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The good life: Revelation 21:1-8
I have always been puzzled by verses 7-8...

"The victor will inherit these things, and I will be his God, and he will be My son. 8 But the cowards, unbelievers, vile, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars-- their share will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death." (Rev.21:7-8)

That was until someone pointed out two things. First, each of the seven letters in Revelation 2-3 finishes with an exhortation to 'the victor', encouraging God's mob to persevere. And, second, in the Gospels, the word translated 'coward' here occurs, each time referring to someone of weak or wavering faith.

So, as this vision of the final glorious dwelling of God with his mob is presented, this question is asked: will you, as one of God's people, be an overcomer or a coward - will you persevere or will you cave and betray your king?

Prayer:
Father, please enable me to be an overcomer - by your grace alone. Amen.
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The good life: Revelation 21:1-8
How is such a reversal possible? How can sin be dealt with?

5 Then the One seated on the throne said, "Look! I am making everything new." He also said, "Write, because these words are faithful and true." 6 And He said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give to the thirsty from the spring of living water as a gift." (Rev.21:5-6)

This reversal is possible because God is the one who oversees, bookeneds, and controls all history. This has always been his plan: to bring people, his people, back to him. And the offer he makes - of water that quenches thirs for ever - is an offer we can all identify with. In our sin-exhuasted, death-heading, tear-stained lives, we desire this refreshment... and God promises it!

Prayer:
Father, thank you for being the immovable bookened of all history, the benevolent ruler of all time. Please bring me to that stream of living water, and quench my thirst. Amen.
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The good life: Revelation 21:1-8
As this marvelous image descends in front of John, a voice speaks:

"3 Then I heard a loud voice from the throne: Look! God's dwelling 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. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will exist no longer; grief, crying, and pain will exist no longer, because the previous things have passed away. " (Rev.21:3-4)

Here is the great reversal. As God's people were removed from his presence in Genesis 3, the great hope was that one day, there could be a return. And now there is!

And at the heart of this return is the dealing with 'death' - put bluntly, the removal of sin and its consequences. That moment happens at the cross, which was always God's plan (see Ephesians 1:3-14).

And the goodness of such a return is seen in the imagery used: God's finger wipes away our tears!

Prayer:
Father, thank you for the great promise you made in Genesis to crush the snake. Thank you that this happened in the life, death and resurrection of your Son. Thank you for wiping away our tears. Amen.
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