Hello everybody and welcome in to episode #361 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading reading Revelation 21 today and our focus is on We Are Approaching An Endless Age That Will Lack Pain, Death and Tears. Encouragement From Revelation. What Is the Most Precious Promise in the Bible? Will We Live Forever in Heaven ? We are a daily 10ish minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in Kanagawa, Japan, Prague, Czech Republic, Dublin, Ireland, Bihar, India, Parts unknown, France and Spain, Monterey, California, Scranton, Pennsylvania, Akron, Ohio, Bakersfield, California, Raleigh Durham, North Carolina, San Diego, California, Laredo, Texas, Reno, Nevada and Great Falls, Montana. Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast! Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\
Death will be no more – what a glorious promise.The Bible tells us clearly that DEATH is an enemy. Almost all of us listening have faced the specter of death before – either as a scare in our own lives, or as a loss of somebody that we dearly loved. When we experience death up close and personal, we agree with the Bible’s characterization of death as an enemy:
25 For he must reign until he puts all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be abolished is death.
1 Corinthians 15:25-26
Even in the Old Testament, God was speaking through His prophets of a time when He would end death forever and wipe away all of the tears of grief. We see that in Isaiah 25:6-9
On this mountain, the Lord of Armies will prepare for all the peoples a feast of choice meat,
a feast with aged wine, prime cuts of choice meat, fine vintage wine.
7 On this mountain
he will swallow up the burial shroud,
the shroud over all the peoples,
the sheet covering all the nations.
8 When he has swallowed up death once and for all,
the Lord God will wipe away the tears
from every face
and remove his people’s disgrace
from the whole earth,
for the Lord has spoken.
9 On that day it will be said,
“Look, this is our God;
we have waited for him, and he has saved us.
This is the Lord; we have waited for him.
Let’s rejoice and be glad in his salvation.”
What a wonderful, wonderful promise! Death will be SWALLOWED up by God and He will wipe away ALL of our tears. The beginning of the end of death happened on resurrection Sunday, almost 2000 years ago:
14 Now since the children have flesh and blood in common, Jesus also shared in these, so that through his death he might destroy the one holding the power of death—that is, the devil— 15 and free those who were held in slavery all their lives by the fear of death.
Ultimately, in the Last Day – we don’t GO TO HEAVEN. Heaven comes to us, unites with the Earth, and is fully renewed.
- Revelation 3:12 12 The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name
- Isaiah 24:23 The moon will be dismayed, the sun ashamed;for the Lord Almighty will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and before its elders—with great glory.
- Jeremiah 3:17 17 At that time they will call Jerusalem The Throne of the Lord, and all nations will gather in Jerusalem to honor the name of the Lord. No longer will they follow the stubbornness of their evil hearts.
So rather than Christians spending eternity in the old Heaven, there will be a NEW Heaven, says Revelation 21, and a NEW earth, and God will live with us there.
What will this New Heaven be like? Today’s passage gives us some hints, certainly. I love how C.S. Lewis takes those hints and runs in this passage:
Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists. A baby feels hunger: well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim: well, there is such a thing as water. Men feel sexual desire: well, there is such a thing as sex. If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing….Apparently, then, our lifelong nostalgia, our longing to be reunited with something in the universe from which we now feel cut off, to be on the inside of some door which we have always seen from the outside, is no mere neurotic fancy, but the truest index of our real situation. And to be at last summoned inside would be both glory and honour beyond all our merits and also the healing of that old ache…At present we are on the outside of the world, the wrong side of the door. We discern the freshness and purity of morning, but they do not make us fresh and pure. We cannot mingle with the splendours we see. But all the leaves of the New Testament are rustling with the rumour that it will not always be so. Some day, God willing, we shall get in. …Nature is mortal; we shall outlive her. When all the suns and nebulae have passed away, each one of you will still be alive. Nature is only the image, the symbol; but it is the symbol Scripture invites me to use. We are summoned to pass in through Nature, beyond her, into that splendour which she fitfully reflects.
And in there, in beyond Nature, we shall eat of the tree of life. At present, if we are reborn in Christ, the spirit in us lives directly on God; but the mind and, still more, the body receives life from Him at a thousand removes—through our ancestors, through our food, through the elements. The faint, far-off results of those energies which God’s creative rapture implanted in matter when He made the worlds are what we now call physical pleasures; and even thus filtered, they are too much for our present management. What would it be to taste at the fountainhead that stream of which even these lower reaches prove so intoxicating? Yet that, I believe, is what lies before us. The whole man is to drink joy from the fountain of joy.
C. S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory: And Other Addresses (New York: HarperOne, 2001), 43–44.
Bible Memory passage for the month of December: Revelation 5:12, “They said with a loud voice: Worthy is the Lamb who was slaughtered to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing!”
The Bible 2021 Podcast Is a ministry of Valley Baptist Church A Church in North Salinas, California.
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