Recently I’ve been dwelling on the words of one of my favourite passages in the Bible: Revelation 21:1-5. These verses have always been a great encouragement to me, and I am looking forward to preaching on them in a few weeks.
This passage stands out from the surrounding chapters of Revelation because it is one of the few parts of this enigmatic book that is comparatively clear and easy to understand. There are no dragons, cups of wrath, or symbolic gems to try and interpret.
I mentioned these verses in a recent message I gave at the Genesis Christian College Middle School Chapel. In the message I spoke on perseverance—and these verses are what my mind turns to when I think of the end point of the race we are running, the finish line. Because as broken and challenging as this world is, our existence will not always be like this—we look forward to the time when Jesus will return, when all things will be made new.
The voice which speaks from the throne in verses 3-4 captures the joyous perfection which will mark the time when we are fully united with our God; “Now God's home is with people! He will live with them, and they shall be his people. God himself will be with them, and he will be their God. He will wipe away all tears from their eyes. There will be no more death, no more grief or crying or pain. The old things have disappeared.” (vv. 3–4)
And not only will there be comfort and consolation for the hardships and pain endured in this world, but there will be a new world, re-created the way it was originally intended to be. A world where we can live, work, explore, celebrate, worship, and exist together, in the presence of God.
Christ’s pronouncement in verse 5, “Behold, I am making all things new” stirs up anticipation and excitement within me. I cannot help but think about how awesome it will be to live in a world made perfect. I don’t know exactly what it will look like, but I do know that it will be perfectly fulfilling, and infinitely better than anything this broken world has to offer us.
But for now, we do live in a broken world, if only for a short time. And while we are here, we can serve, worship, and rely on our Lord. And we can impact others, we can be a light shining in the world which points others to Christ and the salvation to be found in Him.
So, if you too find deep comfort in these verses, let me encourage you as the author of Hebrews does, to ‘set your eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ (Heb. 12:2)