God’s Love Lasts Forever

God’s Love Lasts Forever (Luke 23:43; Rev. 21:1-4)

Prepared and preached by Pastor Steve Rhodes for and at Bethel Friends Church in Poland, OH on Sunday, May 21, 2023

David Jeremiah shares:

For years I have been collecting the sayings that people put on their tombstones. Here is one that expresses what some people think about heaven:

Here lies a poor woman who always was tired,

For she lived in a place where help wasn’t hired.

Her last words on earth were, “Dear Friends, I am going

Where washing ain’t done, nor sweeping, nor sewing;

And everything there is exact to my wishes,

For where they don’t eat, there’s no washing of dishes.

Don’t weep for me now, don’t weep for me ever;

For I’m going to do nothing forever and ever.”22

It sounds a little more like a nursing home than the biblical conception of heaven. I suppose it’s natural for an overworked person to think of heaven as a place of rest. But it reveals another misconception about heaven. When we enter into heaven, we are not put on some kind of heavenly Social Security list. On the contrary, the Bible says a great deal about service in heaven—our tasks and responsibilities—particularly in Revelation.

As Canadian pastor Bruce Milne tells us, the book of Revelation speaks of heaven as a place where you will find “God’s throne, God’s river, God’s tree, God’s service, God’s face, God’s seal, God’s reign: such are the features of the life of the people of God in the coming Holy City… It is life totally centered on God. That is the deepest and most glorious prospect imaginable, for there is no reality comparable to the triune God, the ever-blessed Father.”13[1]

I preached on heaven in the winter, but I never preached on Rev. 21:1-4 in an expository way. That is what I will do today. I want to show you that God’s love lasts forever.

My theme today is:

God’s love lasts forever.

