Since there will be no sickness, pain, or death, some occupations and professions will be totally out of place. No doctors, nurses, morticians, or insurance agents could find a soul to do business with. Financial problems will be banished forever. The very issues which cause the greatest grief now will not even exist in the minds of the saints. They will forget eternally the troubles of this life.
Won't we grieve for loved ones who are not there? No doubt we will weep when the discovery is made that they are missing, but then God shall wipe all tears from their eyes.
One of the greatest promises in the Bible is found in Revelation 21:3,4. "And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away" Isn't that wonderful? I tell you, if heaven were no more than these two verses describe, I'd want to be there! Wouldn't you? No more cause for sorrow—no pain, no death, no separation.
In Isaiah 33:24 we read something else about the people who will live in that new world. "And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick." Sometimes when I meet people on Sabbath morning I ask, "How are you today?" And every once in a while someone says, "I'm not feeling very well. I probably should have stayed in bed." Well, maybe they should have, but they loved the Lord so much that they wanted to come out to His house of worship. Yes, people here get sick, but in heaven we'll never have to use that expression. It will be done away with altogether. We will never even ask, "How are you this morning?" We will know how they are. They are fine. They are not sick. They feel perfect. The immortal bloom of youth will be upon every face. No one will say, "I am sick." No one will feel the desperation of seeing loved ones suffer and then slip over the brink into death.
Oh, I long for this experience more than for anything else. Children will be safe in this new kingdom God is preparing for us. Let me tell you this, parents, and you may take great comfort from it—your children will never be in danger of getting hit with automobiles. I will never forget the scene in front of the tent in our Louisville crusade. Right in the middle of the street I saw a little girl who had been hit and killed by a car. I have never been able to blot out of my mind the scene of that little girl lying all crumpled up.
The Bible says children will be there, and they are going to play in the streets and never get hurt. "And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof" (Zechariah 8:5). Won't that be wonderful?
Parents, have you ever heard squealing automobile brakes which made you freeze in your tracks? Then you ran to the window with your heart in your mouth to see whether your child was in the street? You have done that more than once, haven't you? But there will be no fear that your children are not safe in the new earth. And even when they play alongside the river of life, you are not going to be worried about them at all. They will not fall in and drown. "They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord" (Isaiah 65:25).
Children are going to grow up there. The Bible says they will grow up as calves in the stall, and I think we adults are going to grow up, too. We will grow up spiritually and intellectually.
Now I'm going to say something that I can't prove from the Bible. I can't give you a text for this, so you just take it or leave it; but I think we are going to have a little trouble conversing with Adam in the beginning. He was made in the image of God, and our poor minds have become dull by the inherited tendencies and weaknesses of 6,000 years of sin. We will have to develop quite a bit to catch up with Adam, but we will learn quickly.
No doubt we will grow up physically, too. I'm sure Adam was a lot taller and stronger than any man today. The Bible says there were giants in the earth in those days. One man is described in the book of Genesis as being 10 feet tall. I can well believe that Adam and Eve were 12 or 15 feet tall. I believe the entire, final curse of sin will be taken away as we grow up into the image of God, as it was reflected in Adam and Eve. What a transcending thrill it will be to walk up to this great big giant of a man and put out my hand and say, "My name is Crews." Adam will put his hand down and look at me like a child and say, "Well, I'm Adam." I want to get acquainted with Adam.
Writing in the context of the end of all things, Malachi said: "But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall" (Malachi 4:2). We often interpret this to mean that parents can watch their children grow into holy adulthood, but could it not also apply to all of us as we grow out of the stunting effects of sin? Although we cannot be dogmatic on this point, it seems likely that this could happen.
All defects will be left behind when we go there. In Isaiah 35:5, 6 we have a beautiful promise: "Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert." One of the greatest joys will be to hear voices on every side saying, "I can see again!" and "I can hear!" and "I'm strong!" All the infirmities of old age will disappear forever and ever, and we will see only the bloom of eternal youth. Every mind will be keen and alert.
While living in India I often saw heartbreaking scenes of human suffering and human wretchedness. Beggars lined the streets in certain places—crippled, twisted in body and mind, leprous, and blind. Not even a memory or reminder of such an experience will afflict the inhabitants of this glorious earth made new.
The Bible says, "They shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint" (Isaiah 40:31). With bodies that will never tire we may explore the majestic expanse of the City of God. It will take only a tiny fragment of eternity to traverse every street of that New lerusalem with its 1,500 mile wall of purest jasper. Every square inch of this reconstituted planet will scintillate with the rarest beauty and appeal. Those who love to travel will find heaven a special place. The entire unfallen universe will be open to our study and observation. We will be able to visit the billions of exciting planets, solar systems, and galaxies that were never spoiled by the touch of sin. We may go where we like, stay as long as we please, and return as quick as a flash. Is anything more wonderful to contemplate?
Maybe you are interested in people, as I am. Have you ever thought of the joy of getting acquainted with folk you have read about in the Bible? In my library is a book in which a man tries to explain on a natural basis how Noah got all those animals into that ark. I can't quite understand the man who tries to explain it, but I would like to sit down with Noah and talk to him; wouldn't you? That is what we will do some day. We will be able to ask him about it and find out just how he did get all those animals in, and how they stayed for over a year.
Then, I have thought about Abraham and that terrible day when he took his own son, at God's order, to kill him on top of Mt. Moriah. Oh, what an experience that must have been for Abraham! I have tried to imagine what that father felt as he toiled up the side of the mountain, knowing that with his own hand he had to kill his beloved son. Someday I want to ask Abraham about that awful experience, and he will explain just what it meant when he was about to take his own son's life.
Then, I want to talk to the centurion who stood by and saw Jesus crucified—the one who said, "Truly, this was the Son of God." I'd like to know more of the details of that terrible day, wouldn't you? And, mothers, wouldn't you like to talk to Mary? Thirty years of lesus' life we know nothing about. Wouldn't you like to ask Mary about lesus as a child and as a youth?
Even in our wildest imagination we find it difficult to envision those special contacts with Bible characters we have learned to love and respect. Nevertheless, it is thrilling to anticipate how it will be when we actually meet them.
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