Salvation is amazing, I’ll be honest. To see our family members again, to see old friends that passed away too early, to be reunited with long-gone pets. All that we hold dear, all whom we loved or who loved us, we will see again.
In Isaiah, the LORD prepares a large feast for all who trusted him Him. That’s what all that faith required – trusting in the Lord that He knew it wouldn’t be the end. That he was the Messiah, the Savior of the world. Then, In Revelation, a new Earth and New Heaven are created, and Heaven descends on Earth, so that God and His Son can dwell with us forever.
Truly, a feast for believers, saints as the church has called them. Saints who have endured trials, terrors, and heartache, but have ultimately trusted in the LORD that He knows what he’s talking about.
A little over a week ago, we lost some of our Jewish brothers and sisters to a murderer. Jews, contrary to popular Christian belief, will not rot in hell but will be judged on how well they followed the Law of Moses, as we will be judged on how we have followed Jesus. Jews were, in fact, the first of God’s children. And if you’re thinking of the Gospel of John, where Jesus condemns those who bear no fruits by faith – he’s actually talking to us believers.
Were we successful in following Jesus – did we treat others with loving kindness? Did we love God with all our heart and our neighbor the same way? But thankfully, thanks to grace, if we have followed Jesus at all, no matter how many times we failed in loving others, we are saved.
I tried Thursday night to figure out what the Resurrection, new heaven, and new Earth would be like for me. In Revelation, we’re told the sea would be gone. For Israelites and sailors, the sea was the most devious tempest, who took so many lives. So, for John and the audiences of Revelation, the tempest would be gone. What would be done in my life? What would be gone in yours?
And most importantly, who would you see in your new life?
For me, I would see both my grandpa’s, Bruce and Albert. They both died of old age and failing organs and I miss them. My grandpa Bruce lived a really hard life amidst drugs and alcohol. My grandpa Al was a flyer in the Navy. But neither were perfect – they just trusted in God.
If I could see my friends, it would be the ones that died by suicide so many years ago. I wish to give them a hug, telling them they are SO loved. When they died, they left a whole in my sister’s heart so badly that I almost lost her too. And I’d like to meet the uncle of mine that passed by suicide before I met him. He was dying of cancer. I can’t wait to see him whole, cancer-free and all. While I’m not sure if they trusted in the Lord, but I know they were of good character, and I don’t see the Lord damning good people to hell. The burning lake of fire, my friends, is for those who denounce Christ’s image bearers – the poor, the hungry, the prisoner, the lowly. They are, in essence, denying Christ that way. If you, whether believer or not, have treated the least of these (and frankly everyone) with kindness, grace, and love, then you have in fact treated Christ that way as well.
As for pets, I’d like to see my cat Fatty again. I lost her almost four years ago, and still miss her chirpy purr that sounded like a motorboat. She was my best friend, as I was alone through my high school years. I look forward to seeing her again, as Christ’s atonement covered all animals.
There is so much pain in this world, because we are broken creatures living in broken bodies. But death is not the end. Death, where is your sting? It no longer exists. Death is but a bump in the road to seeing our family, friends, and pets again. Because we trusted in the Lord, and the Lord loved creation so.
Death is not the end. It is only the beginning to a glorious future with our Lord and our God. We will feast with God. There will no longer be any pain, any tears, any heartache. Only peace, warm-hugging love, and pure happiness. You know those moments when you see your kids playing, and peace will come over you? We will feel that again, my friends. We will, I promise. We are in the arms of our most loving God, and he keeps his promises. When Jesus preached his ministry, he stated that all those who followed him in belief or practice were obtaining the Kingdom of God.
Jesus, I’m sure as ever, will keep that promise.
Alleluia and Amen.