Nearly a week ago we celebrated All Saints Sunday, an annual celebration of the saints on earth that have reached 50+ years of membership and those that have passed on to eternal life with Christ. This past week we've been looking at the 'what's next' of this special Sunday as we consider the scriptural accounts of what God seeks to do for our world in bringing us back into full union with Him and with all the other saints and souls of the world. Today, we look at Revelation to see what that's all about. I'll share more down below but for now let's get you reading and have you come to your own conclusions.
Scripture to Read
Heaven and earth as one unified body is a place where no one is hungry, cold, forgotten, scared and more. It's a place where tears are no more, death is no more, anguish is no more. It's a place where plants and animals and humanity live together in unity without exploitation. But perhaps thinking of it in a bigger picture isn't very helpful or relatable, I understand, so I'll share a personal story as well. My dad has lived a difficult life and those difficulties have made him a remarkably strong person. He had to flee Germany as a young child because of the ravaged effects of world war 2 to end up a foreign place speaking a tongue he did not speak. He was one of 14 children and by the time he was 14 years old his Dad left the family to fend for themselves. My dad, who was once a brilliant runner, dropped out of high school and lied to the foreman at the local steel factory about his age and begun working to provide for his brothers and sisters. Looking back at early pictures of my dad I would see how strong he was - his arms looked like a superhero! But in the last ten years or so I don't see that same strength anymore. He hunches when he walks. He can't walk far without losing breath. He struggles to lift a pot to the stove to cook it. The other day at lunch I had to help him get out of the booth because he had sunk down too far and felt uneasy standing. I can see the shame and fear in his eyes as he witnesses his body breaking down on him. I still believe my dad has one of the strongest souls in the world, but that soul is living in a body that's failing him.
But heaven on earth takes away the anguish of failing bodies. In the version of the world where God is in full control my Dad would not have fear and shame in his eyes. He would still be able to cook like he used to, dance like he used to, and sing without worry for his lungs. Each of us knows the experience of getting older or watching a loved one grow older. More than anything in the world I suspect you would want to take that experience away. That's what the renewing of the world is all about as recorded in Revelation. No more death, no more pain, no more tears. May it be so, amen.
Questions to Consider
After having considered heaven and earth for a week what aspects of it are you most excited for?
Read (Skim) Revelation 21-22. Is this accurate of the conception of the "end times" that you have? Is it something to fear?
Praying through Praise
I have not yet heard this song before but I LOVE it. When We All Get to Heaven is so comforting. The second verse really captures the essence of Revelation 21 as it says "while we walk the pilgrim pathway, clouds will overspread the sky; but when traveling days are over, not a shadow not a sigh." Join me in closing out this study of heaven on earth with this fun song of trust in the world that God wants to see.