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“The Secret of Joy” (2 Cor. 8:1-4)

The End of God’s Wrath Is Near (Rev 15:1)

The End of God’s Wrath Is Near (Rev 15:1)

WONDERFUL THING IN THIS PASSAGE – God never intended us to live in a mishmosh of good and bad, pleasure and pain, blessing and punishment. His intention for us was uninterrupted joy and satisfaction. He placed our first two parents in a beautiful garden and told them, in effect, “Enjoy! – Take care of things in the day and walk with Me in the evening breeze” (Gen 2:15; 3:8). Just the good; just the joy; just the blessing.

But they were unwilling to live in simple submission to the Father of all blessing. They complicated this world with the introduction of doubt, sin, and fear. In mercy, God didn’t destroy them. But He did declare “The ground is cursed because of you,” and painful toil and broken relationships were added to the deteriorating mix (Gen 3:16-19).

Every person since then has lived in that jumble of grace and wrath. While God continues to work for our redemption, His “wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteousness” (Rom 1:18). That mixture is the only life you and I have ever known.

But it will not always be so! One day the wrath of God will be finally and completely finished. It will be spent. John saw that day in his vision:

“Then I saw another great and awe-inspiring sign in heaven: seven angels with the seven last plagues; for with them God’s wrath will be completed” (Rev 15:1-3).

That may be the best news ever proclaimed: “God’s wrath WILL be completed.” There will be a time when there is no remaining residue of Adam’s curse or Satan’s opposition. The rest of eternity will be just the good, just the joy, just the blessing.

Millions of new friendships with no fear of rejection. Limitless adventure and discovery with no danger of injury. Ongoing centuries of new experiences without looking back on a single regret. Multiplied pleasures with no mixture of pain. Continual growth with no deterioration of age. Endless hope with no dread of disappointment.

WONDERFUL THING IN OUR LIVES – I’ll mention one more of the benefits of heaven after all the curse is spent and all the wrath is completed and only eternal blessing remains. And I especially look forward to this one because it’s the elimination of something that has added so much sorrow into the mix of our lives: all the bad decisions we’ve made.

We’ll still decide between options in heaven, but it will be so simple, and none of our decisions will be wrong. We could employ a method in heaven that we use on earth: List the Pros for an option on the left side of a page and the Cons on the right. But in heaven, the Cons side would always be blank because there’s nothing harmful or hurtful there, nothing outside the perfect will of God. And the Pros side of our list would always start with “It’s what God wants” – and that would be the only entry because that will be our only interest.

If doing God’s will were our only interest now, we’d find His blessing much more frequently.

 

PS: One of the coolest things about heaven is that, if one choice seems like it could be somewhat better than another, we can try the first one for a century or so and then move on to the second. It’s a no-brainer.

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