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“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 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.” (Revelation 21:1-4, ESV)

“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.” – (Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV)

Jesus who is the “founder and perfecter of our faith” suffered more than any person who has ever lived. His greatest suffering was on the cross where for the first time in all eternity he was separated from his Father. There He took the punishment for the sins of all who would believe, trust, and rely on him for forgiveness of sin. He was a man “acquainted with grief and sorrow.” Unlike the “gods” of ancient myths, Jesus came to live with his people and completely identify with us. He experienced both the joys and pain of living in a fallen world. The very world that He himself had created.

Christianity offers hope for the future and teaches that God will ultimately make all the suffering and injustice committed against his people right. When Jesus came to the earth; he brought his kingdom with him. So, at the present time we get to experience many of the benefits of the coming Kingdom in this life.

We can enjoy the salvation (deliverance from sin) he brought with him at his first coming. And His presence and spiritual restoration is available to all who seek him now. Occasionally, we see the physical healing of the sick. But sadly not all are healed or experience complete physical restoration in this life. But when He comes the last and final time, we will experience our complete transformation. All death will be defeated and all pain will cease!

As we await the coming of the Kingdom in all its fullness, we must lay aside those sins that hinder our mission. And we must learn endurance, which cannot be accomplished by the following the path of least resistance. Resisting sin is a struggle. But, Jesus called us to take up our own cross, and to follow him. We take up our crosses by looking intently at Jesus, who was empowered by the Holy Spirit, to accomplish all he was called to do. Our ministry on earth must also be empowered by the same Spirit. Overcoming sin cannot be done in our own strength, it requires supernatural assistance. So, be filled with the Holy Spirit!

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