Living as fallen people in a fallen world takes a toll. You can see evidence of the Adamic curse on people, plants, animals, world and national events and in all of creation every day. We regularly see natural disasters and human caused calamities. Have you ever known a 150-year-old person? Why not? It is because we live in a universe alienated from God’s person and His original plan and every thing and every person is in the process of decay and eventual death.
That is a sad reality. However, according to the promise of God, it will not always be that way. Through Jesus Christ, all who belong to Him anticipate a time when God will literally be with us, and His full favor will shine upon us once more. A time is coming when God will reclaim and restore His fallen creation. John wrote about this glorious change that is coming in the future—“And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away” (Rev. 21:3, 4).
Don’t you love the way John worded that promise? “God Himself will be among them.” God HIMSELF—Not another, but He Himself—the Creator, Master, Lord and Savior, will “dwell among them, and they shall be His people.” No longer will people wonder: Where is He when it hurts? Is He hearing my prayers? Does He really care about my problems and burdens? We will wonder no longer because “He Himself” will be with us!
It will be a time when God Himself, “will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” What a beautiful picture. As a loving mom gently wipes the tears from the cheeks of her hurting child, so God will wipe away all tears. Imagine dwelling in a place where there is never a reason to cry—where there’s never a sorrow that brings weeping.
This will be a time of no mores—“no more death. . . no longer any mourning or crying …or pain; the former things have passed away.” Imagine a place of “no more.” The place of “no more” is for every believer in Christ, when they come into His presence. Don’t you long for the day of “no more?” One day we will see and experience this place because of that person—The Lord Jesus Christ—who gave Himself to redeem us to be with Him forever!
When I was about ten-years old, visiting my grandparents in Lipan, Texas, my grandmother asked about funerals I had attended. I told her I had never been to a funeral. She was taken aback, thinking I was not respectful, to the deceased, or the families of those who had passed away. Recognizing her reaction, I quickly explained that I had never attended a funeral, because I had never known anyone who had died. As I look back on it, I was in a blissful state, and did not know it. During the next decade I would attend a score of funerals, including hers’. Unfortunately, now it seems, I know as many people who are deceased, as who are alive. It was better not having known of death.
The Bible teaches that: “As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. When the wind has passed over it, it is no more, And its place acknowledges it no longer. But the lovingkindness of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children’s children” (Psalm 103:15-17). As God describes it, human life is as fragile as a flower that can be destroyed by the slightest breeze. It is as temporary as grass. Though human life is frail, short, sometimes difficult and always hanging in doubt—God promises that His love is forever and His righteousness from generation to generation. Those who fear Him are carried from fading life to eternal glory. And, since God is sovereign, all-powerful and all-knowing, nothing can derail His plan or alter the course He has planned for His people.
In February, 2008, Mercy Me recorded a wonderful song entitled, “I Can Only Imagine.” The song was an instant hit, a movie was made about it, and the song can still be heard on the radio, eleven years later. Two stanzas read:
I can only imagine, what my eyes will see
When Your face is before me.
I can only imagine.
I can only imagine, when all I would do
Is forever, forever worship You.
I can only imagine.
Another older song says, “There’s a great day coming, a great day coming by and by!” The future is bright for those who know and love the Lord. No matter what happens in life today, for believers, things will be better when Christ returns. But, now is also the time, for unbelievers, to turn to God, repent of sins, and trust Christ alone to save them. Life is uncertain and short at its best, and today is the day to make your peace with the One who loves you, gave Himself for you, and will save you, if you call on Him.
Meanwhile, His people are to live for Him, learn of Him and love Him and others. The time of “no more’s” is probably not so far away. Prepare for that day. Anticipate that day. Begin today.