Bible Reading Devotion for December 2, 2017
from the Revelation of John, Chapter 21 found at https://www.esv.org/Revelation+21/.*
by Pastor Jerry Ingalls
The Bible ends with a triumphant view of God’s reign over a rebellious creation. There is hope! There is an end to all things that truly reveals the power and awesomeness of God! There is a fulfillment to the promise that is greater than our temporary sufferings upon this earth as we live by faith and not be sight.
So, what should our response be to such a vision of the future: HOLD ON!
Revelation 21:22–27 declares with clarity, “And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”
Here are three reasons to hold on to your faith as you live day by day with the promise of this vision of the completion of all things.
First, at the completion of all things, God overhauls the religious order. There will no longer be a need for a temple! God is now available for perpetual communion with His people. No more temples, which are the common and ordinary meeting place for religion in a fallen world.
Human temples are but a shadow of that which is to come. Unfortunately, even in Christianity today, so many refuse to acknowledge that Jesus fulfilled the Old Covenant’s temple system by making our bodies the temple of the Holy Spirit in the New Covenant. Humanity still builds monuments in tribute to their loyalties, regardless of whether their loyalty is sports, nations, or gods. That will all be done away with as our loyalties will no longer be divided.
Second, at the completion of all things, God overhauls the created order. There will no longer be a need for the shining of the sun. God is the Light of the nations and He will call us into His perfect and perpetual light. No more deeds of the darkness! That is why the last verse is yet another call to persist in living by faith, “nothing unclean will ever enter it.” In God’s perfect light, the creation that is currently moaning to be recreated, will then be reordered. That which we assumed was the most ever-present sign of God’s abiding presence in all of creation is done away with.
The sun is but a shadow of that which is to come. Will you miss the sunrise and sunset? You think so, but you won’t! God’s presence will be so all-consuming that you will no longer remember that splash of paint on the canvas compared to His brilliance and beauty.
Lastly, at the completion of all things, God overhauls our human fears and insecurities. There will no longer be a need for the gates of our cities or hearts to be closed to shut out the other. The nations will be at peace with one another as the kings of nations bring their glory to the King of kings.
Peace accords and treaties are but a shadow of that which is to come. With no religious temples to fight over (21:22), no national sovereignties to fight over (21:24), and every rare jewel and precious resource being transformed into common building materials (21:15-21) there will be no reason for war, jealousy, covetness, or greed.
As Jesus so triumphantly declares in Revelation 21:5-6, “Behold, I am making all things new… It is done!”
It will be done as God promised, so hold on! You may not be able to see it yet, but put your faith in the One who promised. For the righteous shall live by faith and not be sight. HOLD ON to your FAITH!
*Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.