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The Daily Word of Righteousness
When a Christian Dies, #25
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)
Although we may not realize it, the desire of our heart is neither the heavens nor the earth. The desire of our heart is to be in the Presence of God, to be filled with the love, joy, and peace of His Personality and Glory. Anyone who has been visited by the Lord Jesus Christ knows well that wherever Jesus is, there is "heaven."
The Christian salvation is a program of restoration—the restoration of all that was lost through the disobedience of Adam and Eve.
In the beginning God gave to Adam and Eve a marvelous paradise in which to enjoy the company of God and of one another. This is all that is really important in life—to be rightly related to God and to one another. Right relationships are the source, and the only source, of love, joy, and peace. Everything else is secondary in value.
Satan entered and turned the hearts of the first people away from God, as God knew would happen. The resulting agony of mankind is the object lesson that God planned from the creation of the world. The world that God actually had in mind from the beginning is the new heaven and earth reign of the Lord Jesus Christ. The first world with its sin and death was necessary so when God gives us the paradise that He has in mind we will not lose it through spiritual ignorance and lack of faith in God.
The Hebrew Prophets have portrayed the glory that soon is to come to the earth. All that was lost through sin, everything of value, is to be restored, centered on Christ, and permeated with the eternal Life of God in Christ.
Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution [restoration] of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. (Acts 3:21)
Speaking of life on the new earth, God promises:
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (Revelation 21:4)
How would you like to return to earth in a glorified body? How would you like to be with King Jesus in Jerusalem, and then go out from there to find your place in the Kingdom of God? How would you like to dwell in love, joy, and peace in the fullness of the Glory of God?
How would you like to live on an earth in which all the animals dwell together in peace?—in which little children can play anywhere safely?—in which all nature praises the Lord and nothing is destructive or hurtful?—in which all people live together in peace and harmony?
This is the salvation that is coming to the earth with the return of Jesus Christ. First will come the Lord and His army of warriors to destroy the sinners out of the earth. Then there will be a thousand years during which the saints will rule and teach the nations of the saved. By the end of this period the Body of Christ, the new Jerusalem, will have been brought to Divine perfection.
After the thousand years the nations will rebel, under the leadership of Satan, and will mount one last attack on Jerusalem. The end of the present world will be marked by this final attempt of fallen mankind to destroy the Lord's witnesses, His saints.
To be continued.