Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Revelation Chapter Seven, Part 4 of 4

7:15 Therefore are they before the throne of God…and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.
God dwells among His people in the person of Jesus Christ, who is the image and glory of God, 2nd Corinthians 4:4, 6; Hebrews 1:3. “And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people,” Leviticus 26:11-12. John records that in Jesus Christ God tented, or tabernacled, among men, John 1:14. The word “dwelt” in John 1:14 is the Greek word “skenoo” and means “to spread a tent.” God came as a man and pitched a tent to dwell with Adam’s race. God became like us in all things, Hebrews 2:14.

This shall be realized eternally in the new heavens and earth. God in the person of Jesus Christ shall be with us and among us forever, Revelation 22:3-4. We have been purchased back from sin and death and restored or renewed to the image and purpose of God’s design for us. Having entered this purpose, we shall tirelessly and faithfully serve God forever. Earth’s existence and our sinful nature is the slightest pause between eternities. God granted man a will to choose so no one is in Heaven in the presence of God against their will. God wants men to love Him for who He is, and desire to worship freely and submit body and soul to God, which is only our rightful service. Those who hate the notion of a God who wants us for His own purposes will not have to suffer Heaven; Hell is for those who would rather spend eternity alone than be subjected to their Creator’s designs for them.

The rest of verse 15 states that the saints shall serve God day and night in His temple. I do not know if this is merely in reference to the Tribulation saints or the broader scope of all saints through all time, but I receive this inclination: Heaven will be a place of industry and energy. There will not be idle harp plucking and crown polishing as so many crassly joke about. Heaven will be a heavenly service to a perfect God without the hindrance or distraction of sinful flesh occupying and dominating our thoughts and time. We shall be busied forever in a boundless universe sharing it in joyful adoration with a loving God who gave Himself as the purchase price for our entrance, Acts 20:28. This brief life, which is as a shadow, will endure but a moment, 1st Chronicles 29:15.

7:17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
This touching promise is offered to everyone born again by faith in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. This offer is not made, as Rob Bell suggests, to everyone on earth whether they accept Christ or not; it is made only to those who have by their faith in the Lord, triumphed over the world, the flesh, and the devil, 1st John 5:4-5. “The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing,” Zephaniah 3:17. This is a truly amazing testimony given by God regarding restored Israel when at last He dwells among His people after they are faithful to Him once again. One must enter into these promises through faith; Christ is the narrow gate through which few pass, Matthew 7:13-14.

The twenty third Psalm illustrates this verse better than my words can. Read on:
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

We can rejoice and take comfort in the fact that one day God Himself promises to dry our tears, quiet our hearts and soothe our grief. He keenly feels when we are wounded, hurting, sore, vexed, or afraid. His Spirit is present to comfort us today through the Bible, through prayer, through other saints. Tomorrow, whenever it arrives, He shall be present in person, regal and glorified and almighty in presence. The sight of Him alone will remove our present burden. “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal,” 2nd Corinthians 4:17-18. One day faith and hope will dissolve, for the objects of both will be standing right before us, and we need no longer hope for what we clearly see. But love will never fade, in fact it will intensify as eternity goes on and it will be enjoyed more easily since sin isn’t present to taint it for us. I pray that any brethren reading may be comforted by these words.

1 comment:

  1. There is nothing more depressing than a sense of having nothing of value to do. the thought of sitting around forever with nothing worthwhile to do would make me not want to go to heaven. The thought that he finds something useful for me implies my value to him. It's something to look forward to.


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