The End of Death…The Beginning of Revelation!
At long last, my Bible study class has finished studying the book of Revelation. Months earlier, I blogged about my anxiety in reading the Bible’s final and likely most mysterious book. So what are my final thoughts…Revelation is not as scary and cryptic as I once thought…However, I’m not sure if it will ever be the first book that I choose to curl up in bed and read just before nodding off to sleep. But the final words of the book fill me with a strange sense of joy…First of all, death itself will be killed…
11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat upon it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne; and books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of the things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13 And the sea gave up the dead that were in it; and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14 And death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death, even the lake of fire.
15 And if any was not found written in the book of life, he was cast into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:11:15
And as a result, death will not be a part of reality as it is in Earth…
3 And I heard a great voice out of the throne saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he shall dwell with them, and they shall be his peoples, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God:
4 and he shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more; neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain, any more: the first things are passed away.
5 And he that sitteth on the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he saith, Write: for these words are faithful and true. Revelation 21:3-5
It is only these words that give me comfort as I have heard about so many deaths recently…Now if you’ve been living on this Earth for any time at all and are old enough to pay attention, you hear about death every.single.day. There is just no getting around it…people cry and people die…One my favorite poems succinctly and eloquently illustrates this principle…
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
And speaking of Eden, according to what I’ve heard, Adam’s original sin is what caused death to enter this world at all. I cannot pretend to understand all of this…so I will let the theologians debate about that…but I do know that death is part of Earth’s reality…but I have faith that death will not be allowed to enter Heaven…
But it is with a heavy heart that I tell you about some of the deaths that have happened recently that have got me asking, “Why God? Why God is there so much pain?”
Last summer, I was touched when I heard about the death of Rev. Timothy Wright’s wife and grandson as a result of a car crash. The gospel singer, his wife and grandson were traveling home from a conference. It struck me because that very same week my father, mother and nephew were also traveling home from a conference, but nothing happened to them at all. Since then, I’ve been praying for Wright and his family….I cannot imagine such a tragedy. I read on Friday that Rev. Wright has now died. From what I’ve read, he never fully recovered after suffering injuries in the crash. This man was known for singing God’s praises…why was he and his family allowed to die this way…
If you live in the Atlanta area, you’ve heard about the car crash that happened on Easter Sunday in which Delisia Carter and her whole family were killed…Carter was an inspirational speaker who had been abused by her father and first husband but was finally living the life of her dreams. She had recently married her second husband, and she gave birth to their first child in February. Delisia, her husband, her daughter from a previous marriage, their son and another child all died in that crash…What a senseless tragedy…
Merciless bullying led to 11-year-old Jaheem Herrera hanging himself. Apparently, the children at his school here in Atlanta teased him because they thought he was gay and a snitch. His 10-year-old sister discovered his body…Now I know that teasing is a part of childhood…but what makes children continue to tease someone after they realize they are clearly traumatizing a child…I don’t know who raises these type of children, but there must be something going on their home life to create these little monsters…I was mercilessly teased as a child, but even if I hadn’t been a victim, it would have never occurred to me to treat others that way…just plain mean-spiritedness…
At any rate, why did God allow these deaths to happen…I certainly don’t know, and it saddens me…but I have to hold on to my faith that one day death will be no more, and the answers to my questions will be revealed…
P.S. Here is one of Rev. Timothy Wright’s most popular songs, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus” which he wrote about the victims of Hurricane Katrina…