  1. God’s love lasts forever.
    1. We have covered many subjects of God’s love. Today, we talk about the eternal, the forever.
    2. Where is history going? That is an important worldview question.
    3. The Bible teaches that history is heading towards a time when God will make things right. We see that in the letter of Revelation.
    4. In the letter of Revelation we see God communicate to the Apostle John the things that are to come. There are differing views of the letter of Revelation so I am not going to get into them today. Regardless of one’s view most would agree that Revelation chapters 21-22 are describing the literal New Heaven and New Earth.
    5. Revelation chapters 1-3 include the introduction, and the letters to the 7 churches.
    6. Revelation chapters 4-22:5 are dealing with things to take place after this. These concern God pouring out His wrath on sin, destroying Babylon, the antichrist, and eventually satan.
    7. Eventually, in Revelation chapter 21:10 satan is thrown into the lake of fire. Then Revelation 22:14 death and hades (the abode of the dead) are thrown into hell as well.
    8. This brings us to Revelation chapter 21. Here we see the New Heaven and the New Earth and that God’s love lasts forever.
  2. The New Jerusalem.
    1. Revelation 21:1–4 (ESV) Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
    2. Notice what John sees (verses 1-2).
    3. One source shares: This section provides information not revealed in the other visions of heaven. The eternal state is pictured as a physical place. It includes land, buildings, trees, and water. Believers will interact with one another and engage in meaningful service for God. This corrects some long-held misconceptions. Heaven is not a place of passive rest, or endless, blissful contemplation of God.[2]
    4. A holy city descending from heaven (verse 2).
    5. The “holy city” is the new Jerusalem.
    6. We will hear more about that in the rest of this chapter.
    7. It seems clear that these verses are summarizing what the rest of the next two chapter will talk about.
    8. This “holy city” is coming “down.”
    9. Literally down? It could be that John is again describing the indescribable.
    10. Notice the modifiers: the city is described as “holy” and that means “set apart” or sanctified. We will see how it is holy later.
    11. This city is coming from God.
    12. It is like it is coming from God’s realm. It is coming out of Heaven.
    13. This city is made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.
    14. Later (in verse 9) we will see that she is called the bride.
    15. But this seems to mean that the city is all beautiful like we would expect a bride on her wedding day.
    16. Isa 52:1 calls Jerusalem the “holy” city.
    17. “Revelation as a whole may be characterized as A Tale of Two Cities, with the sub-title, The Harlot and the Bride.”724[3]
    18. Dr. Constable: There have been several explanations of the relationship of the New Jerusalem to the new earth. It may be that John saw as a city what he had formerly seen as a new heaven and earth. In other words, the New Jerusalem and the new heaven and earth may be two different figures for the eternal state. I favor this view. Thus the eternal dwelling place of believers will be a completely new creation by God that John saw in his visions first as a new world and then as a new city.
    19. Alternatively the New Jerusalem could be a satellite rotating around the new earth. Some hold that the New Jerusalem will be a satellite of the present earth during the Millennium, and when God creates the new earth it will descend out of heaven and be on the surface of the new earth.725 Some believe that the New Jerusalem will be within the new earth.726 The text does not say the New Jerusalem will come down to the new earth, only that John saw it coming down out of heaven from God (cf. v. 10).[4]
  3. What John hears (verses 3-8, but we will only focus on verses 3-4).
    1. The words of the angel (21:3–4).
    2. He says God himself will mingle among his people (21:3).
    3. Dr. Constable: Verse 3 describes the benefits of the New Jerusalem positively, and verse 4 does so negatively.[5]
    4. ESV Study Note: He will dwell with them. The greatest blessing of heaven will be unhindered fellowship with God himself. The goal of God’s covenant, “God with us” ( 7:14), foreshadowed in the OT tabernacle and temple, will be achieved. 
    5. John hears a “loud” voice, again, this is a modifier, and it is coming from the throne.
    6. The people are God’s people and God will be with them.
    7. These Old Testament passages also say that they will be His people: Lev 26:11f; Ezek 37:27
    8. He says God himself will minister to his people (21:4).
    9. God wipes tears away. ESV Study Note: By wiping away every tear and eliminating death, mourning, and pain ( 25:8; 65:19–20), God will reverse the curse that entered the world through human sin.
    10. No more death.
    11. No more mourning.
    12. No more crying.
    13. No more pain.
    14. The first order is over.
  4. Applications and review:
    1. God’s love lasts forever.
    2. We will be in the Holy City.
    3. We will be in the New Jerusalem on the New Earth.
    4. The sea was no more, this may just be symbolic of death and destruction and danger.
    5. We will dwell with God (Rev. 21:3). More importantly, God will dwell with us.
    6. We will have a real, physical relationship with almighty God.
    7. There will be no more sin in the way.
    8. We will be His people and He will be our God.
    9. There will be no more death (Rev. 21:4).
    10. We can rejoice that the pain and suffering of this world will be gone (Rev. 21:4).
    11. No more pain.
    12. No more sickness.
    13. No more Alzheimer’s.
    14. No more cancer.
    15. No more Multiple Sclerosis.
    16. No more disabilities.
    17. No more special needs.
    18. No more car accidents.
    19. No more falling.
    20. No more aging.
    21. No more anxiety.
    22. No more depression.
    23. No more worry: there will be nothing to worry about.
    24. Do we worry about our kids? No more, no need.
    25. Do we worry about our parents? No need.
    26. Do we worry about international relations? No need. Jesus will literally be on the throne.
    27. Do we worry about money? No more, no need.
    28. Do we worry about disasters? No more, no need.
    29. God’s love lasts forever. We will be with Him in a literal way.
    30. No more death, God’s love lasts forever.
    31. No more crying. God will wipe away our tears. Do you remember how nice to be a child and have a mom or dad embrace us and wipe away our tears, or maybe a husband or wife wipe away our tears. How much more powerful that God will wipe away our tears. But then it says, “no more tears, crying, or mourning” (Rev 21:4). Could it be that God will wipe them away and then they will be gone? Could it be that we will understand the sadness of this world? We will have a complete picture of the hardships we have faced.
    32. Part of the difficulties in the world is our picture is not developed. Our picture of suffering needs developed and then reframed. God will do that.
    33. God’s love lasts forever.
    34. We must live for eternity.
    35. Store up treasure in heaven:
    36. Proverbs 19:17 (ESV) 17Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.
    37. Invest in the church.
    38. Make sure you are saved (2 Cor. 13:5).
    39. Repent of sin.
    40. Seek the Lord.
    41. Be encouraged: God’s love lasts forever.

