to post, if you enter your email this will not be shown with your comment.