The Curse Removed!
George Everard, 1885
"There shall be no more curse!" Revelation 22:3
I remember years ago having a letter from a young friend who was trying to do all the good in her power. She was striving day and night to lessen the sin and misery in the world, and to add to the peace and happiness of those around her. Then she summed up her desires in a short prayer. It was this from a hymn of Horatius Bonar:
"Come, Lord, and wipe away
The curse, the sin, the stain;
And make this blighted world of ours
Your own fair world again."
Thank God, such desires and prayers shall be fulfilled. As we come near to the close of the Revelation the promise stands out very distinctly. In the City of the Living God there shall be the tree of life with its varying fruits, and the river of life, and the throne of God and of the Lamb, and here in one sentence seems almost a summary of all, "There shall be no more curse!"
For what a sad history our world has had hitherto! Ever since the tempter set his foot on earth, all the fair beauty and glory that pertained to man have well-near utterly perished. Cursed is the ground for his sake. Thorns and thistles spring up apace, and far worse, man himself becomes as a thorn or a brier — instead of the myrtle or the fir-tree to adorn the paradise of God. The love of God is changed into fear and dread. Hatred and envy and evil passions of all kinds stir him up to immorality, violence, cruelty, and murder. The image of the righteous, holy God is lost. Ten thousand foul sins and vices burst forth and turn earth into a Hell! Selfishness, pride, jealousy, oppression — bringing misery and confusion into all the relationships of life. And the soul of man, once the palace of the King of Love — becomes the cage and dwelling-place of unclean spirits. Oh the terrible weight of the curse which since the Fall has rested on man! Oh the woe and the wickedness which have blighted that which was once holy and fair and beautiful! The crown has fallen from our head — woe unto us that we have sinned!
This curse, my young brother, has touched both you and me. It may be that sin is not yet fully developed. You may never have fallen into the deep mire as some have done. And therefore you may hitherto have escaped the exceeding bitterness which even here often follows its commission. Nevertheless, wherever there is sin, there is a curse until it is removed by grace. And who dare say, "I have no sin, and I have never sinned?"
But there is One who can lift off the curse, and give in its place a blessing far greater than Adam possessed at first. And why is this? Because He Himself bore on the cross the penalty and the curse and the death that sin merited, and now He gives in its place an everlasting and unchanging blessing.
Think of this. Christ offers to remove at once whatever guilt you have incurred, to restore to you the favor and love of God, and to bring you safely through shoals of temptation to an inheritance of life and glory. Come by faith and accept the offer. Tell the Savior that you believe His love and look to Him for pardon, peace, and life. Then live in the bright hope of His appearing, and let love to God and love to man be the health-giving atmosphere which you constantly breathe.
"Faith circles round the Cross,
Hope circles round the coming,
Love fills up the little while between."
Then look on, "There shall be no more curse." There shall be a new Heaven and a new earth, wherein dwells righteousness. God shall wipe away all tears from men's eyes. Sorrow and suffering, pain and death, shall no longer burden the earth.
True, even then there is a dark background, for where the glory is revealed most fully we have no doubtful statements as to the final condition of those who have rejected Christ. (Revelation 20:15, 21:8, 22:11, 15.) Yet sin and evil shall be no longer rampant. The rightful King shall hold the reins, and all His judgments shall be manifested to be true and righteous and holy.
"There shall be no more curse." Are you helping forward this blessed consummation? Are you doing what God may enable you to roll away something of the evil that overspreads the world? Is your daily life attractive for good? Is your influence always on the side of truth, godliness, and unselfish kindness? Is there an effort, when there is need, to put away a stumbling-block out of another's path? Who can tell how much may be done by a single word or prayer in forwarding the kingdom of Christ? It has been truly said, "Everyone, whether he will or not, is a sign-post pointing to Hell — or a beacon-light pointing to Heaven."
Let me give a true example of one who was the latter.
A Scotch gentleman, who for twenty years had professed infidel views, settled in the Southern States of America and had many slaves. One of these he treated very cruelly, and on one occasion had ordered to be severely beaten without any sufficient cause. The same night the master passed the cabin where this man dwelt, and heard his voice, "O God, bless poor master; show him mercy that he may be merciful; make him holy that he may be happy." He was riveted and solemnized by the prayer of his slave. He saw there was a reality and power in Christianity. He began to study the evidences of its truth, and became a true Christian, a clergyman, and after long and fruitful labors went to his rest.
If one single godly prayer or action may bear fruit like this, what may be the fruit of a life given to good works? Only prove it. "Great shall be your reward in Heaven."
"There shall be no more curse! They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there! And they shall reign forever and ever!" Revelation 22:3-5