This past weekend the USA celebrated its 244th birthday. The Fourth of July is observed as a national holiday for Americans to be reminded that we they are a free people, having won their independence from the English Crown, and are able to control their own destiny in the world. In much the same way, Christians are also a free people. We too have won our independence.

Christians are free from the sorrow that comes with our past life.

Near the end of his “Revelation” letter, the Apostle John described a picture of Jesus’ bride, the church, and the blessings that are had by those who belong to that glorified institution:

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Revelation 21:4

Though the text is often used to describe Heaven, it is clear in the context that John is describing the church. He describes it coming out of Heaven (v2), as the bride of the lamb (v9), as a home of the saved (v10), as a city whose foundation is Jesus’ Apostles (v14). Those are terms used to describe the church (God’s saved people on earth), not just Heaven. As he describes the saved, John says that God wipes away tears from their eyes, because one of the great benefits of salvation is the assurance that the pain we suffer as servants of Christ is worth it. He comforts us, wiping away our tears, and gives us the strength to endure. As Christians we have no fear of death because the old shameful life of sin is passed away from us.

As children of God we live sorrow-free lives. We have won our independence from the sadness that the Devil inflicted upon. Such weeping is a thing of the past.

We belong to Christ now, and our sorrow is replaced with rejoicing.