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The Relationships in God's City

Revelation 22:3-5
No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. (NIVUK)

The curse resulted from disobedience in Eden. Relationship with God was broken. His authority was rejected as Eve and Adam believed the Tempter's lies (Genesis 3:1-5). So, God had to act to restrict Satan and sinful humanity. The curses were God's prophetic promise of action against sinners (Genesis 3:14-24). The crushing of Satan's head (Genesis 3:15) started at the resurrection and will be completed when he is thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10). After the resurrection of all believers, the curse on women, painful child birth and accountability to a husband's authority (Genesis 3:16) will be nullified: marriage with its sexual dimension will be unnecessary (Matthew 22:30) when all believers become the Bride of the Lamb (Revelation 21:9-10). God's children will no longer be excluded from the tree of life (Genesis 3:21-24): instead they will be welcome to continually eat of its fruit and live for ever (Revelation 22:2).

When Jesus Christ died on the cross, He became a curse for us (Galatians 3:10-14). He took the full weight of God's anger against our sin, satisfying God's justice and adopting us into His family (Ephesians 1:5). In eternity with God, relationships will be different. Instead of our natural tendency to rebellion, we will be glad to serve the King. Instead of God's face being hidden, lest we [sinful people] be consumed by His glory (Exodus 33:20), we shall see Him face to face (Matthew 5:8; 1 Corinthians 13:12; Hebrews 12:14). Instead of bearing the mark of the beast on the forehead (Revelation 13:16-17) or even a fragment of His Word (Deuteronomy 6:4-8), we will be marked as belonging to God because He will have made us fully holy (Exodus 28:36).

Night and all darkness, the absence of light, cannot exist in His presence for, "God is light and in Him is no darkness at all" (1 John 1:5). There will not be any shadows, as God will never turn away from us (James 1:17). God prophesied this in Isaiah 60:19-20, "The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Your sun will never set again, and your moon will wane no more; the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of sorrow will end." Jesus, the Light of the world will be the uncontested Light of the new heavens and new earth, the home of righteousness (2 Peter 3:13).

On that Day, God's redeemed people will be free from any vestige of the curse, all rebellion in our hearts will disappear, we will serve Him gladly and never want to be in the shadows out of His sight. We will also share His glory (2 Thessalonians 2:14; 1 Peter 5:1) and reign with Him (2 Timothy 2:12). Exactly what this means we cannot comprehend now. Romans 8:17 gives us a clue: "Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory." (Romans 8:17) As Revelation has often reminded us, the path from here to the glory of eternity will involve suffering (Philippians 1:19). Because of "the joy set before Him, Jesus endured the cross and despised the shame … so let us not become weary and lose heart" (Hebrews 12:1-3). Do not seek all the prosperity of heaven today, seek first His kingdom and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33) – whatever it may cost – and let the Lord reward You when He comes again.

Glorious Lord. Thank You for these precious promises which remind me of Your total sovereignty in all things; dealing with evil and establishing Your people in Your kingdom at the right time. Please forgive me for my selfish desires to grasp now what You have not yet given me, and spurning the suffering which comes from identifying with Jesus. Help me to endure hardship and not lose heart, as I look forward to Christ's return. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams