First Things Are Gone


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,
(Revelation 21:3 NASB)
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.”
(Revelation 21:4 NASB)



John's vision is beginning to come to a close as he sees the new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven. He realizes that what he is seeing is something completely new and different from anything that has ever existed. He has been living in the period of the "first things" and now all of those are passing away. The first things included death, tears, hurt, anger, mourning and pain. In the new Jerusalem none of these will exist. Instead, God wipes away all the tears and comes down to physically dwell with his people and a new era begins.



We do live in a world in which there is much pain and suffering. The symbolism of tears expresses so very much. We live in a world in which there is so much pain that the end result is tears. Even good and faithful followers of Jesus Christ struggle when hit with illness and unemployment. The result is that we cry out to God and wonder where he is in the midst of it all. God is always there and he is always with us -- but there is coming a day in which there will be no more tears, no more doubts and God will be visibly present.

For the people of John's day life had spun out of control. The persecutions for the followers of Christ had reached a fever pitch. They had to look forward to the day when God would dwell here on the earth. They knew that for them their death was imminent. We have brothers and sisters in Christ, living in the world today, who are faced with the same types of persecution. We may want to encourage individuals to focus on the already of the kingdom of God, but when you are looking death in the face, you are looking into God's future and you begin to see things in a new and different light. They were waiting with anticipation for the first things to be gone.

There will come a time in life when we too will look forward to the day when all the first things are gone and that we will be able to step into the new and experience the joy and peace of the presence of God who will wipe away all the tears and pain. Until that day, we continue to work in his kingdom and pray that we might be able to bring a little bit of his peace and presence to the world in which we live. But we are encouraged by having a small glimpse of the future which lies ahead, when the first things will have passed away.



Lord, thank you for the promises and may we live in those promises with you on a daily basis. Amen.


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