C. S. Lewis: “Your place in heaven will seem to be made for you and you alone, because you were made for it—made for it stitch by stitch as a glove is made for a hand.”3



22 Author unknown.

13 Bruce Milne, The Message of Heaven and Hell (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002), 327.

[1] David Jeremiah, God Loves You: He Always Has–He Always Will (New York City, NY: FaithWords, 2012).

[2] The Moody Bible Commentary (Kindle Locations 83407-83409). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition.

724 724. Beasley-Murray, p. 315.

[3] Tom Constable, Tom Constable’s Expository Notes on the Bible (Galaxie Software, 2003), Re 21:2.

725 725. Pentecost, Things to . . ., p. 580.

726 726. McGee, 5:1068–72, believed it will be within the transparent sphere of the new earth rather than on its surface.

[4] Tom Constable, Tom Constable’s Expository Notes on the Bible (Galaxie Software, 2003), Re 21:2.

[5] Tom Constable, Tom Constable’s Expository Notes on the Bible (Galaxie Software, 2003), Re 21:4.

3 C. S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain (New York: MacMillan, 1962), 147.

The Influence of a Mother’s Faith: Sarah bore a son through a barren womb and influenced a nation and all nations.

First let me wish every mother a happy Mother’s Day. We can never fully understand the impact of a mother. I read:

An article in Forbes asks, “Think you can put a price on motherhood?” A yearly survey by Salary.com called the annual Mom Salary Survey attempts to put a salary on the work of American mothers. First, they broke down motherly duties into the following ten categories: Day Care Center Teacher, CEO, Psychologist, Cook, Housekeeper, Laundry Machine Operator, Computer Operator, Facilities Manager, Janitor, and Van Driver. Then they studied how many hours moms work in those categories and what the family would have to pay for outsourcing that duty. According to the 2012 survey, they determined the following:

  • The average stay-at-home mom should make an annual salary of $112,962 (based on a 40-hour per week base pay plus 54.7 hours a week of overtime);
  • The average working mom should make an annual salary (just for her “mom” role) of $66,969 (based on 40-hours of mothering duties and 17.9 overtime hours per week).

The article concludes, “The breadth of Mom’s responsibilities is beyond what most workers could ever experience day-to-day. Imagine if you had to attract and retain a candidate to fill this role?”[1]

Of course, we really did not need an article to state that did we? We know that a mother’s work is never done. I remember thinking back to my mother and how she was always, always doing something. Then she also has such a caring heart. If I was sick or in need her heart would break for me. To this day, she calls up checking on the girls and she works at a childcare center. My grandmother stayed with us, and my mother was eager to care for her.

My dad was abused as a child. His brothers and sisters ran away from home. My dad moved out at sixteen years of age. Years later, my dad was thirty-nine and his mother moved in with us when she had a hip replacement. His father had died when my dad was about thirty-one. My grandmother recovered from the hip replacement but during that time we had grown close with her. So, she would stay with us often. One time, my parents were out for an evening and during that time my younger brother did something to which he needed punishment. My dad came home and found out and gave my younger brother a spanking. I looked out on the back porch and saw my grandmother with tears in her eyes. Amazing! Mothers, grandmothers they care. God has given them this love.

I want to talk about Sarah today. Sarah was Abraham’s wife and the mother of Ishmael and Isaac. But later she became the mother of nations. She became the mother of Christianity. Hebrews 11:10-12 tells us that because of her great faith she became the mother of nations. She is listed in the hall of faith.

