Wishing Evil Away
But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life. Revelation 21:27
Two nights ago, someone stole a marine battery out of our boatlift’s hydraulic pump. The fact that I’m fortunate enough to own a boatlift means you shouldn’t feel bad for me. The financial loss wasn’t the worst part. It was just the idea of it. The fact that someone would reach into my life and take my stuff was really irritating. I’m completely aware that there are people going through far worse suffering than my stolen boatlift battery, but still, when I discovered the theft, I spent some time indulging in anger. Degenerates. Lowlifes. Thieves. At one point, I found myself wishing I lived in a place where such people simply didn’t exist.
The problem with wising evil away though, is that at some point, I must get around to my own evil. This is the root problem after all. I’m not pure and evil isn’t something that exists only outside of me. When I ask why God allows evil to exist, if I have a shred of honesty, I must look inward and ask why God has allowed me to hurt others. I shouldn’t be too quick to demand justice for everyone else unless I’m prepared to have God to deal out justice for my failures as well. If I truly look inward, I can see that I’m still sinful and that a world without sin couldn’t include me.
Today’s passage, however, describes just such a place. In the passage, John wrote about the city of God, coming down to the new Earth. This is heaven, the eternal paradise created for those who pass the final judgment. John wrote that no one who is evil will be able to enter this place. This should worry me except for the next words which state that those who enter the city will be those whose names are written in the book of life.
In coming to faith in Christ, we may experience forgiveness for all our sins – past, present, and future. God imparts Christ’s righteousness to us so that we are seen by the father as clean and pure. Thus, our names are written in the book of life. We’ll still have struggles and failures in this life however, and we’ll still commit evil. One day though, in the afterlife, we’ll be made perfect. Then, we will enter the city of God, living with him forever. I hope we all come to know God’s love and forgiveness and I hope we’re all in heaven one day – even those who took my boatlift battery.