Death was not a part of the original creation. Sickness and deformity were not present at the very dawn of human existence. Sin and evil are not found in God’s creative work. They are all present with us today, but that was not the way it was supposed to be.
It is hard to imagine what it would be like living in an environment where none of these things exist and where there is no evidence that they ever existed. But Revelation 21:3-5 reveals that is exactly what the believer’s future will be like.
“AND I HEARD A LOUD VOICE FROM THE THRONE SAYING, ‘BEHOLD THE TABERNACLE OF GOD IS AMONG MEN, AND HE SHALL DWELL AMONG THEM, AND HE SHALL WIPE AWAY EVERY TEAR FROM THEIR EYES; AND THERE SHALL NO LONGER BE ANY MOURNING, OR CRYING, OR PAIN; THE FIRST THINGS HAVE PASSED AWAY.’ AND HE WHO SITS ON THRONE SAID, ‘BEHOLD I AM MAKING ALL THINGS NEW.’”
This will be the return to what God originally planned for mankind, before Satan and sin entered the scene and God’s plan was disrupted. We are all too familiar with the aftermath of sin and Satan’s appearance in the world of mankind. Satan (“the god of this world”—2 Cor. 4:4) has had a hand in corrupting, defiling and counterfeiting all in God’s good creation. And so, we live with deceit and corruption in governments; constant warfare which kills thousands of people; friction in most relationships; greed and jealousy as a normal part of life, and evil becoming more robust and increasing its deadly grip on all of life. If this was all that there was to life, anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts would be our constant daily companions.
But for the one who has placed their faith in Jesus Christ, he has two amazing truths going for him. First, Jesus has promised an “abundant” kind of life for those who listen to Him and follow Him (John 10:10). It is a life that is closer to what God intended for mankind. When we stay in fellowship with Jesus (“abide in Him”) we will have lives that are valuable and fruitful. That is His guarantee to us. Satan and a sin dominated culture cannot thwart us from having meaningful lives where we can live in a joy that the Heavenly Father gives to those who are “abiding” in Jesus Christ (John 15:1-5, 8-11). But how do we “abide” in Christ (that is; stay in fellowship with Him)? Jesus taught that the key to abiding is obeying. When we obey His commands and principles, then we will have a life of great value and fruitfulness. A life ordered according to God’s good requirements guarantees a life that is meaningful. On the same night Jesus revealed this truth of abiding in Him, He washed the feet of His disciples (John 13:1-17). In this act, Jesus established another key factor for their lives, and ours as well. A life that is fulfilled and contented (“blessed” – 13:17), is one that gives, meeting the needs of others. It is a giving type of life, not a taking type of life. These two factors of “abiding” and “washing feet” bring promised joy and contentment to believers, even when living in a world where things are “not the way they are supposed to be.” In contrast, the thinking of our culture is on “my needs” and “my wants”. The inevitable consequence of this approach to life is that multitudes today are perpetually disappointed and discouraged, beaten down by this “not the way it’s supposed to be” life. Many centuries ago, for many years of his life, billionaire King Solomon pursued satisfaction and contentment apart from a close relationship with his God. Solomon went after money, pleasure, education, material possessions and even work projects and hobbies. He discovered that all of these things were simply mirages in the desert of life. They appeared to have substance, but on arriving at the mirage, it wasn’t there and it did not produce what was advertised. So many in our culture today are doing what King Solomon did and are finding exactly what Solomon found…nothing of value and substance. And after chasing down mirage after mirage, despondency and hopelessness settle into the soul of the individual. The solution is not another mirage, but a vibrant, authentic relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, which comes initially by faith in Him, and then walking in obedience with Him.
And while so much in this world is not what God purposed in the original creation, believers can live each day outside of this cultural darkness and operate in the light of a meaningful, abundant life. Do remember that we may not be seen as powerful or famous or one of the “movers and shakers” in this world, but we will experience the promised consequences of a Spirit directed and empowered life. And no believer is excluded from living this way.
And the second amazing reality that we have going for us is God’s many promises about what our future looks like. On oath, God has declared that He is going to bring His children into the most peaceful, satisfying and glorious world. This is the return to what God originally intended for mankind. God has committed Himself to giving His children a never-ending life of peace, joy, fellowship, purpose and contentment. This truth is not the fanciful, wishful thinking of some out-of-touch prophet. It is the Sovereign, all-knowing, all-powerful, good God that has given His word that this is what awaits us. For me, these two amazing truths give me a healthier approach towards both the present and the future. Hopefully, all reading this article will say “amen.”