January 31, 2006

God's Perfect Presence

Revelation 21:1-5

"Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them." Revelation 21:3


In his book Heaven, Randy Alcorn paints a fascinating picture of life on the new earth. Based on his interpretation of several Old and New Testament Bible passages, life for God's people is not some ghostlike existence. People will have real, physical bodies, will recognize each other, and will be able to relate to each other in meaningful ways. In keeping with God's promise to make all things new, Alcorn envisions a creation that will be restored and renewed. As beautiful as that will be, the most amazing thing about life on the new earth will be the perfect presence of God. Says John, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God." As The Message puts it, "God has moved into the neighborhood." Today we experience God's presence imperfectly. Some days we feel God's closeness, and some days God seems far away. Some days we talk with him, and some days he seems to turn a deaf ear. On the new earth, when Christ has come again, as a familiar song says, we "shall see him face to face, and tell the story, ?Saved by grace.'" Make sure you know him as your Savior, and pray that we will soon be able to experience his perfect presence.

Lord, we thank you for your promise to make all things new and for the promise to live with us on the new earth. Come soon, Lord Jesus! Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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