My emphasis today is:

The influence of a mother’s faith: Sarah bore a son through a barren womb and influenced a nation and all nations.

The application is trusting God with our children. God has great faithfulness.

A mother’s love is amazing.

Have faith in God to watch over you and your children as Sarah did.

You never know what God will do through your children and grandchildren.

 Let’s read:

Hebrews 11:11–12 (ESV)

11 By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.

Now, let’s read:

Genesis 18:9–15 (ESV)

They said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “She is in the tent.” 10 The Lord said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him. 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?” 13 The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.” 15 But Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. He said, “No, but you did laugh.”

  1. We all must trust God with our children and grandchildren as Sarah did.
    1. You and I may read this, and it appears that Sarah did not trust God with her womb. Sarah had already been told that she will be a mother. In this passage there are two angels and God talking with Abraham. We find this out in verses 1-9. If you go back to Genesis 12, we read that Abraham was to be the father of nations. Sarah trusted God but did not know how this was to happen. It was in Genesis 17:17 that we find out this was to happen through her womb. Sarah, being 90 years old was to have a child.
    2. Reading this passage, we see that Sarah laughed. Abraham laughed as well in Genesis 17:17. They laughed in doubt. It was not doubt that they would be the parents of nations, it was doubt that the child would come through her.
    3. But we can look ahead and see that Sarah’s child was born in Genesis 21:2 and he was named Isaac which means “Laughter.”
    4. This was somewhere around 2000 B.C., then when Hebrews was penned some 2000 years later, Sarah is remembered for her faith.
    5. She trusted God.
    6. I do not want to talk about trusting God that you are going to have a child at 90 years old. If any of you are close to that age and God has revealed that to you, by all means, trust Him. I’ll pray for you.
    7. I imagine Sarah at 90 years old and Abraham at 100 years old chasing a toddler around. Then, Abraham would have been 116 years old teaching him to drive a camel so that he could get his temporary driving permit. Sarah would have been staying up late at the age of 106 years old while Isaac is out with friends. I wonder if he had a curfew.
    8. Of course, they say that your children grow up quick. I do see that happening. I heard of one mother who had 4 children. She was talking and said that people would say they grow up quick and she would think, “I smell like spit-up.” Then she said, “But when I saw my daughter walk out of her room at 17 years old with her keys…” She knew that to be true.
    9. I wonder if Sarah thought that way? He was 37 years old when she died. I wonder if she had days where she told him, “Just wait till your father gets home.” I heard of George H. W. Bush getting a phone call from Barbara when the kids were young. Barbara told him that one of the boys hit the baseball through a certain neighbor’s second story window. His reaction, “What a hit!” I wonder if Abraham had conversations like that from Sarah.
    10. Sarah had watched everyone else raise children and now it was her turn. The Bible says in verse 14: “Is anything too difficult for the Lord?”
    11. How are we doing with trusting the Lord? How are we doing with trusting the Lord with our children on a day-to-day bases. How about even after they are grown.
    12. I was 19 years old, and my parents were taking me to college. I was going some 8 hours away to Georgia. We were at a restaurant when my mother retreated to the restroom, I think to cry because for the first time she was dropping off her son hours away from home for a long time.
    13. I wonder if Sarah had moments like that. I wonder if she had moments in which she had to let go.
    14. You see, on a Mother’s Day I can talk about a mother’s love. I mention that with the example of my mother and grandmother. However, I think it is a mother’s love that compels them to care so well for their children.
    15. In that manner, we are best to remember that God’s faithfulness is unending, and we must trust Him, Who can do all things, with our children.
    16. Meagan and I tear up with the thought of walking our daughter down the aisle on a wedding day. But that is the common station in life which we will face.
    17. I honestly don’t know how parents deal with real struggles of sickness, hardship, and even the loss of a child. The only thing that I can say is Sarah had great faith and so must we for God has great faithfulness.
      1. Some Scripture:
      2. Psalm 89:1-2 (and the rest of the Psalm) are about God’s faithfulness.
  • Psalm 91:1-4 compares God’s faithfulness to an eagle sheltering us under His Wings.
  1. Psalm 100:5 is about God’s faithfulness.
  2. Psalm 108:4: God’s faithfulness reaches to the skies.
  3. Psalm 143:1: O LORD, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief.
  • For those of you have been through those trials my prayers are with you and I know that I can be educated by you.
  • The other thought about trusting God’s faithfulness with our children is that we never know what God is going to do. We don’t know who our children will end up to be, do we? We can try to rear them and pray for them, and we must, but we do not know. But Sarah was told that she would be the mother of nations. We must trust God with our children’s future and our grandchildren’s future.
  1. How do we have faith? How do we trust God?
    1. Pray and talk to God.
    2. Go to the Bible and read the Scripture passages on faithfulness.
    3. Talk with a small group or prayer partner, or myself. Talk with a Christian counselor.
    4. Those of you that have been through tough circumstances with children, you can teach me, and I would love to hear your testimony.
    5. Those going through tough times, I would welcome to listen and pray with you.
    6. I can recommend some books.


