Q. Recently I heard a sermon on “wiping away our tears”. It was stated that Rev. 21:4 was in reference to the Great White Throne judgment. We will witness this judgment and will be sorrowful for who we see condemned to Hell. God will have to wipe away our tears. What are your thoughts?
A. According to Rev. 20:5 the unsaved dead will be resurrected at the end of the 1000 year millennium. They’ll be judged before the Great White Throne at that time. Although the verse where God wipes away our tears appears appears later (Rev. 21:4) it actually takes place 1000 years earlier, at the beginning of the Millennium.
The confusion stems from the fact that John described the ultimate destinies of Satan and the unsaved in Rev. 20:7-15 while he was on the subject, before backtracking to the beginning of the Millennium in Rev. 21 to describe the New Jerusalem. We know this because in Rev. 20:7 John wrote “When the 1000 years are over” but he began Rev. 21 with a direct quote from Isaiah 65:17-25, which is a Millennial passage. Also the first 6 verses of Rev 22 mirror a passage from Ezekiel 47:1-12, another description of the Millennium, where it’s clear we’re still governed by time. This is an indication Eternity hasn’t begun yet.
With this understanding you can see that the preacher you heard can’t be correct because after God wipes the tears from our eyes at the beginning of the Millennium we’ll never again experience any death or mourning or crying or pain.