Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. (Revelation 21:1-4)
This world is very broken. It is not good anymore, the way the Creator intended it to be. I am reminded of this on days like yesterday. I sat with my sister-in-law for four hours in a hospital waiting room while her husband, my brother-in-law, endured brain surgery to have a large tumor removed.
The waiting room was packed full of others waiting for their family members also in surgery, and I overheard a girl sadly telling someone that her mother-in-law had passed away on Mother’s Day. All during the time we waited, the news channel broadcasted the Amtrak tragedy.
I felt the heaviness in my legs as I got up to use the bathroom. Pain seared through my right leg as I sat down. I watched the angst on my sister-in-law’s face as the minutes slowly crawled by, and silently my heart cried out, “The world is broken. This is not the way God intended it to be.”
How terribly sad it would be if my thoughts ended there! But God did NOT leave us hopeless in this desperate predicament of disease, death, and tragedy here on earth. We can take heart and have glorious hope in what is to come!!! This world is no longer good but God is good and full of grace through his Son, Jesus Christ.
For those of us who repent and place our faith in Jesus, we receive the gracious gift of our sins being pardoned because the perfect Son of God paid our ransom. But we also have our hope secured in future grace. God has already revealed his plan to make new or transform heaven and earth, where the sound of “weeping and crying will be heard in it no more.” At God’s appointed time, even nature will be redeemed, “The wolf and the lamb will feed together.” Isaiah 65:17-25 says,
“See, I will create
new heavens and a new earth.
The former things will not be remembered,
nor will they come to mind.
But be glad and rejoice forever
in what I will create,
for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight
and its people a joy.
I will rejoice over Jerusalem
and take delight in my people;
the sound of weeping and of crying
will be heard in it no more.
“Never again will there be in it
an infant who lives but a few days,
or an old man who does not live out his years;
the one who dies at a hundred
will be thought a mere child;
the one who fails to reach a hundred
will be considered accursed.
They will build houses and dwell in them;
they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
No longer will they build houses and others live in them,
or plant and others eat.
For as the days of a tree,
so will be the days of my people;
my chosen ones will long enjoy
the work of their hands.
They will not labor in vain,
nor will they bear children doomed to misfortune;
for they will be a people blessed by the Lord,
they and their descendants with them.
Before they call I will answer;
while they are still speaking I will hear.
The wolf and the lamb will feed together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox,
and dust will be the serpent’s food.
They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,”
says the Lord.