No More Pain, Part I

This is part 1 of a three part essay

Rev 21:4 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.

What is the mechanism by which God shall forever wipe away all tears from our eyes in the New Jerusalem? Is it that He will remove our memories from our days on the earth? No, there are Scriptures that clearly exclude this possibility. Or could it be that He will eliminate selective memories, such as the bad ones that cause grief or sorrow? This couldn’t be the case either, and considering either of these possibilities only diminishes the glory of the True cause. Revelation 21:4 does not state either of these as possibilities so we shouldn’t assume they are. What it does say is the residual effects of those traumatic or painful memories would be abolished; the tears, the sorrow, the crying, and the pain will be eliminated-not the memories of the causative events. How? The answer is more wonderful than the previously mentioned possibilities. It is revealed in verse 3:

Rev 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

Because God Himself is with them, dwelling among them and in their immediate presence, but in a way or in a quality previously not possible to be experienced in earthly flesh. Verse 3 signifies a unique circumstance, one that has been heretofore unknown to mankind. God will dwell with us, and shall be with us, but not as at any time before in the human experience with God. And then, in His presence, the sufferings of the past (our present time), though still accessible by memory recall, will be thoroughly eclipsed by the Glory of the presence of God. This is what Paul speaks of in Romans 8:18;
Romans 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

The Glory which shall be revealed in us and to us. These sufferings will not be forgotten. And it does not say they will not be compared to the Glory to be revealed to us in the New Jerusalem, for how can you compare anything with something you do not remember? No, it says those things will not be worthy to be compared to the Glory to be revealed in us! The sufferings will be insignificant when compared to God’s Glory when we see it in all of its brilliance in That Day. Think about what that says; you will remember your worst trauma, grief and anguish from this life, but they will then be rendered inconsequential, even trivial, compared to the unprecedented experience of being fully exposed to the overwhelming Glory of Jesus Christ.

Full memory recall will still be possible, but the negative effects those memories had on us will be eliminated. In this life, suffering is a significant and sometimes even dominant condition but in the next life, these sufferings, though remembered, will have no effect on us. In childbirth, when the child is revealed, the effect of the pain is diminished. The joy the mother feels when holding her newborn babe in her arms the first time entirely overshadows the pain that brought it forth, so that the pain is not worthy of the comparison.

In this life, our natural bodies fail. Our minds and our memories even fail us. A failed memory is a natural result of a corrupted, degenerating vessel. It does not mean the erasure of stored knowledge of past events, but simply the inability to recall them. That inability will not prevail in Heaven. Those degenerative effects will not follow our souls into the afterlife. Total memory recall will be the norm.

In the account of the rich man and the beggar Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31, Jesus tells us that the rich man was dead, yet in hell he had full recollection of his brothers and of their sinful lifestyles, and he desired that they would not share his fate. Note also that while the rich man retained his memory, there is no indication that Lazarus’ sores followed him into Abraham’s bosom, but rather Abraham himself says that Lazarus was comforted.

Being in the presence of the Lord is what will make all the difference in Revelation 21:4. Not the putting on of immortality as spoken of in 1 Corinthians 15;

1 Cor 15:51-57 51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

“We shall be changed”. Paul is not speaking only of the changes our mortal bodies will experience, but our minds as well. It is not the putting on of incorruptibility (as truly glorious as that will be!) that is the Glory to be revealed in us, but it is being in the immediate presence of the Lord, unfettered by the limitations of a mortal body. Owing to the shedding of that mortal body, we will be able to experience Jesus Christ in a way not possible to the mortal man. Our experience is presently limited by this fragile body, but then those limitations will be cast off, along with our intellectual limitations as well.

1 Cor 13:9-12 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

Paul said “I shall know even as I am known”. Know what? The only thing worth knowing-Jesus Christ. And we will know Him then as He knows us now. The four verses above speak of our knowledge of Jesus Christ, and how this knowledge is hindered now-hindered by our natural bodies and carnal minds. We will not be relieved of these mortal bodies so we can live forevermore with no infirmities; we will be stripped of these bodies so that we can then know and experience Jesus Christ fully, even as He now knows us. And that is what makes Heaven HEAVEN!

Philippians 3:20-21 20 For our conversation (citizenship) is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

It is not the departure of a world where Satan operates, and dwelling in a place where he has no access that will be the Glory of Romans 8:18. That Satan will have not have access to me any longer is not the Glory. Having an immortal, intact body is not the Glory. The streets of gold, walls of jasper, gates or pearl and so on, will not be the Glory. Being in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ is the Glory of the New Jerusalem. All of these other things are merely insignificant fringe benefits.

Psalm 16:11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Fulness really means “full-ness”, as in no room for more, complete satisfaction, and this fullness can only be found in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ that eclipses all else.

Part II

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