The Eternal Home of the Redeemed

(Revelation 21:1-7, 22-27)

Lesson 13 -- second quarter 1997
May 25, 1997

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 1997, Christian Light Publications

The former things are passed!
Do you mind?
Will others?

Last week, a sister's name went out on our local prayer chains -- cancer. Last night, a brother had a topic at church; he was wearing a cast on one arm. This morning, another name went out on our prayer chains -- a young girl ran away from home. Another bad wreck has again closed down I-5 for quite a few hours. These lumps on my back, neck and jaw are worrisome. So-and-so is still wandering "happily" away from the Lord. Where will the needed money come from? Do I have to go to work again?

Problems. Afflictions. Fears. Tribulations. Testings. Mishaps. Accidents. Sicknesses. Rebellion. Stresses. Needs. They had them in "the good old days"; we have them today; we'll have them when today constitutes part of the good old days.

But Heaven waits and the New Jerusalem comes! There is coming a day.... No, there is coming The Day. Singular, because there will never again be night. It will never get old for it will be eternal. We'll never call it good because it is the best. The former things will be passed away; the Creator Himself will "make all things new"! I'm looking forward to it!

Say, do you mind that "the former things are passed away"?

Strange question after all that I wrote above, eh? But not so strange when we shift gears enough to remember that many of the present-then-former things engage us all too well. We do get quite attached to some things and activities and dreams and ambitions here on planet Earth, you know!

So you don't think you'll mind then "getting along" without the things you find so dear now. I like to think that way sometimes also. But I think both you and I would be wise to become less attached to those things now, when it is still in our choosing to do so. If we can hardly stand the thought (much less the action) of giving up certain things for the Gospel's sake, the Lord's sake, the church's sake...then we'd better wake up!

I fear that our focus on the future becomes rather self-centered at times. We can get ecstatic about these present things becoming former things that are passed away. We rejoice at the prospect of having all things (including ourselves) new. The descriptions of eternal life are thrilling, assuring and mind boggling.

But what about the others? The drunk, the addict, the prostitute, the murderer, the thief, the unfaithful spouse, the dishonest businessman. The Jew, the Moslem, the Buddhist, the JW, the Mormon, the Communist, the atheist, the agnostic, the pagan, the nominal Christian.

Do we care? With our lips? With our hearts? With our lives?

"Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together" (John 4:35,36). "He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame" (Proverbs 10:5). And reaps shame (Ezekiel 33:6)!

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