Dillon Davis, Contributing Writer
This is a devotional my friend Dillon wrote for his New Testament class with Dr. Melton at North Greenville University.
3 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, 4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”
What the Text is Saying
Where is home? For many, it is the place in which they are born. Others may say home is the place where they spent their childhood. Most famously, home is where the heart is.
In Revelation, home is where God makes his dwelling among men. The language of verses three and four are reminiscent of the Genesis account of creation. God walked in fellowship with Adam and Eve. He made his home in the presence of men.
Then sin changed everything. By disobeying God, man was separated from God both spiritually and physically. Because God is holy, He cannot dwell in the presence of sin.
A perfect and spotless sacrifice of an innocent animal was needed to atone for sins. Why? God desired to dwell among men once more.
All of the sacrifices culminated to the one perfect Sacrifice. Jesus died on the cross to redeem all of creation. This redemption would not be complete until God destroys the old creation and sin. After the destruction of all things imperfect, He makes a new Heaven and a new earth.
God’s people are made perfect just as He is. Now, God can live among His people without His holiness annihilating them. Death has died. Suffering and pain are non-existent. It will be God and His people forever and ever.
The new heaven and the new heaven will be as the Garden of Eden was in the beginning of creation.
Heaven gives us hope in the midst of our suffering. At the same time, the promise of heaven should motivate us to tell as many people as we can about it.
Contrary to the popular belief, the purpose of life is not a test run for eternity. Instead, life is an opportunity to experience fellowship (albeit imperfectly because of sin) with God and to pave the way for His Second Coming by preaching the gospel and redeeming creation.