The Beginning, Part 4
Revelation 21:2-4 (NKJV)
In Revelation 21:2, as heaven came down making heaven and earth one, John compared the event to a bride getting ready to go meet her husband. She knew once she met him things would forever change. This bride of Christ, the church...the people of God, loved her husband and she had long-awaited this moment.
We read in Revelation 21:2, “Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”
Through John’s vision we can only begin to experience what that moment will be like. I tried to imagine it. I thought about what it’s like when the bride has waited a very long time for that moment to come. For years, she prayed and waited. She agonized over turmoil between rival forces who kept her away from this moment. She ‘had been’ through much and had waited and prayed, waited and prayed. Now that the moment was here, all she could think about was being safely united with her husband.
Indeed, the church (the bride of Christ) awaits this moment.
Then we learn in Revelation 21:3, “And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.”
The long-awaited promise that Heaven and earth will be in perfect union will come. The moment the bride hears the proclamation from God the Father saying they will now forever be His people is when we will finally be in perfect peace forever. It’s Eden as described in Genesis 1 and 2.
Through the ages, a lot has happened and the people of God have suffered at the hands of the enemy. Now all of that has ended. The promise in Revelation 21:4 says, “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
It’s hard to believe on earth there will be no more tears.
We will not be separated from loved ones by death.
We will no longer have a need to grieve.
We will only have joy for there will be no sorrow.
We will not cry.
We will no longer be in pain.
The time that separated the church (the people of God) FROM God has passed.
As we think about our most difficult moments and we remember our pain and our sorrow, we realize how those moments changed us. Not only have I read about “hitting an emotional WALL” experience in our lives, I’ve lived through it more than once. They are the moments that change and define us. Many of us have come up against forces in our lives that absolutely knocked the emotional wind out of us. We weren’t sure we could go on.
We studied “The Wall” experience in Seminary because spiritual leaders need to be equipped to help others when they face the Wall. Spiritual leaders need to be trained to help with grief, separation and divorce, and even difficult family issues.
The best way to describe the wall in the physical sense is when a marathon runner hits a wall. They know they will either collapse or they will overcome the obstacle their body is experiencing.
In those dire moments, we either give up or we decide to dig in and overcome. I know when I hit my wall God was there. I believe it was God who gave me the courage to go on.
The church, the bride of Christ is no different. In other parts of our world the church has been up against the wall through the ages. She has been in danger of extinction, but God has protected her from being wiped out. The promise we have in Revelation 21:2-4 is a glimpse of what eternity will be like. We will not hurt and we will never be separated from God.
We will live in perfect peace all the time.
It’s hard to imagine, but by the grace and faith of God, we believe.
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: The Wall
Think about the difficult experiences in your life. Have you been up against a wall? Did it change you? How? Let God bring your experience back to you so you can see how it changed you.
If you have not faced a wall experience, ask God to prepare you for it. When we studied the wall experience in Seminary, I was told every believer will come to a point in their life when they feel like they have had ‘enough’ and they are at the end of what they can do on their own. At that point, we learn how to surrender it to God. That’s why even though the wall seems like it’s a curse, it’s really a blessing!
In God, Deborah