Grace, peace, and mercy be to you in the name of the One who has come, Jesus the holy Christ of God. Amen.
King Solomon the wisest man to ever live wrote:
The reason I can still find hope is that I keep this one thing in mind: the steadfast love of the LORD never ends. His mercy is never limited. It is new every morning. His faithfulness is great.
My soul can say, ‘The LORD is my strength in life. For that reason I will find hope in him.’1”
God has spoken! These words are written by a man in sorrow. Solomon is saddened by what life has brought him. He knows the pain of loss. Yet here in these words we find that he has, at this place in his life, put his hope and strength in God alone. He was wise beyond measure, rich beyond measure, and powerful beyond measure, yet he still did not find comfort in these things. His comfort, his strength, his security he placed in the hands of Almighty God. No matter what the world would, or could, bring God was was his security.
The Bible tells us plainly, and often, that God does not change.2 When God created mankind He created that which He loved most. Everything He created in that week He created with us in mind. When a family is expecting a new born child they will get everything ready. They want everything to be perfect and comfortable for their child. God, who loves us perfectly, is no different. He took meticulous care, making everything especially perfect just for us.
When we brought sin into that perfect and special creation, which He made for us, everything was messed up. All of creation now groans under the pain and corruption of sin.3 Every beautiful thing He made has been stained and soiled. Everything became horrible and unbearable for Him to look at. Yet God could not endure that condition remaining. You see He loves us too much to simply turn away. That is something He just could not bear to do.
So God made a promise. He promised Adam and Eve already way back then, ‘I will fix what is broken.’ He promised that One would come,4 who would repair creation, and make all things new again.5 God has spoken.
We know this truth, when God speaks it is true, simply because He has spoken it. When God said, “Let there be light,” what happened? There was light.6 Why? Because He said so. When God said, “Let there be plants,” what happened? There were plants.7 Why? Because He said so. When God said, “He will crush your head, and you will bruise His heel,8” how do we know that Satan’s work will be destroyed, that Satan’s head will be crushed? Because God said so. God has spoken, and God never changes.
That promise was the promise of salvation. It was the same promise made to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, and all the prophets of the Old Testament. In fact the whole and entire work of the Old Testament is to point to that One who was to come. That One who would make all things new.9
God loves us. In fact He loves us so much that He sent His one and only Son.10 He sent His Son not to bring judgment on us to condemn us, but to bring love on us, to save us.11 That promise, and the fulfillment of it, is the very thing that Bob held on to. That faith is what gave Bob the security, safety, and peace he had as his final days approached. A peace that came from the promise. The promise that we do not have to endure being separated from God forever.12 Because God has spoken.
The Bible tells us very little of what that promise will ultimately look like. We don’t get told too much about what Heaven will be like, but there are a few glimpses that we do have. Just a peeks behind the curtain. What we see there is wonder beyond our imagination. We see the throne of God brilliant in glorious array. We see a great rainbow over the awesome throne of the Most High God.13 From under that throne a great spring, from which flows a river that pours out of the Palace at New Jerusalem and runs through a garden watering trees that are in bud, bloom, and full fruit in every season.14 Trees that the human race has never yet tasted.15 These are the Trees of Life. We see golden streets,16 and mansions designed by the hand of the Great Carpenter Himself Jesus Christ.
Thoughts of such things are pleasing and we are excited for Bob as he begins to live a life without pain or trouble,17 among such sites, but those thoughts don’t replace the thoughts of not having him here with us. Some might say, “It’s selfish to want him here with us. It’s not right that we should want him back.” It is right. It is not selfish. It is love.
It is love that binds us, and gives us the desire to be close together. It is love that pulls at our hearts when we are apart. It is love that will ultimately bring us back together. Not our love. Our love can’t fix what is broken. Our love can’t bring us back together. Our love can’t bring Bob back, but God’s love can, and He loves you. You see God does not want us to be separated from Him forever.
Bob is now seeing the wonders of Heaven. You can imagine the sights, and the smells, as he fills his lungs, and breaths them all in, deeply. He knows what paradise is. He also knows that in time we, who believe, will join him. In God’s time. God has need of us here for a while longer. He has work for us. Things that we have yet to do for Him and His kingdom.18 However, because of God’s promises I know that I will have the honor of talking to this faithful man again someday. I know that because God has spoken.
