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God Himself Will Be With Them

At the age of seventeen, I worked as a commercial fisherman with my father on his boat when we caught one of the largest magnetic mines that the Germans laid near the harbor from where we worked. It looked brand new, having been under the mud since WW II. Our net had pulled it out of its resting place in the mud of the seabed. We had to lay the mine on our deck to salvage our net. Any instant could have been my last. We managed to get it safely overboard and away from where we usually dragged our nets. God was very faithful to keep nudging my soul after the near-death instance. Thoughts of where I would go at death were constantly on my mind. I knew intuitively that there was a heaven, but I was afraid I would not go there because I fell far short of what I considered a good life, weighed down by my failures and sins. At that point, I had heard nothing about God's grace or salvation plan. I thank God for the grace now revealed to me in Christ.


The awakening to consider one's life beyond the grave is a grace of God given to us. Alexander the Great's father, Philip of Macedon, commissioned a servant to stand in his presence daily and say, "Philip, you will die." In contrast, France's Louis XIV decreed that the word death not be uttered in his presence.[1] It is good to reflect on where you are going in life and where you'd like to go when this fleeting life on Earth is over. The words of our study in Revelation, chapter twenty-one, are most comforting to the believer in Christ because it talks about the home to which God has called us to belong.


1Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first Earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:1-4).


After writing about the Millennium and the Great White Throne judgment in Revelation, chapter twenty, and Death and Hades being thrown into the Lake of Fire, John is now given revelation on a new heaven, new earth, and a new Jerusalem. The Greek word in v. 1, translated as "new" (kainon), means new in quality rather than brand new in another place. The Earth will be restored entirely new for a new humanity without sin and having no death or disease. Why is there no more sea? The sea may represent the place where evil rose, as in the Antichrist rising up from the sea in Revelation 13:1. The sea is symbolic of the commotion and volatility of men “You stilled the roaring of the seas, the pounding of their waves, and the tumult of the nations” (Psalm 65:7). No more sea could be describing not something physical but a moral or spiritual sea no longer on Earth. Before there were navigation instruments, the sea was seen as a place where men were lost. The sea would no more be a place of insecurity.


During the 1,000-year reign of Christ, Jesus will sit on his throne in Jerusalem, but now, coming down from heaven is a New Jerusalem. This Jerusalem is utterly different from the millennial Jerusalem. The “Lord God Almighty and the Lamb” (Revelation 21:22) will come and dwell on Earth with the Bride of Christ, the elect of God. We see a picture of great intimacy with the Lord drawing near and wiping the tears of pain from our eyes. At the end of the Millennium, death, mourning, crying, or pain will be no more. Hallelujah! No matter what you are going through, knowing what happens at the end of the Book is encouraging. If you are in Christ Jesus, you win! Keith Thomas



[1] Randy Alcorn. Heaven. Published by Eternal Perspective Ministries, 2004. Page 21


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