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Paradise restored

“The one who was seated on the throne said to me, ‘Look, I am making everything new!’ ” (Revelation 21:5).

What do you see? The crumbling ruins of an aging world corrupted with sin.

A ruined paradise

Bitter tears of sorrow, grief, pain, and shame streak down cheeks. Darkness covers the earth, clouding eyes and filling human hearts. Fresh or familiar temptations seduce young and old to commit yet another sin, even as an impossible burden of guilt from a lifetime of sin threatens to crush those same sinners into the dust. The shadow of death looms closer with no regard for age, culture, gender, or financial circumstances. Fear reigns supreme.

What do you see? A world that was once God’s perfect paradise is now a paradise ruined. Like Job of old, our hearts yearn for something more, for paradise restored (Job 19:27).

The apostle John felt that same yearning. After decades of faithfully confessing Christ, he found himself exiled to an isolated island called Patmos. What the apostle saw left him longing for something better. Government officials threatened the preaching of the gospel. Those he had faithfully loved and served were hurting, and he could not help them. Darkness was growing.

The future looked bleak, but all of that would pass away. Paradise would be restored.

A restored paradise

What did John see? He saw “a new heaven and a new earth . . . the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Revelation 21:1,2). What John saw was absolutely gorgeous, but what makes that paradise so beautiful?

God himself will dwell with his people. While we are here on earth, he is present in a way we cannot see and comes to us in words and water, bread and wine. In that restored paradise, God himself will actually be present visibly with each and every believer forever.

Yes, God himself will be there. All believers in Christ will be there. But what will not be there? Those tears of sorrow, grief, shame, and pain that water our lives. God will wipe them away. Loneliness? God is not going anywhere. Sin and guilt? Nowhere to be found. Christ Jesus has destroyed the power of sin and removed all guilt. What about death? The tomb of Christ already stands empty. Death holds no power there.

But how is this possible? “The one who was seated on the throne said to me, ‘Look, I am making everything new!’” God himself will make all things new. Where once there was death, life will spring up for all eternity. Even the tree of life, last seen in Eden, is pictured there! Where once there was sorrow, joy will spring eternal. Where once there was pain and suffering, God’s people from every nation and culture will be healed. Where once there was darkness, the light of Christ will shine for all eternity. Where once there was weariness, there will be eternal rest.

Paradise will be restored. Though we struggle to see it in this ruined paradise, we need not lose heart. In Christ, a day will come when we will see the new Eden and dwell with our God for all eternity. How our hearts yearn to be there!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, as I look around and see a world ruined by sin, lift my eyes to see the new heavens and the new earth that await me and all believers, a place where we will be with you for all eternity. Amen.

Scripture references used in this article are from the Evangelical Heritage Version.

Author: Jeremiah Gumm
Volume 111, Number 04
Issue: April 2024

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This entry is part 1 of 61 in the series devotion

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