Reading the Word
Revelation 21:1–8 (ESV)
1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and 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 death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” 5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6 And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. 7 The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. 8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
Understanding and Applying the Word
As we near the end of the God’s word, we are reminded of the beginning. Genesis 1:1 tells us that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. We are also told that God looked at all he had made and declared that it was “very good” (Genesis 1:31). Everything was as it was supposed to be.
However, in Genesis 3 things change. The first man and woman rebel against their Creator and eat of the forbidden fruit. As a consequence of their sin, suffering and death entered into God’s good creation. Through the rest of Scripture we read of God’s plan to deal with the sin of mankind and to redeem his creation.
When we get to Revelation 21, we see the end result of God’s redemptive plan: a new heaven and a new earth. A new creation where sin is no more. There is no more suffering and death. There is no more separation from God. He dwells with his people and will be with them forever! What an amazing thing to think about as we await that day!
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