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Friday, March 10, 2017

You Can Quote Me on That!

The Book of Revelation is filled with mystery and wonder. At times it can be frightening and heavy, but it is also filled with hope. One of the most hopeful and beautiful passages in this book appears in the next to last chapter, Revelation 21. In the first four verses of that chapter, we find good reason for hope, peace, and joy in Jesus' promise for the future.

The preceding chapters speak of war, desolation, God's wrath and judgment. But we are also told about a time to come when Jesus will return to this earth to go to war against and defeat Satan and the Antichrist. Following that victory, Jesus will then reign on earth for a thousand years before Satan is released from the pit. Satan will then be defeated once again and cast into the lake of fire forever. While the ultimate defeat of our enemy is cause for celebration, what happens next is even more reason to celebrate.

In Revelation 21:1-4, a voice from the throne says that a new heaven and a new earth will be created. The beauty of that new earth will far surpass that of the earth we now know. It will reflect a beauty that surpasses anything we could possibly imagine. In those verses, we read that what was lost in the Garden of Eden will be restored: God's presence among His people. As He was with Adam and Eve, God will once again be right here with us. When He dwells with us, the old order of things will pass away. No longer will there be death, mourning, sickness, or pain. No more tears will be shed. These things will be replaced by everlasting life and joy.

Sound too good to be true? Maybe that's the reason for Revelation 21:5. In this verse, speaking to John from the throne, Jesus exclaims, "I am making everything new!" He follows that by saying what is basically the equivalent of, "You can quote me on that!" Jesus tells John to write down what He just said because the words that He has spoken are "trustworthy and true." And, if Jesus says something, we can be assured that it must be true. After all, He is the truth!

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