The Past – Gone Forever

I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The first heaven and the first earth had disappeared, and so had the sea. 2 Then I saw New Jerusalem, that holy city, coming down from God in heaven. It was like a bride dressed in her wedding gown and ready to meet her husband.

3 I heard a loud voice shout from the throne:

“God’s home is now with his people. He will live with them, and they will be his own. Yes, God will make his home among his people.4 He will wipe all tears from their eyes, and there will be no more death, suffering, crying, or pain. These things of the past are gone forever.”

5 Then the one sitting on the throne said:

“I am making everything new. Write down what I have said. My words are true and can be trusted. 6 Everything is finished! I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.”    Revelation 21:1-6 (CEV)

The past. I’m not one to look back. There is a lot of pain in my past so maybe that is why I don’t dwell on it much. I do remember very clearly the night that I opened my life to Jesus and how I did remember so much and asked Him to forgive me. I don’t know how to put into the words the feeling of Him entering into me and all the muck and junk that had been just hanging on the walls of my life and clogging up everything was just – whoosh! and gone. I felt so new and bright. I thought of a very familiar phrase in that moment, “The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” I began to know what that meant because my sins were wiped away like words on a blackboard.

John tells me in this passage that there is going to be another “new” in my life. Some day I am going to see all as new. It’s going to be permanently new. This new heaven and earth will never decay. Flowers won’t die. Animals won’t die. There won’t be wars or pollution. God won’t be “out there somewhere” but living right with us just like our neighbors do now. There won’t be presidents or kings or dictators. God will be GOD in the hearts of everyone. There will be no tears of grief or pain. There will be no regrets or loneliness or despair. The past will be forever not a part of the present.

I don’t know how to wrap my mind or imagination around what the “new” will be. I don’t know exactly what I will be doing in heaven. Will it look like the Gulf Coast or the green hills of Tennessee or the mountains of Montana or the quiet of Arizona or will there be all that there? Will I know my great-grandparents or great-grandchildren that I never met? Will I greet people that I never met but know their names any way? I don’t know. I just know that I can look at a flower or a starry night and, knowing God made that, I know that whatever heaven will be – is beyond words.

Take some time right now and go to Psalm 148 and just read some praises to God. Think of it as “practice” for the time that is coming when what we see is so extraordinary that we just cannot hold back the praise! The songs sung throughout John’s visions were simple and sung over and over.

The past is gone – all is new!

We’ve Come To Praise Him written and sung by Lindell Cooley

We’ve come to praise Him
And lift His Holy Name.

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD
You oughta praise the LORD while you have a chance!

You oughta praise Him
And lift His Holy Name.

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD
I’m gonna praise the LORD while I have a chance!

I’m gonna praise Him
And lift His Holy Name

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