Sermon on Revelation 22:1-5
Text: Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.
The hurt continues to hang on. Every night the tears still flow. The pain does not want to disappear but remains as a constant reminder of the difficult time. Family and friends say that the days will get better. But their words of encouragement bring little hope. They say things like, ‘You’re just going through a rough patch now’ or ‘You just need to hang on’ or ‘Keep your head up. Better days will come.’ Those days never seem to come. The sun comes up, but the grey clouds hanging over our mood block out the golden rays of the sun. We wish for those better days to arrive, but when will they come? What happens if they don’t come? We, or maybe a person we know, experience feelings like this. We suffer grief from a traumatic loss. Pain from a chronic ailment finds no relief no matter what we try. We laugh off the fact that better days will come, because we do not believe they will come.
When any difficult situation arises, we need to lift our eyes heavenward. We do know that better days will come. They may be far off in the future, but we are certain they will come. The book of Revelation speaks about those better days that are yet to come for the Christian. It shows us the triumph our Lord has already won for us. Dear Christian, be assured that OUR BEST DAYS ARE YET TO COME. 1. We Look Forward To The Eternal Joys Of Heaven. 2. We Look Forward To Seeing Our Savior Face To Face.
John wrote down a series of visions that God gave him in the book of Revelation. John speaks of battles being fought. Satan tried, and continues to try, to defeat God. However, he would fight a losing battle. God has already won the victory through Jesus’ death on the cross and his glorious resurrection. All enemies, even though they may look victorious on this earth, have been judged. They might inflict pain upon our earthly life, but better days will come!
At the end of his writing, John takes us all the way to Judgment Day, that day when Jesus will return. The unbelievers will receive their punishment, eternal death in hell. The believers will be given their reward. They will live forever with God in heaven.
In some of the last verses of all the Bible, John gives us a little peek into the wonderful heavenly glory waiting for God’s chosen. John saw better days for himself. An angel brought John to the glories of heaven to write down a little of its splendor to remind us of the better days that are ahead.
John wrote, “The angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city.” (Verse 1) The source of this water came straight from the source of all life. God alone gives life. It is not just the physical life he grants, but also spiritual life.
We came into this world dead in our sins. We could not come to faith in God. Sin, with all its guilt, fully entangled us in its suffocating grasp. God gives us life through his Word and the sacraments. We were born again when the Holy Spirit entered our hearts. God has made us alive through the water of life. We look forward to when we can drink eternally from the water of life in heaven.
John continued his view of the city, “On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.” (Verse 2) This description of heaven sounds much like the Garden of Eden. God placed the crown of his creation, Adam and Eve, to enjoy and work in God’s perfect, created paradise. Four rivers watered the Garden of Eden. The Tree of Life grew in the middle of the Garden.
Unfortunately, the world did not remain perfect. Alongside the Tree of Life grew another tree, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. God commanded our first parents not to eat the fruit from this tree. He warned them that, if they did, they would die. Satan saw his opportunity. He could destroy God’s perfect creation by making Adam and Eve doubt the wonderful goodness of God. Satan lied. He twisted God’s words. Satan tempted Adam and Eve just to reach out and bite into the forbidden fruit. It would not be a big deal.
Adam and Eve fell into Satan’s lies. They broke God’s one command. Immediately they felt sin’s power rush over them. Perfection was lost. They longed for better days ahead. However, God would not let those better days come too quickly. God did not want them to reach out and take the fruit from the Tree of Life and live forever in a state of corruption. God evicted Adam and Eve from the Garden. He placed a flaming sword and an angel to guard the path to the Tree of Life.
God did promise, though, better days for Adam and Eve. A Savior would come to bring salvation and forgiveness. Better days would come again. Much brighter days would be in store for Adam and Eve and for all those who would follow in their faith. One day they would be able to eat from the Tree of Life.
In the new Jerusalem the tree of life will produce its fruit every month. The believers will reach out and be able to partake of the fruit freely. Eternal life, only from the source of the eternal God, will be found in this new paradise. Better days are yet to come.
In those days we will no longer be under a curse. (Verse 3) Can we even begin to imagine this? We live in a world of sin and pain. We turn on the TV only to hear of senseless violence, cars running into crowds, drug epidemics, mistrust of those in authority, and many other sickening events. In our own life we see the curse of sin rear its ugly head all too often. Pain, strife, disease, broken relationships, and ultimately death remind us that sin is prevalent. Sin means curse. Sin means heartache. Sin means pain. However, better days are yet to come for us.
When all of this gets too much for us to bear, we need to remember that we are only temporary residents of the world. We look forward to a much brighter home where we will live for all eternity. The perfection of heaven awaits us. The curse will be gone. When we keep this in mind, a calm comes over us, even when facing death. For we will go to be with Jesus to have the best days of all time. No more will sin plague us. No more will pain afflict us. Death will no longer be a word in our vocabulary. Our best days are yet to come!
The Christian can lift their head in thanks and joy for better days will come. Right now, we struggle in this world. One day we will be in heaven. We will partake from the tree of life to enjoy God’s eternal graces. We will live with God and see him face to face.
What will be the greatest blessing of heaven? Perfect bodies? No more pain? No more sin? Eternal life? John tells us one of the greatest blessings, “They will see his face.” (Verse 4) We will no longer need an intercessor for we will be in the same place. Our sins no longer separate us for we will be perfect. Our better days will be here. We will see God face to face.
We cannot wait to see that day. The pains of this world won’t even be a distant memory. God will wipe away the tears from our eyes. The dark days of this world will be exchanged for the glories of heaven. We will see God. We will see the one who created all things. We will see the one who suffered and died on the cross and rose from the dead. We will see the one who reigns over all things. We also will reign. “And they will reign for ever and ever.” (Verse 5) This joy will not just be a little blip on the radar. We will not reign for a little bit and have it taken away from us. We will reign! We will reign forever! It will not be like the rulers of this world who come and go. Our reign with Christ will have no end. We will reach the goal of our faith. God will give us the reward that Christ won for us. We will reign together with all the saints for all eternity.
The best is yet to come. In this world filled with sin we will always want the better days. Dear friends, just wait. We look forward to the eternal joys of heaven. We look forward to seeing our Savior face to face. When the world has us down, we look to the future. Our best days are yet to come! Amen.
St. John's & Zion Lutheran Churches ©2023 All rights reserved.