A mother’s love is amazing.

Have faith in God to watch over you and your children as Sarah did.

You never know what God will do through your children and grandchildren.

I talked about my grandmother, my father’s mother, with tears in her eyes when my brother was punished. A few years later she went into the hospital. She had a quadruple heart bypass. They said the risk of a clot was high, especially early on. She made it through those days, but then they had to put in a pacemaker. Then, after about two weeks she was ready to come home. She was coming home to stay with us. It was a Friday night, and we were getting her room ready. We were setting up the hospital bed, etc. We were looking forward to grandma staying with us. Then, my parents received a call from the hospital, and they rushed to the hospital. My grandmother was walking with a nurse talking about how she was eager to see her cat again when she had a blood clot. It had been some two weeks, but it happened. The doctor’s worked on her for some time, but then she died.

The next day, my dad was driving me to work, and he said, “I don’t know if you noticed but my mother’s death has been hard on me.” He continued, “My dad beat me as a child, but over the last few years with my mother living with us I can tell that she regretted that.” This was the only time I saw my dad choke up with tears in his eyes. The only time. The influence of a mother.

In Genesis 23:1 we read that Sarah died at the age of 127 years. I would imagine that Isaac and Ishmael both wept at the death of Sarah.

However, because of Sarah we have Hebrews 11:12:

12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.

She became the mother of nations. She had faith that God would fulfill the promise and He did. She had faith in God’s promise and became the mother of Christianity as Jesus came through her descendants.

 God created us to be with him (Genesis 1-2).

Our sin separated us from God (Genesis 3).

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4).

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again (Matthew – Luke).

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life (John – Jude).

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever (Revelation 22:5).


[1] Sources: Jenna Goudreau, “Why Stay-At-Home Moms Should Earn a $115,000 Salary,” Forbes (5-2-11); Salary.com, “Salary.com’s 12th Annual Mom Salary Survey,” (last accessed on April 24, 2013)

God’s Love Enables You to Stay in Your Relationship With Him (John 10:28; Romans 8:35-39)

God’s Love Enables You to Stay in Your Relationship With Him (John 10:28; Romans 8:35-39)

Prepared and preached by Pastor Steve Rhodes for and at Bethel Friends Church in Poland, OH on Sunday, May 7, 2023

David Jeremiah writes:

At every moment in all the history of our fallen race, people have faced threats from both the present and the future, on both a personal and a cosmic level. And each time Christians have asked, “Is God still with me through all this?”

If ever a young man had the right to ask this question, it would seem that George Matheson did. Born in nineteenth-century Scotland, George became a brilliant student in theology at the University of Glasgow, where he earned a graduate degree. While at school, he fell in love and was soon engaged to be married. Meanwhile, his eyesight began to fade rapidly. When he became totally blind at age twenty, his fiancée broke off the engagement, explaining that she was not cut out to be the wife of a blind man.

Matheson was devastated. The pain of her abandonment stayed with him in his blindness. He never married, yet he went on to become a highly successful pastor at a large church in Edinburgh where he preached to fifteen hundred members every Sunday.

Many men enduring such blows might have struck out at God, thinking He had abandoned him. Many would have thought: I’ve dedicated my life to You, God. Yet You allowed me to fall in love, and then You snatched away my fiancée and my eyesight. You must not really love me after all.

But Matheson knew better. Though his beloved fiancée had left him, he knew that God would not. Out of his pain emerged the classic hymn “O Love That Will Not Let Me Go.” His first verse is a ringing affirmation of the love of God, reaching across the chasm of his sadness:

O Love that will not let me go,

I rest my weary soul in Thee;

I give Thee back the life I owe,

That in Thine ocean depths its flow

May richer, fuller be.

Though George Matheson was physically blind, his spiritual vision was 20/20. Those who trust in the ways and purposes of God will be strengthened in the present and prepared to face whatever the future holds. Suffering is inevitable; it comes to everyone. But only those who live in the certainty that God’s love will never let them go are able to accept with confidence and assurance both the troubles of the present and the troubles that may come tomorrow.[1]

We have been talking about God’s love for us.

My theme today is:

God’s Love Enables You to Stay in Your Relationship With Him (John 10:28; Romans 8:35-39)

