And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be death; there will no longer be mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”
After all of the judgments have been meted out and all the wrath spent; when a new heaven and a new earth are created and a new Jerusalem comes down to that new earth, John hears the words of this morning’s verse.
God will dwell among us when the first things have passed away. When the first heaven and earth are gone, then God can come back to the new ones and walk with us and talk with us as He once did with Adam and Eve.
There will no longer be death or mourning or crying or pain when the first things have passed away.
While this is all future tense, I think that this can be experienced to a lesser degree by me as a believer in the here and now.
In the here and now, God dwells with me. He dwells inside me. He has promised to do so and He always makes good His promises.
In the here and now, I am God’s. He purchased me with His blood so that He might make me His own. And His I am. Not perfectly. But that is what He is working toward — the perfection of my sonship.
In the here and now, God comforts me. There have been times when no one else could provide comfort; could wipe away my tears. God has done so. Here. Now. God is my Comfort.
In the here and now, God has delivered me from death. Yes, I will have to shuffle off this mortal coil at some point. Paul wrote that this mortality must put on immortality. I cannot go into God’s presence dressed in this too, too solid flesh. I must put on something more suitable to meet the King. But God has already delivered me from the Second Death. There is no condemnation waiting for me, because Jesus Christ paid my debts and took my condemnation on Himself.
In the here and now, old things have passed away. Paul wrote that the old has passed away and that all things have been made new (2 Corinthians 5:17). That is present tense.
In a limited sense, the promise of this verse is for my here and now. I will not receive the fullness of this promise until this promise is fully fulfilled for everyone. But right now, God dwells in me and walks with me and calls me His son. Right now, God comforts me and cleanses me and teaches me how to put to death the carnal nature with its desires. Right now, I can live in newness despite being in a fallen world.
Father, thank You for the promise that the things I now experience in part will one day be experienced in their fullness. Thank You for loving us; for loving me enough to make such amazing promises. Please teach me to walk in as much of that promise as I can in the here and now.