John’s words provide strong and striking imagery when he says: “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.” What a wonderful picture John gives of the life to come – a new heaven and a new earth, for the former things have passed away. What a glorious prospect for us to strive for, of achieving life with God in that new creation.
Not only have we this beautiful vision of the world to come but, in it, God has promised He will wipe away every tear from our eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will have gone for ever, for the former things have passed away.
Life for any one of us can bring its share of trials and tribulations: just think at this present time of the horror of the war in Ukraine, and of those who have lost their lives, those who have been severely injured, and those who have had to flee their homes and their homeland and seek refuge in another country. Any one of us can experience times of severe testing of our faith in God, perhaps through illness, the death of a loved one, or by some unforeseen disappointment or misfortune. If that is the case with you today, these words from Revelation have a special relevance.
As St John assured his first readers, so he can still assure us, that at the end of the Christian road there is a city – the City of God; that whatever else heaven means, it entails an end to the sorrows of earth; where there will be no more crying or pain, and the last reward of the loyal and pure in heart will be to see God and His Christ face to face.
Have you ever stopped to think of the sheer impact of these promises? God is almighty and all-powerful. Put your trust in Him today so that when that day dawns we will experience the fulfilment of all these promises in the wonderful new creation.
Celebrated hymn writer, Isaac Watts, summed up these thoughts beautifully: “There is a land of pure delight where saints immortal reign; infinite day excludes the night, and pleasures banish pain. There everlasting spring abides, and never withering flowers: death like a narrow stream divides this heavenly land from ours.”