LOOK FORWARD – 14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; 2 Peter 3:14 NKJV
1Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He 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.”
5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7 Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. 8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” Revelation 21:1-8 NIV
The past several days we’ve been talking about the great things that the Lord has in store for us. Looking forward to those things impacts our present lives. Today’s passage is found at the very end of Revelation. We read about the city Abraham was looking forward to. We read about dwelling with God forever, about Him making everything new for the last time, and about no more tears, death, pain, or thirst. What a day that will be for those who know Christ!
The harsh reality is that there is another ending as well. Those who do not know Christ will not experience the great reward that we will. Verse 8 says, “they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur.” What a difficult line to read, especially in contrast to verses 1-7.
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9 NIV).
While the Lord’s return is imminent, it has not yet happened. Peter says, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9 NIV). “Our Lord’s patience means salvation” (2 Peter 3:15 NIV). What an awesome thing!
Our God’s heart is that people would know Him and that they would be reconciled to Him like we talked about on Day 4. “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:17 NIV). We have been entrusted with this message! Evangelism for the Christian is urgent and extremely important. Jesus is coming back! When is the last time you told someone about the hope He offers?
– Spend some time again thanking God for the hope He’s given you. Pray for specific people that you know who do not know that hope. Ask the Lord to give you an opportunity to share the Gospel with those people.
– Pray that our church family would sense the urgency and importance of evangelism. May the Gospel be the focus of everything we do.
– Pray specifically for those who will hear the Gospel through our three existing campuses, our new campuses, and Liberty Loves Hampton Roads. May they be quick to hear, may they understand, and may they respond to the greatest love there is.