Revelation 21:4 (ESV) … “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
The former things have passed away.” As a mere statement of a fact evident to one who reviews any period of history from a point subsequently reached, this, of course, is comparatively commonplace. The former things are always passing away as one advance in knowledge and character and power.
This is always the case with the individual. No man or woman has reached the period of maturity without having left behind many things which belong to the earlier periods of life. And what is true of the individual is true as well of the community; true of this world itself.
All former things are continually passing away. Many things are lost which we would like to keep in this process of development, and which we would want to blend with the knowledge and power of our maturing years—the simplicity of childhood, its capacity for learning, its confidence and admiration and wonder.
The former things are passing away. In the nature of the case, they must pass away from the individual and from the human race, as higher influences come to act upon it. So, we should anticipate that when John, the prophet of the Apocalypse, looked forward into the final period of human history he would be struck with this fact that all the former things were passed away and He who is Lord of the earth hath made all things new. In our passage, John describes the new creation and a new life, not to satisfy our curiosity about the future, but to comfort us about the eventual change in the nature of this world.
Therefore, as we leave this old year behind and enter a new year today, what a thought to think upon, the old passing away and the new coming. John promises us a new! A new day and a new way of living. John tells us that paradise shall return. Holiness shall revisit earth. God shall once more delight in it and set His throne in it. Righteousness shall flourish, and holiness to the Lord be inscribed everywhere. And all this is unstoppable and irreversible! There will be no second fall of man. Christ will reign and rule.
What better New Year resolution can we have than Hebrews 12: 1-2. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
In this new year let us pledge to live for Jesus, the author, and finisher of our faith and future!