This last week has been unbelievable. When I first heard the news from my wife, I had to ask several times what she was talking about. The World Trade Center Towers gone? How could that be? Someone flew a plane into the Pentagon? It seemed like a dream. When I tuned in to the television and saw the pictures, my heart sank. We were there just over a year ago and saw those buildings with our own eyes. We saw them from the Statue of Liberty and on the streets of Manhattan as we stretched our necks at these architectural marvels. It was inconceivable that these massive buildings could just cave in like that. I was only seeing the horror on the outside. I could only imagine what was going on inside. Those buildings were full of people! Like so many others, I felt helpless, violated, tearful, and angry. My heart goes out to the families who were devastated by this act of evil. I have been in prayer concerning this whole thing.
Many of our national leaders have made the statement that this is a wake up call. This should also be a wake up call to Christians as well. How could someone do something so evil? Are they crazy? What were they thinking? I believe that when people do something this evil with no regard for life or human decency, they are crazy and less than human. However, this does not absolve them from responsibility for their actions. Our nation holds these despicable people responsible, and God will hold them responsible.
God created men and women, and saw that his creation was "very good" (Gen. 1:31). Everything was just perfect. The perfect world was shattered by Satan, who influenced those made in the image of God to do something that reflected the image of the Devil. The effects of evil coming into the world are still around and it will not get any better. Last week's tragedy is a reminder and a wake up call that evil is alive and well. This is why the Bible says, "..the whole world lies in the power of the evil one (1 Jn 5:19b)." This is also why Jesus refers to Satan as the "ruler of this world (John 12:31)."
We live in a fallen world. As much as we try to improve our society, it will never be a perfect one. We will never be totally safe on this earth. The only place that will be totally safe is in God's eschatological kingdom. When the seventh and final trumpet sounds, God's ultimate rule and kingship will be established:
"And the seventh angel sounded, and there arose loud voices in Heaven saying, 'The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He will reign for ever and ever (Rev. 11:15-16)."
Satan will no longer have any rule or authority. Evil will no longer plague the universe. This is why the Bible says, "…then comes the end, when He delivers up the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and authority and power (1 Cor 15:24)." Satan's power will be destroyed! He will be thrown into the lake of fire along with all those who cooperated with him (Rev 20:10).
At that time, we will live in a perfect world. The book of Revelation gives us a description of a "New Heaven and a new earth."
It will be a place of comfort, for God will "…wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away (Rev 21:4)."
It will be a place of plenty. There will be plenty of room because the city will be 1,500 miles wide, long, and high (Rev 21:16). Precious stones and metals will be there in abundance (Rev 21:18-21). The water of life and the tree of life is available for all (Rev 22:1-12). God will say, "I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost (Rev. 21:6)." So there will be no poverty and no want.
It will be a place with no evil criminals to worry about. They will not be there. "But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers, and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone (Rev 21:8)."
It will be a place of safety. In order to express that this is a place of safety, the city is described as having a wall 72 yards thick (Rev. 21:17). At night, walled cities shut their gates for protection. These walls are over 200 feet thick! However, the passage also says, "And in the daytime (for there shall be no night there) its gates shall never be closed…and nothing unclean and no one who practices abomination and lying shall over come into it… (Rev 21:25-27)." There will be no night, which is when criminals come out to do their dirty work! As a matter in fact, there will be no criminals! Therefore, the gates never need to be shut! Never will there be greater security and safety! This place will truly be paradise.
The best thing about this place is that believers we will be with God. "…and the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His bond-servants shall serve him; and they shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads…(Rev 22:3-4)."
Paradise was lost when evil came into the world. God will give it back to us. A glorious picture is given to us of the end, which is just the beginning. Evil and suffering are still present in the present world, but that is not how things will always be.
"Do not fear what you are about to suffer … be faithful even in the face of death, and I will give you the victory wreath of life (Rev 2:10)."
Be faithful. Trust God. It will work out in the end. God will make it right! In the meantime, let's continue to pray and offer what help we can. It is not over yet.