Summary: The good, bad and end of tears.

6On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines, of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear. 7And he will destroy on this mountain the shroud that is cast over all peoples, the sheet that is spread over all nations; 8he will swallow up death forever. Then the Lord GOD will wipe away the tears from all faces, and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the LORD has spoken. 9It will be said on that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us. This is the LORD for whom we have waited; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation. Isaiah 25:6 - 9 (NRSV)


1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; 4he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.” 5And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6Then he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life. Revelation 21:1-6 (NRSVA)

Tears are something with which everyone is familiar; it is part of the human condition to shed tears. With tears we release feelings of pain. Tears are the showers that come from our review of life’s sorrow, sad reminders of regret and remorse. Tears are the seed of new perspective, of resolve to come out of depression and fear – to live with the fresh start of renewal. Tears are most friendly when they clear the haze from our eyes and help us see God.

However, there is coming a time when we won’t need tears for that, because God will be dwelling with his people. Both Isaiah and John the Revelator wrote that God himself shall wipe away all our tears. It is prophecy from both the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures; and that prophecy will one day be fulfilled.

To fulfill is to bring a promise or prediction to completion; to bring about the ultimate purpose. God has always had a purpose. He is the God of design, balance, beauty and order.

In Heaven God will take the ordinary believers of all history, and fulfill or complete their destiny. He takes all the countless and un-named church members of all ages,

• including the struggling, loving Philadelphians,

• the lazy lukewarm Laodiceans,

• and the beaming, beautiful “Bethaneans”

He will take all the martyrs and survivors down through the ages – and complete (fulfill) what has always been in the heart and mind of God. He will gather together the entire family, and make us feel quite at home in the New Jerusalem, the city of God.

This fulfillment has its being in relationship. Notice the images from our text which shout “together”:

• God and man like bride and groom

• God’s home is our home

• He gives us water when we’re thirsty

• …and he clears away the tears from our eyes.

God’s purpose, from the time of Adam’s fall, has been to restore Eden’s intimacy, the perfect relationship of God with his creation.

And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; Genesis 2:18

The fact that God made us in His own image indicates the reflection that it is not good for God to be alone either. C.S. Lewis said, If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. [1]

We were made for more than this, or any other, world. We are made for close fellowship with God. Sin separates us from that. In the New Jerusalem, the City of God, we will not have closed gates, space, darkness, or anything else to prevent free access to the very presence of God. We shall see Him face to face.

But, while we live here on earth in the flesh, there is a sense in which former things dog us all the days of our lives.

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