Sunday, November 22, 2009

NTC Day 63: Revelation 20-22

Congratulations! If you made it this far, then you have overcome the New Testament Challenge. This is the last day and, not ironically, we'll be reading about the last day.

Question 6: How will we worship someday?

Before the face of God. "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. THey will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God." (21:3) We will no longer be separated from God by the veil in the temple. We will no longer be separated from God by death. Indeed, our dwelling will be with him. Not only will we be in heaven where God dwells. The difference is like the people of Washington D.C. saying they live where President Obama lives, and Malia and Sasha saying they live with him. And we will live with God.

Without pain, regret, or grief. "[God] will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." (21:4) The old order will pass away. Never again will we lose anything that we couldn't bear to lose in the first place. Someday everything we love (and should have been loving all along) will be eternal, will never be lost, will never disappear. And God himself will be the one to wipe our tears from the old things and from our old ways.

In and through God and Jesus and in their light. "I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp." (21:22,23) The temple represented the presence of God (and at times showed the visible presence of God), but it will no longer be necessary because we will be in the true presence. No longer will Jesus be our perfect High Priest from a distance, we will worship through him in person. And all of this will be done in their perfect light. And there will be no fear in this light. "This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God." (John 3:19-21)

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