Day 19

We Remember You Are Coming Again

from the reading plan

Isaiah 65:17-25, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, Revelation 22:6-21

When I was little, I tried to imagine heaven. I remember being in a Sunday School class and the teacher handed out a coloring page that said, “Draw how you imagine paradise.” I asked the teacher what “paradise” meant, and she said, “the best place you can think of.” So I drew an amusement park filled with roller coasters. At that point in my life, nothing sounded better.

Heaven was a place—a super tricked-out place, to be sure, but really just a place. As I’ve gotten older, the sweetest part of imagining paradise now is that it has little to do with what is there and everything to do with who is there—specifically, Jesus. But also people I know and love, and me, as I know myself to be, only then in a perfected state. I’ll be me. You’ll be you. Jesus will be Jesus.

When I was younger, the life to come was a sweet reward but not one that seemed to hold any real ties to this life. But now I see the beauty of the new heavens and the new earth as the only true antidote to the pain, suffering, limitations, and desires that go unfulfilled in this life. Every bit of pain and brokenness we experience here will be undone, and light, truth, and freedom will abound.

Scripture goes to great lengths to reiterate that we’re not talking about some hypothetical, metaphorical subsistence but a real place that we can touch and move around in, a place untouched by the fall and filled with the presence of Christ—the One who is coming again so we can be with Him forever.

We remember that this change is coming based on what He has already done—offered Himself up as our atoning sacrifice to reconcile us to our Maker. And because He has, the future will be a place where every relationship is perfect, unsullied by sin. Every motivation, desire, and affection will be rightly ordered and perfect—forever.

Christ is coming back to institute this new reality, and when He does, we will be at last at peace—a peace that will not be and cannot be undone. Remember what awaits. It is better than you can imagine. Let it inform your life even now as you anticipate what is to come.

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