Revelation 21:4 "The End of The Beginning" (Restoration - Week 4)
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. ESV
‘He will wipe 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.” NIV
One of my favorite book series is The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. In the first book, The Fellowship of the Ring, a hobbit named Bilbo Baggins is trying to decide how to end his autobiography. After much thought, he says this to the old wizard named Gandalf.
“I might find somewhere where I can finish my book. I have thought of a nice ending for it: and he lived happily ever after to the end of his days.”
Every time I read these words, my heart swells with joy. Because this is the future that awaits those of us who are in Christ. Understand, every beautiful story you’ve ever read is merely a shadow of The Great Story that you and I have been woven into — our story is one of redemption. We’ve come to the end, but you must know that the end is only the beginning. In Revelation 21:4, we see the beautiful hope that awaits us. John writes, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).
In this verse, we glimpse the ultimate fulfillment of God's redemptive plan. It is a glimpse of the new heaven and new earth, where the effects of sin and brokenness are forever eradicated. The tears we shed in this life, the losses we mourn, the pain we endure, and the suffering we experience will be wiped away completely.
These words invite us to look beyond our present circumstances and fix our eyes on the glorious future that awaits us. They remind us that our current trials are temporary and that, in the end, God's victory over sin and death will bring eternal joy and restoration. It’s a promise that sustains us in times of grief and comforts us in our sorrow.
As I’ve thought about this verse, the conclusion I’ve come to is that our imaginations have the capacity to grasp the wonder of what God has in store for us. Take a moment to consider this: If God gave you the chance to eliminate one source of pain caused by the internet from your life, which one would you choose? What burden are you carrying today that you would have Him lighten? Now imagine, once it was gone, what would your joy be like? This isn’t even a fraction of the joy you and I have waiting for us in the new heavens and the new earth. Even as I type those words, I sense my heart overflowing with joy. We are finite creatures. How could we ever fully grasp the infinite, eternal, and never-ending joy that God has in store for us?
This hope gives us courage to walk through the darkness and frees us to love, serve, and give in the present. Perhaps you’ve heard people say (of those with a grand view of Heaven), “They are too heavenly minded to be of any earthly good.” The statement sounds intelligent, logical, and insightful — the problem is that it’s flat-out wrong. Throughout the entire Bible, we find example after example of both men and women who lived courageously for Jesus because of their hope for the future. C.S. Lewis once commented on the idea and said this.
If you read history, you will find that the Christian who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased the think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.
Just think about it. What if you woke up every morning with a heart full of expectation for the hope that awaits you and the goodness coming to you? Your courage would be at an absolute all-time high, and your confidence would be contagious. This is the picture we get throughout all of Scripture — that those who have their hope set on the future live differently in the present. They are more courageous, more generous, and more willing to serve. In other words, there is no such thing as being too heavenly minded to be of any earthly good.That’s a reality that doesn’t exist in the Bible. So, my hope for you and me today, as we come to the end of The Story of Redemption, is this. Don’t move too quickly past the hope that awaits you. Meditate on it and allow it to fill you with hope. Speaking of endings, let me leave you with one final thought.
In the final book of The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis writes these words:
And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.This is our story — the Story of Redemption is only the cover and title page. There is more joy, more hope, and more wonder coming than we could ever imagine. Perhaps this is why the Apostle Paul writes, “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21).