Hope for Mankind
"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." Revelation 21:4
Can you imagine a time when policemen, firemen, doctors, hospitals, nursing homes, even undertakers will be out of business? A dream? Yes! But one that will come true, because the Lord has promised it. The miracles which our Lord performed in the little country of Judea, were meant to be prophetic. He healed on the Sabbath to give a foretaste of the "greater works" that He and his faithful followers will do on that great Sabbath of earth, the world-wide reign of Messiah. At Jesus' first advent, He healed a small proportion of the sick -- and that only temporarily. But these miracles were prophetic of the great healing, blessing, freeing from the power of Satan and sin, which he will accomplish for "all the nations," when the Great Physician will heal the entire world during his Millennial kingdom. (John, Chapter 5, Revelation, Chapter 22)
Man was made perfect and placed in a favorble and perfect surroundings, in a perfect garden, eastward in Eden, with everything necessary for his welfare -- no storms, no sickness, no tempests, no difficulties -- and he might have lived forever. (Genesis 2) Such was the wonderful dominion of this human son of God. Because divine wisdom foresaw that man would sin, instead of making the earth perfect, God left it in an imperfect condition, except the Garden of Eden. So we read that when God thrust our first parents out of the Garden of Eden, he said, "Cursed is the earth (not I will make it unfit, but it is already) for thy sake. Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth, and in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread until thou return to the ground; for out of it wast thou taken, for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." So all the pages of history from Adam's day to this are marked with sin and sorrow, pain and sighing, because we are all sinners; (Romans 5:8-19) and because we are sinners, God is treating us according to his own purpose, "Dying, thou shalt die." (A gradual process of dying, which is the literal meaning of Genesis 2:17) We see, then, that sickness and suffering are inherited because of the disobedience of Adam, the human father of the entire human race. (Romans 5:18)
Man's Glorious Future
That is the sad side of the matter. Is there no other side, is there no hope for us? The same blessed book -- the Bible -- tells us. The Gospel message, which signifies "Good tidings," declares that God has good gifts in store for all those whom he condemned to death.
The Scriptures answer that the good message is that He who condemned us as unfit for eternal life has provided for our redemption; that Christ died, the "just for the unjust," that he might bring all back into harmony with God. (1 Peter 3:18) Oh, some may say, but did not Jesus die almost 2000 years ago? Yes, truly. And have we not the same reign of sin and death as then? Yes. Where, then, is the blessing which was to come through Jesus? Well, we answer, a twofold blessing has been provided. First of all, there is a blessing of hope which some of God's people enjoy, a blessing of knowledge, that in God's "due time" he will bring in the wonderful things of which this Gospel message tells.
God having provided a Redeemer, there will be a resurrection of the dead; (Acts 24:15) they shall not remain dead, but come forth. There shall be a new dispensation, a glorious morning in which all sin and sorrow will be done away. So the Scriptures assure us of that time when there shall be no more sighing, no more crying, no more dying, because all the former things, all things of sin, the things of death, will have passed away.
The Redeemer -- Jesus -- is to be the great King of kings and Lord of lords, and "He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth." "Yea, all kings shall serve him." And under the blessed influence of that kingdom the full blessing of God will come to the earth again! "All the blind eyes shall be opened, and the deaf ears unstopped." "The glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together." These are the words of the prophets given to us for our hope and the strengthening of our hearts, that we might turn from sin and become more and more the children of God, knowing we can trust God to be fair, and to reveal His wisdom and justice when man has learned the results of sin, and Satan is restrained from his evil influences.
Christ's Bride or Church
The first work of God in redemption of mankind is the gathering of the bride of Christ, the church, to share in his glory, honor and immortality. Not only has Jesus tasted death, but his followers, too, have "suffered with him," sacrificing with him as Christians, in answer to His call. But the pain that so many Christians have endured will not be in vain. Having first suffered with Him, they will also reign with Him, as the bride of Christ, the church of the first-born. Yes, faithful Christians will be associated with our Lord as spirit beings in heaven!
But Jesus died, not for the sins of Christian believers only, but also for the whole world. (1 John 2:2) He tasted death "for every man." (Hebrews 2:9) And so the bride of Christ will participate with Jesus in the great work of bringing life, health, and redemption to the entire world of mankind. Every man, woman, and child who has ever lived is to be restored to all that Adam had and lost: life, health, a garden paradise, and most important, communication with God. (Matthew 18:11)
Truly the whole world groans together, waiting for the Sons of God -- the saints who have been walking in the footsteps of Jesus -- to be revealed. (Romans 8:18-23) As we read again, "Blessed and holy are they who have part in the first resurrection, on such the second death hath no power; they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years." (Revelation 20:6)
This thousand years of Messiah's reign will not only benefit the "blessed and holy" who share with Christ in His glorious heavenly throne. It will mean a thousand years of the world's uplift, a thousand years in which Satan will be bound, a thousand years in which true knowledge shall fill the whole earth, a thousand years in which the earth shall be brought to the condition of Paradise, which the Garden of Eden foreshadowed.
At that time, every creature in heaven and earth and under the earth shall "come to Zion." The ransomed of the Lord -- everyone who has ever lived -- every still-born baby and every innocent child and every ignorant person, and even every unclean or rebellious person . . . will be transformed and re-educated and challenged and taught righteousness under the guiding hand of Christ and His bride. And the result will be victory over death. Every person will enjoy the work of their own hands; they will enjoy peace with each other and peace with God. "The whole earth (will be) at rest, and quiet . . . they break forth into singing." They will sing praises to God that sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb, for ever and ever.
Do not be afraid of the widespread trouble and suffering around you. The answer to your prayer, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven," is near at hand!
"And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. Isaiah 35:10
Do you accept all that God has permitted? Then believe all that God has promised!