A New Homecoming

Key Verse: “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.”
—Revelation 21:3

Selected Scripture:
Revelation 21:1-7,22-27

IN THE LESSON FOR MAY 16 we considered the reward of those footstep followers of Jesus who would be counted worthy to share a heavenly inheritance with him as immortal spirit beings—his church—as well as those who, although less faithful, will also receive a heavenly reward—a great multitude. Today’s lesson, however, presents the hope of an earthly inheritance for the remainder of mankind, to be made possible by the establishment of a kingdom of peace here on earth. Revelation 21, verses 1,2, speak of this arrangement as “a new heaven and a new earth.” This is not to be thought of literally, but in the sense that there will be established a new order of things, and that this new order will have as the source of its governing authority the ‘new heaven,’ that is, Christ and his church. They will not reign literally here on earth, as they will be in heaven. However, their governing authority will be made manifest through various faithful earthly representatives who will administer the righteous, and perfect, laws of that kingdom.

The Key Verse states plainly that it has been God’s intent from the very beginning that his tabernacle (dwelling) would be with man. Since he created man to dwell on the earth, God intended, in due time, for mankind to live on a perfect earth, in perfection, forever, enjoying its beauty and bounty, and also enjoying communion with God as Adam had in the Garden of Eden. We believe this time is close at hand, and once the lessons of sin have fully been learned by mankind, this present evil order will give way to the righteous and peaceful kingdom that Jesus taught his disciples to pray for, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”—Matt. 6:10

John continues to describe some of the wonderful conditions that will exist in the earth during this time of blessing, saying that when this time comes tears would be wiped away, there would be no more death, sorrow, or crying, not even any more pain! All these former things will have passed away. (Rev. 21:4) Summarizing all these changes, he says, “Behold, I make all things new … Write: for these words are true and faithful.” (vs. 5) We can have the utmost confidence that these words will come to pass. They will not fail, for God has so stated.

John points out that authority, both religious and civil, during Christ’s coming kingdom will center in God and his Son, the Lamb. (vs. 22) The light of Truth will also emanate from them. (vs. 23) No more will this light be hidden, covered up, or deceitfully distorted by Satan and his devices, for he will be bound, no longer able to influence mankind. (chap. 20:1,2) The results of this will be that entire nations and their leaders will flock to be a part of this wonderful arrangement. “The nations … shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory … into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory … of the nations into it.” (chap. 21:24-26) All of mankind who obey God’s commandments will be “they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”—Rev. 21:27

Dawn Bible Students Association
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