Looking for a City: Life in the Light

Entomologists have offered various explanations as to why insects are so attracted to artificial light, but there is still no consensus on the subject. Regardless of the why, it’s clear that there is just something about a porch light that is irresistible to a moth. Like the moth outside my kitchen window, I find this same attraction to light alive in me on a much larger scale. I have a hard time enjoying dark restaurants and dimly lit churches. I want to be able to see what’s going on around me and who’s in front of me. Darkness is great for sleeping, but it provides poor atmosphere for living.

Life without light would be an exceedingly dull and exceptionally depressing sojourn. Yet, scripture tells us that there will be no more sun in the place God will prepare for His people. How can the people of the light enjoy eternity in darkness? At first glance it may be hard to picture paradise without the sun, but it’s important to recognize the Bible says, “there will be no more night.” The Bible never says there will be no more light (Rev 22:5). The devil wants to keep us in darkness about eternity. He wants us to picture it as drab and dull; but how can it be dull when the Creator of color is the centerpiece of the city?

Revelation 21:23-24 states: “And the city (the New Jerusalem) has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk.”

There is a day coming when the sun will secede its place in the cosmos to the Son of its Maker. Jesus Himself will become the center of the entire universe, and everything will revolve around Him. It’s worth considering–what will life be like in the perfect light of God Himself?

When the Day Star rises, night will not only be erased from without; it will be erased from within. Honestly, I am ashamed to admit it, but I often fear the darkness inside me much more than I do the darkness around me. That old sin nature that trips me every time I try to run, that darkness that hides the light I want to shine, that cataract in my eye that blurs reality and leaves me unable to clearly see the truth will be irreversibly removed from my sight. Scripture says that the former things will pass away and God will make all things new. That includes me. I look forward with great anticipation to the day when the Son has finally and forever driven out the darkness in me.

It would be difficult, if not impossible, for one who has lived in a cave to comprehend life in the light. This is why Heaven is so far beyond our imagination. We’ve lived in the shadows so long descriptions of the light have become foreign to us. If we could all simultaneously imagine the most beautiful scene our minds could recollect, it would not compare to the glory that awaits us when clouds are pushed back and the Son shines in.

Just as the earth burst open with new life when the cold winter season passes away and the warmth of spring falls gently on the ground, so human culture itself will experience a regeneration under the perfect administration of Christ. We will know the truth and the truth will set us free from the bondage of falsehood.  The Light will reveal all things in their truest form and dispel the lies that have so long held us captive. Our feeble hearts would rupture with excitement if we could conceive the pleasure beyond measure that awaits in the guilt-free, glory-saturated city of God.

What will life in the Light be like? It will be out of this world. Our worst moments there will be better than the combination of all our best years here. Contrary to the popular portrait of disembodied spirits floating on feathery clouds in a state of eternal inactivity accompanied by harps and halos, Heaven will be a busy place. You see,

eternity with God is not just an offer of everlasting life; it’s a promise of eternal living.

Imagine a world where people are encouraged to think, dream, write, play, build, and explore without limitation or restraint. The Michelangelo’s will finally find the colors to paint the masterpieces they always knew they had hidden deep within their hearts. The symphonies played in the grand halls of the New Earth will make Beethoven’s finest works seem as the tinkering of a child on a nursery piano. Oh, the tales the tellers will tell when they are free to dream. The architect will have no creative roof, the sky will be his limit, and Paris will seem ordinary compared to the beautiful city of God.

The government will exist only for the good of its people. God’s administration will establish a kingdom of true racial, social, and economic equality. Soldiers will gladly burn their boots and melt their weapons into farm tools because when He speaks peace, war will be no more. We have no such city here, but we are promised one to come. For this, we look; for this, we long.

Studies have found that infrared light can be used as an effective means of treating heart disease, soothing mental illness, and healing deep wounds. Infrared rays can penetrate the deepest regions of muscle and bone tissue, providing healing while simultaneously causing no harm. Astonishingly, even seemingly irreversible scar tissue can be treated through the proper amount of light exposure. Medical scientists are only beginning to uncover the potential possibilities of infrared therapy. Our future is bright because of the light.

In the land of light, all our hurts will be healed. The deep, seemingly irreversible scar tissue left by the disappointments of life will be wiped away like a child’s warm breath from a backseat car window, to be remembered no more. Broken hearts will be mended. Minds crippled by anxiety and illness will be made well. Bodies bound by the crippling effects of age and disease will dance again in the light of Heaven’s Son. In that city no one will ever be burnt by the Son. We will be able to draw as close as we like with confidence of healing and never hurt.

There will be no more tears because there will be no more reasons to cry. It has been said that Heaven is the only city without a cemetery. Death will pass away. Pain will be no more, and we will bid “goodbye” farewell. The spirit of suicide and self-loathing will be silenced when morning comes.

There’s a certain sadness that accompanies reaching the end of a good novel. We always wish the writer would have written just a little more. When the Son sets in the New Jerusalem, darkness will rise no more. As much as we thank God for the precious memories we possess of those we’ve laid to rest, we can also thank Him for the memories that are yet to be made in the City of Light. The last page will never be turned on Heaven’s story because the end will never be written. I can’t wait until the day when God cuts on the lights and I can see everything around me and, more importantly, the One in front of me.

What will life in the light be like? It will be heaven on earth.

-Pastor Benjamin Webb

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