“Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away”
The future of a Christian is one that offers a peace that truly surpasses all understanding. It is a future where we will have the ultimate privilege of daily communing with our God. We will experience a life away from pain and suffering, and instead be surrounded by overwhelming joy and happiness. What an amazing thought to consider because we have never lived in a world without some type of suffering. In fact, we are constantly faced with all kinds of situations that can challenge every aspect of our lives.
Interestingly enough, pain and suffering are often a result of the sin and darkness that reigns within our world. Whether directly or indirectly, we have all experienced the harsh effects of sin, and we all know its devastating effects. We long to be freed from the tiresome bondage that comes with sin, and are in desperate need of a solution. We need a solution that can offer true peace in a world full of sin. Praise be to the Almighty Father that there is a solution, and it is offered to each and every one of us. It is called salvation, and by the grace of God we can all partake in it. Let us focus our attention to the wonderful words of God and seek out what it is to have salvation.
As we see throughout the Bible, sin has been around for generations. We have account after account of how sin brought about immense pain and destruction. But if you were to read in the opening pages of Genesis, you would notice that, for a time, there was a world that knew no sin. It was a world that the Almighty God created by the very words of His mouth, filled with beauty and abundance. God was very pleased with all that He created according to Genesis 1:31, including the people formed in His image. A close relationship was formed between man and God, and a time of true peace reigned in the land. Sadly, we would eventually see this time of peace come to an end all because of a decision that was made in a moment’s time. “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.” (Genesis 3:6).
God wanted to protect those whom He had created, so He gave Adam and Eve very specific boundaries. But with the convincing of a cunning serpent, they crossed that boundary and disobeyed God. That very instant, sin entered our world and changed the course of the human race forever. God cannot in any way be around sin and darkness for it is against His very nature (1 John 1:6). He is light and can in no way associate with those who partake of the activities done in darkness. Isaiah tells us that it is our sin that separates us from God (Isaiah 59:1-2). And who among us sins? According to the book of Romans, we all sin and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). So, if we all sin, then we are all separated from God. And if we are all separated from God, then we can in no way be partakers with Him in a land of the living.
The only payment accepted for the sins that we commit is the payment of death. Romans tells us that “the wages of sin is death”(Romans 6:23). Is there any hope for us as sinners? Thanks be to God that this verse does not end there but continues on to state, “but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Even though we deserve spiritual death, God in his graciousness offers us the opportunity to obtain salvation. The Miriam-Webster dictionary defines salvation as the “deliverance from the power and effects of sin.” Salvation is deliverance, and in our case the deliverance from our sins. It would take a tremendous act of God to deliver us from the filthiness of sin. The plan of salvation would only come at a very high price, but because of the unconditional love of our God, He would willingly pay such a price in order to bring salvation to His people.
In the very beginning of the New Testament, we see hope unfolding abundantly in the announcement of the birth of a baby boy. We read in Matthew of an angel of the Lord coming to Joseph in a dream. He tells Joseph that Mary will bring forth a Son in which they were to name Jesus, for He would be the one to “save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). In Luke, a similar proclamation is given through the mouth of a devout man named Simeon. When Simeon comes into contact with the baby Jesus he blesses God saying, “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; For my eyes have seen Your salvation” (Luke 2:29-30). We can know that Jesus would be our salvation for he would be the one to deliver us from our sins.
How would Jesus accomplish such a task? What would this require of Him? Everything! It would require Him to give up everything He had, including His very life. Death was the punishment for sin and even though Christ lived a sinless life, God allowed Him to come to this earth and sacrifice Himself for us. We are told in the gospel of John, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son” (John 3:16). That type of love from God is a love that we may never fully understand here on this earth. He desperately wanted to have a relationship with us again, and went through extreme measures to ensure we had that opportunity of salvation. Christ gave us all a second chance in this life. We are told that there is “salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Jesus is our Salvation for He is the deliverer from our sins.
Now, it is up to us to decide if we will be partakers of this salvation or not. We have been given a second chance and the opportunity to be completely delivered from our sins. But, if we decide to take this second chance, we must know before hand that it will require everything we possess, including our own lives. Christ proclaimed, “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me” (Matthew 16:24). We too must deny ourselves, carry our cross and follow in the footsteps of Christ. It is required that we too must die, not physically, but spiritually. “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:3-4). Our goal is to obtain the newness of life, for the life left in sin is a life left in eternal separation from God.
We began by looking at a beautiful description in Revelation of a land free from all pain and suffering. It would be a land that in many ways resembled the very earth that God created in the beginning of time. In this land of no more sorrow, we are told that God will once again be present with His people. Sin will no longer have any effect because of the salvation found in Christ. Christ is our Salvation for He is the one who delivered us from our sins. If you long for a land where you can walk side by side with your Heavenly Father, then pursue Christ. It is said, “from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15). Let it be an encouragement to you today to take advantage of the second chance that you have been given by God. Ultimate peace can only come through the Lord Jesus Christ, and it is when we find Him, that we find salvation.