How does Bob now wait for that day we when we will meet again?19 At the end of his life Bob’s body failed him. That is what the affects of sin are in this world. We are all prisoners in some fashion. We are all prisoners to sin, prisoners to Satan, prisoners to the whole mess of this messed up world. Jesus said He has come to set the prisoners free.20 Bob is free.21 He is no longer a prisoner to anything. He is free because he believed and confessed Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.
How does Bob wait for that day we when we will meet again? The same way all of Heaven waits for that Last Day, when all the old will be wiped away, and everything will be made new again. The same way we should be waiting. With eager anticipation for that reunion, and the great banquet called the Wedding Feast of the Lamb.22 We should wait like he waits. The way a child waits for Christmas. Not with fear, not with doubt, not with concern that it might not come, but with assurance that it must come, it will come, because God has spoken. When it comes those who believe will find joy that words sufficiently large to describe have not yet been smithed by the hands of men.
Solomon knew God’s Word, and God’s promise. He knew what we know. That because God has spoken we can all wait with faith like a child,23 knowing that we who believe will all see what Bob now sees. The face of God, and He smiling as He says, “Welcome home good and faithful servant. Enter into glory.”
2Malachi 3:6 – I, the Lord, never change.
3Romans 8:22 – We know that all creation has been groaning with the pains of childbirth up to the present time.
4Genesis 3:15 – I will make you and the woman hostile toward each other. I will make your descendants and her descendant hostile toward each other. He will crush your head, and you will bruise his heel.”
5Revealtrion 21:5 – The one sitting on the throne said, “I am making everything new.” He said, “Write this: ‘These words are faithful and true.’”
6Genesis 1:3 – Then God said, “Let there be light!” So there was light.
7Genesis 1:11 – Then God said, “Let the earth produce vegetation: plants bearing seeds, each according to its own type, and fruit trees bearing fruit with seeds, each according to its own type.”
8Genesis 3:15 – I will make you and the woman hostile toward each other. I will make your descendants and her descendant hostile toward each other. He will crush your head, and you will bruise his heel.”
9Isaiah 43:19 – I am going to do something new. It is already happening. Don’t you recognize it? I will clear a way in the desert. I will make rivers on dry land.
10John 3:16 – God loved the world this way: He gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not die but will have eternal life.
11John 3:17 – God sent his Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but to save the world.
12John 14:3 – If I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again. Then I will bring you into my presence so that you will be where I am.
13Revelation 4:3 – There was a rainbow around the throne which looked like an emerald.
14Revelation 22:1-3 – I saw a new heaven and a new earth, because the first heaven and earth had disappeared, and the sea was gone. Then I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, dressed like a bride ready for her husband. I heard a loud voice from the throne say, “God lives with humans! God will make his home with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them and be their God.
15Genesis 3:22 – Then the Lord God said, “The man has become like one of us, since he knows good and evil. He must not reach out and take the fruit from the tree of life and eat. Then he would live forever.”
16Revelation 21:21 – The 12 gates were 12 pearls. Each gate was made of one pearl. The street of the city was made of pure gold, as clear as glass.
17Revelation 21:4 – He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There won’t be any more death. There won’t be any grief, crying, or pain, because the first things have disappeared.”
18Ephesians 2:10 – God has made us what we are. He has created us in Christ Jesus to live lives filled with good works that he has prepared for us to do.
19John 6:44 – People cannot come to me unless the Father who sent me brings them to me. I will bring these people back to life on the last day.
20Luke 4:16-21 – 16 Then Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. As usual he went into the synagogue on the day of rest—a holy day. He stood up to read the lesson. 17 The attendant gave him the book of the prophet Isaiah. He opened it and found the place where it read: 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is with me. He has anointed me to tell the Good News to the poor. He has sent me to announce forgiveness to the prisoners of sin and the restoring of sight to the blind, to forgive those who have been shattered by sin, 19 to announce the year of the Lord’s favor.” 20 Jesus closed the book, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. Everyone in the synagogue watched him closely. 21 Then he said to them, “This passage came true today when you heard me read it.”
21John 8:36 – If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
22Revelation 19:7 – Let us rejoice, be happy, and give him glory because it’s time for the marriage of the lamb.
23Matthew 18:3 – Jesus said to them, “I can guarantee this truth: Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.