Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride and bridegroom adorned for each other. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
“See, the home of God is among mortals. God will dwell with them; they will be God’s peoples and God will indeed be with them; 4 God will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.”
5 And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new” (Rev. 21:1-5)
What are we waiting for when we long for Christ and his kingdom? That! We wait for that day when we get to enjoy a direct, face-to-face relationship with God on the other side of tears and pain and mourning and death. No more senseless shootings, unjust court decisions, Ebola viruses, and terrorist groups wreaking havoc on the innocent. The poor have become rich, the lame can walk, the blind can see, sinners are forgiven, and the oppressed are singing, “We have overcome!” And as if that was not enough, as I think about other biblical passages, we also get to enjoy a reunion with loved ones and friends who went before us. And creation will stop groaning and will be restored to pulsating life and deep, lush green.
Beyond this picture, feel free to add your own images of life in the kingdom of heaven! For me, I see miles and miles of country roads that I can drive on (these will be private roads. Mine! You can’t drive on them unless I give you permission!); I see endless shelves of real books (none of that Kindle stuff); and there are live concerts on every block, playing beautiful, energetic music. I imagine having the best cup of coffee ever every morning. I see meeting up with my beloved dogs again (two of them in particular) and being mauled with love by them. That’s a snapshot of my own picture of heaven. I’m sure yours is just as glorious.
What are we waiting for when we long for Christ and his kingdom? Justice, peace, the healing of the nations, healing from all our hurts and pains, forgiveness and reconciliation, a reunion with family and friends, a restored creation, and the most glorious of all: up-close, direct and personal contact with the living God who knows us by name.