And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.–Revelation 21:1
We rejoice over heaven because of what is there, and for good reason, but we also have reason to rejoice about the future because of what will be absent. It must have been with great joy that John listed these things in Revelation 21. And I think it is noteworthy that the first thing he mentions related to things absent is that there will be “no more sea”. These words from the pen of John H. Jowett help us see the significance of this:
No more sea! John was in Patmos, and the sea rolled between him and his kinsmen. The sea was a minister of estrangement. But in the home-country every cause of separation is to be done away, and the family life is to be one of inconceivable intimacy. No more sea!
And no more pain! Its work is done, and therefore the worker is put away. When the building is completed the scaffolding may be removed. When the patient is in good health the medicine bottles can be dispensed with. And so shall it be with pain and all its attendants. “The inhabitant never says: ‘I am sick!’”
And no more death! “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is Death.” Yes, he, too, shall drop his scythe, and his lax hand shall destroy no more for ever. Death himself shall die! And all things that have shared his work shall die with him. “The former things have passed away.” The wedding-peal which welcomes the Lamb’s bride will ring the funeral knell of Death and all his sable company.
Thank God for the assurance that the day will come when we will no longer be separated from the things that bring us joy. What a day that will be. As the song says, “I can only imagine”! “No more sea”–Thank God!