There is no "End"

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Somehow it seemed appropriate to end 2018 with this verse:

He will wipe away 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.” (Revelation 21:4)

As we enter a new year we are reminded that we are just a little closer to the time when Revelation 21:4 will be the reality for those of us who know the Lord.

Perhaps that reminder is a little more forceful for me today. Early in December, we got news of a cousin on my mother's side who had passed away. Just before Christmas, a FACEBOOK post announced the passing of a missionary colleague and friend. Last night came the news of the death of a cousin on my father's side. For friends and family far and wide 2018 has had its sorrows.

But the promises of Scripture inevitably bring us the reassurance that, for the believer, the "end" is no end at all—it simply signals the beginning of the new order.

No death.

No mourning.

No crying.

No pain.

Oblivion?

No, not at all.

Revelation goes on: "Then 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. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God'...I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp...Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life...No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads...And they will reign for ever and ever." (21:1-3, 22, 23, 27; 22:3-5)

Think about it. What a beautiful experience! But best of all: "They will see his face." I can wrap myself in that thought. Whatever the inconstants of next and there will be many—the promises of Scripture and the possibilities that grow out of these promises remain constant.  And as we enter a new year those constants are what we cling to because He is faithful and will do what He has said.

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