by Tony Nester

Every Tear Wiped Away
Tony R. Nester
Revelation 7:9-17

In a college psychology class students were preparing for a major test. They were quizzing each other on the definitions of psychological ailments. What is psychosis? What is dementia? One young woman said to the young man next to her: "Define Alzheimer's Disease." The young man described it with the textbook definition. Then off the cuff she said, "I'm glad I won't ever have that." The young man asked what she meant. She said, "I'm a Christian and I won't ever have that." (1).

She thought that because she was a Christian she would be spared from mental illness. But faith isn't a magic shield that stops suffering from entering into the bodies, the minds, or the lives of Christians. We believers get sick, we have auto accidents, we lose our jobs, we have difficulties with our kids.

The last verse of today's Scripture lesson reads: "God will wipe away every tear from their eyes." There are tears to be wiped away. We don't get to Heaven without the shedding of tears. I believe we're all meant to arrive in Heaven with some tears on our face for God to wipe away. Not just tears of joy, but tears of suffering.

That was true of the person who wrote this Scripture. We call him John of Patmos because in Chapter one, verse 9, he wrote:

(Revelation 1:9 NRSV) "I, John, your brother who share with you in Jesus the persecution and the kingdom and the patient endurance, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus."

John tells us that he was under persecution for his faith in Jesus. Patmos was a small island (ten miles by six miles) in the Aegean Sea. The Romans used such places for political exiles. There was a mining operation on the island, and prisoners like John probably spent most of their time digging and breaking rocks for the Romans. During John's imprisonment on that island God gave him visions of Heaven and the world to come. Part of that vision to ...

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