When Will God Wipe Away all Tears?

“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” (Rev. 21:4).

The Story

As a young man, Jim Hill studied to be a professional singer, even auditioning for the Metropolitan Opera. However, in the providence of God, Jim decided to dedicate his life to gospel music. In the 1940s, he started to both manage and sing tenor with the famed Golden Keys Quartet.

In the early 1950’s, Jim would write a song that would bless millions, though it was initially written in order to comfort and honor his mother-in-law who was gravely ill.

While driving home from work one day and meditating, Jim asked God why his mother-in-law had to suffer. Jim would latter say that the Lord answered his question in a wonderful way. Words came tumbling into his mind. When Jim arrived home, he immediately looked for something to write on. He could only find a piece of cardboard. It was sufficient. Jim wrote the words down the Lord had given to him while driving. The first person he sang the song to was his mother-in-law (On the web: NamethatHymn.com). This is what Jim’s mother-in-law heard on her bed of pain, suffering, and sorrow.

The Song

“There is coming a day,
When no heart aches shall come,
No more clouds in the sky,
No more tears to dim the eye,
All is peace forever more,
On that happy golden shore,
What a day, glorious day that will be.

What a day that will be,
When my Jesus I shall see,
And I look upon His face,
The One who saved me by His grace;
When He takes me by the hand,
And leads me through the Promised Land,
What a day, glorious day that will be.

There’ll be no sorrow there,
No more burdens to bear,
No more sickness, no pain,
No more parting over there;
And forever I will be,
With the One who died for me,
What a day, glorious day that will be.

What a day that will be,
When my Jesus I shall see,
And I look upon His face,
The One who saved me by His grace;
When He takes me by the hand,
And leads me through the Promised Land,
What a day, glorious day that will be.”

—Jim Hill

The Scriptures

The words the Lord gave Jim Hill to sing to his mother-in-law speaks of a coming day when God shall wipe away all tears. That is the promise of Revelation 21:4. What some Christians question is precisely when is the “day” that God wipes away all tears.

The song Jim Hill wrote suggests that the day of one’s death is when God shall wipe away all tears. For those who die in the Lord, they will go to a place called heaven to see Jesus and be with Him forever.

“There’ll be no sorrow there,
No more burdens to bear,
No more sickness, no pain,
No more parting over there.”

It is a lovely thought. However, some Christians are not sure there are no tears in heaven. Former Evangelist and editor of the Sword of the Lord, Dr. John R. Rice, was convinced that only after the Final Day of Divine Judgment will Christians know the comfort that passes all understanding. He believed that only “after the last judgment, after the earth is made new, and former things are passed away, then God tenderly will wipe away all tears from the eyes of the saints in Heaven!” (Tears in Heaven, p. 4).

So, the important question remains. “What does it mean that God will wipe away every tear?” And, “When will God wipe away every tear?”

Dr. W. A. Criswell, former pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, believed that God would wipe away all tears when we come to the gates of heaven itself. Then, and there, God shall wipe away the tears out of our eyes.

In heaven, “there are no stonecutters chiseling epithets in glory; there are no wreaths on the mansion doors in the sky; there are no graves on the hillsides of heaven; there are no obituary columns in the newspapers; no funeral procession.  All that we can hear is the glad and triumphant refrain from God’s holy redeemed, when they say, “Death is swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15:54).  And there shall be no more Death (Revelation 21:4); he is cast, with the false prophet and Satan that deceives us, he is cast into the lake of fire; Death (Revelation 20:10, 14).  “And there shall be no more sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain” (Revelation 21:4).  Sorrow follows us like a shadow; every heart knows it bitterly.  How many pillows at night are wet with the teardrops that this world never sees and never knows, known and seen only by our Lord?  Sorrow, sorrow.”

Let those who believe there will be tears in heaven teach what they may. However,

“I will sing you a song of that beautiful land,
The far-away home of the soul,
Where no storms ever beat on the glittering strand.
While the years of eternity roll…

Oh, how sweet it will be in that beautiful land,
So free from all sorrow and pain,
With songs on our lips and with harps in our hands,
To greet one another again…”

 —“Home of the Soul,” by Ellen M.H. Gates, 1865

“There’s a land that is fairer than day,
And by faith we can see it afar,
For the Father waits over the way,
To prepare us a dwelling place there.

In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore;
In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore.

—“In the Sweet By and By,” Sanford F. Bennett

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 all are passed away.  And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, behold I make all things new (Revelation 21:4-5).

“O blessed God, for His goodness, immeasurable, indescribable, unfathomable, ineffable, celestial, to us—to us” (W. A. Criswell).

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