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Some Scriptural Days (2)

The Day of God

"Looking for and earnestly desiring the coming of the day of God, by reason of which the heavens being on "fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat. But, according to His promise, we look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness" (2 Pet. 3:12,13).

The complete destruction of the present material universe is contemplated.

We associate the day of God with the eternal state. Before that day comes the sad events of the day of the Lord will have taken place. The nations will have been judged, and God's people Israel delivered. The tremendous changes in the physical universe referred to in Hebrews 1:11,12 and 2 Peter 3:10 will have been completed.

"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth are passed away" (Rev. 21:1).

We go back in thought to the word in Isaiah 65:17: "Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former things shall not be remembered, nor come into mind". The Hebrew word used for create is bara, and is the same as that word in Genesis 1:1: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth". Dr Young defines the word bara as "To prepare, form, fashion, create". That the new heaven and new earth are not moral, but physical is borne out by the words: "For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before Me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain" (Isa. 66:22).

On the 21st July, 1969, the two American astronauts, Armstrong and Aldrin, landed on the moon some 240,000 miles away from the earth. On that same day the text on our Golden Bells calendar conveyed some of the significant words of the Lord: "Heaven and earth shall pass away: but My words shall not pass away" (Mark 13:31).

"Looking for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our

great God and Saviour Jesus Christ" (Tit. 2:13).

"Looking for and earnestly desiring the coming of the day of God"

(2 Pet. 3:12).

The child of God has at least two important events to look forward to with expectation and desire. The scripture in Titus refers to the coming of the Lord for His saints, whereas the word in 2 Peter refers to the coming of the day of God, the day of eternity. May we consider some features in that eternal state which will be "no more". There are ten referred to in Revelation 21 and 22.

"The sea is no more". The third day recorded in Genesis 1 saw the gathering of the waters, and the appearing of the dry land. The Creator measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and they are evenly balanced. At present the seas cover some two4hirds of the earth's surface. How strange it will be with no sea! On the other hand there is a river of water of life, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb (Rev. 22:1).

"Death shall be no more". The Lord Jesus Christ must reign until every enemy is subject to Him, and "the last enemy that shall be abolished is death" (1 Cor. 15:26). It is somewhat surprising to learn from Hebrews 2:14 that the Devil had the power of death, but Christ through His death has rendered the Devil powerless in this respect, although, for the time being, natural death still remains. It will be a glorious moment when the words of Isaiah 25:8 are fulfilled, "He hath swallowed up death for ever".

"No mourning". The wise man Solomon has told us that there is "a time to mourn", and his descriptive words in Eccles. 12:1-7 in the presence of death "Because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets" are most touching. Down the ages of time, mourning has characterized the human race. There is yet one day of mourning by Israel that will surpass all others. They shall look on Him whom they have pierced, and "they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn" (Zech. 12:10). However, in the glad day of eternity there will be no mourning.

"No crying". "And He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes" (Rev.

21:4). Tears and crying are associated, and in the glad future day there will be no crying, and no tears. Crying is evidence of a deep human emotion, and the Lord in His manhood was not exempt from this. When He saw the sorrow and distress of Mary at the death of her brother, "Jesus wept" (John 11:35).

"No pain". Recently it has been the writer's experience to visit about five different hospitals close to his own home, and within that small area he has witnessed human suffering in various forms. How glad and thankful we are that the happiness of our eternal home will not be marred by pain!

"No temple". "And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God the Almighty, and the Lamb, are the temple thereof" (Rev. 21:22). The original word generally used for temple in the New Testament is hieron, sacred or priestly edifice, but in the Revelation scripture the word is neos - a dwelling place, or inner sanctuary. There will be no need for a material building such as man has erected over the centuries, Jehovah, God Almighty and the Lamb will be the temple.

"No sun". David was a close student of the elements, and writing of the sun he says: "His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof" (Psa. 19:6). It is a remarkable fact there was light on the first day of creation, and prior to the creation of the two great lights, the sun and moon, on the fourth day. The Hebrew word used of light on the first day is or, and that of the fourth day is maor. The latter indicates a place where the light is stored. "And the city hath no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine upon it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the lamp thereof is the Lamb" (Rev. 21:23).

"No moon". Psalm 104 deals mainly with God's work in creation, and in verse 19 we are told "He appointed the moon for seasons". Men of science now know more of the composition and structure of the moon following the successful landings of the cosmonauts, but in the glad day of eternity the moon will be no longer needed.

"No night". "There shall be night no more; and they need no light of lamp" (Rev. 22:5). Darkness is associated with night. At the time of creation God called the light day, and the darkness night. It was customary to shut the gates of the ancient walled cities at night, but in the case of the holy city Jerusalem the gates or portals will not be shut at any time. The explanation is added "For there shall be no night there" (Rev. 21:25).

"No curse". In the glad day when the Lord is king over all the earth we are told "Men shall dwell therein, and there shall be no more curse; but Jerusalem shall dwell safely" (Zech. 14:11). In all the chequered history of that city it has seldom known a lengthy period of peace, but throughout the glorious reign of the Lord peace will mark His benign rule.

We ever go back in thought to the genesis of things, and when Adam deliberately disobeyed God and ate of the tree in the midst of the garden the divine pronouncement was, "Cursed is the ground for thy sake" (Gen. 3:17). When the child of Lamech was born he called his name Noah or Nahem, which means to comfort, and it is added "This same shall comfort us for our work and the toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed" (Gen. 5:29). However, we are considering the day of God when "there shall be no curse any more" (Rev. 22:3).

"To Him be the glory both now and unto the day of eternity" (2 Pet. 3:18 RVM).