  1. Who shall separate us from God’s love?
    1. Paul asks a question and then goes to great lengths to show that no one and nothing can separate us from God’s love.
    2. Paul asks a question with a negative answer.
    3. Before we read the verses let’s put this in context. Romans 8:35-39 is in the context of Romans and Romans is Paul’s great treatise on salvation. Romans is Paul making the case for salvation by faith alone in Christ alone. Paul went to great lengths to show that Jews and Greeks all need Jesus’ free offer of forgiveness.
    4. Some have called Romans 8 the most powerful chapter in the Bible. Romans 8 is sandwiched between Romans 7 showing that we cannot keep the law and then Romans 9 which is about God’s sovereign choice.
    5. Look with me at Romans 8:35 (ESV) 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
    6. About this passage David Jeremiah shares:
    7. It’s a bit like an old commercial for superglue in which a car was suspended in midair, held to the cable by nothing but a dab or two of that incredible adhesive. The test was intended to convince people that this glue would do any job needed. If it could hold that car, surely it would patch up your broken vase.
    8. Twice Paul emphatically asserts that nothing can separate us from the love of God found in Christ Jesus (vv. 35, 39). Surely few would disagree that this is the greatest message of the Bible—that nothing in the entire universe can stop God from loving us. It simply cannot and will not happen.
    9. Please notice that Paul doesn’t say we must hang on to God’s love; he says that God’s love hangs on to us. [2]
    10. Paul asks the question, who shall separate us and then lists several nouns to show that no, they cannot separate us.
    11. God holds us. God holds us close to Him. It is all His staying power on us.
    12. We will go through tribulation, but guess what? God is with us. It cannot separate us from Him.
    13. We will have distress, but it cannot separate us from Him. God is with us.
    14. We will face persecution (see 2 Tim. 3:12), but God is with us, and Jesus says we are blessed (Matthew 5:11-12).
    15. We will face famine, nakedness, and danger, but God is with us and that famine will not separate us from Him.
    16. You know the interesting thing? These verses say that these hardship will NOT separate us. If we know Jesus we will not leave Him, because He is holding us. That does not mean we will not question things, or ever have doubts, but no, we won’t leave Him.
    17. Romans 8:36 is a quote from Psalm 44:2 which Paul references to bring up hardship.
  2. We are hyper-conquerors.
    1. Look at Romans 8:37: No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
    2. In all of what he wrote about in verse 35 we are more than conquerors.
    3. David Jeremiah shares: The Greek word for “conquer” is hypernikao, a compound word made up of hyper (“more, above, beyond”) and nikao (“to conquer or prevail”). The term is a unique one, occurring nowhere in the Bible but this particular verse. It has no single-word counterpart in English, so we must cobble together two or three words to get the sense of what it means. Scholars have tried such phrases as “overwhelmingly conquerors” and “beyond conquering,” but the favorite by far is “more than conquerors.” Many of our contemporary translations contain that familiar phrase.
    4. But let’s try another one: “hyper-conquerors.” It has a modern ring to it and suggests the idea of a new league of superheroes—“The Hyper-Conquerors”! I think I like it. Let’s try it out on what Paul is telling us:
    5. In the midst of all these things that try to bring us down (tribulation, distress, persecution, you name it), we are hyper-conquerors.
    6. When facing any problem that life can dish out—you are a hyper-conqueror.
    7. In struggling with that problem you’re worrying about this very day, which is ______________ (fill in the blank), you are a hyper-conqueror.[3]
    8. Jeremiah gives an example: How does this work in real life? Here’s a story that gives us the answer. During his reign of terror, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini turned his war machine on Ethiopia and expelled all the Christian missionaries there. Christians everywhere began praying immediately. The answer came in two waves: first, in the protection of the expelled missionaries; and second, in reopening the doors of Ethiopia to the Gospel after the military pride of Italy lay broken in the dust and Mussolini was executed by his own countrymen.
    9. But during the missionaries’ absence, the Word of God multiplied in Ethiopia, and the returning missionaries found a larger, stronger church than the one they left. One group, the United Presbyterian Mission, had only sixty believers when the missionaries were expelled. On their return, the sixty had grown to thirty churches with a membership of sixteen hundred! These believers were more than conquerors.8[4]
  • Nothing can separate us from the love of God.
    1. Look with me at Romans 8:38–39 (ESV)
    2. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
    3. David Jeremiah shares: Paul gives us five pairs of contrasting forces that may challenge us. The big idea is that you can go from one end of any spectrum to the other—from life to death, from things present to things to come—without going beyond the scope of God’s love.
    4. Here Paul uses a rhetorical device known as a merism, which involves stating a pair of contrasting words to represent the full range of everything in between. We use a merism when we say, “He knows his subject from A to Z.” When the psalmist declares that God has removed our sins from us “as far as the east is from the west” (Psalm 103:12), he is using a merism to explain that God has removed our sins in totality.[5]
    5. Death nor life cannot separate us from God’s love.
    6. Death, then, is not a wall that separates us from God. Dr. James Montgomery Boice points out that it’s much the opposite. Far from tearing us away from God, death ushers us into the full glory of His presence. “The separator becomes the uniter.”4[6]
    7. Paul says, “angels nor rulers…” Why would he say angels? Most think he is referring to demons. Demons will not separate us from Christ’s love.
    8. Rulers will not separate us from Christ’s love.
    9. Sometimes, many times, Christians have felt the weight of oppressive rulers, but we are still held by God’s love.
    10. Things in the present, things in the future, they will not separate us from God’s love in Christ Jesus.
    11. Powers, they won’t separate us from Christ.
    12. Romans 8:39 continues… Height nor depth… they won’t separate us from God’s love.
    13. Nothing, nothing in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

A fourth-century Archbishop of Constantinople was such an eloquent preacher that, after his death, the Greek word chrysostomos (“golden mouthed”) was added to his given name, John. History has since known him as John Chrysostom. He did not hesitate to point out abuses of power wherever he found them, and his outspoken oratory got him in trouble with both the church and the Roman Empire. On one such occasion, he was brought before the Roman emperor. Tradition tells us that the emperor fixed Chrysostom with a glare and said: “I will banish you if you do not give up your faith.”

“You can’t banish me,” Chrysostom replied, “for the whole world is my Father’s house.”

“But I will put you to death.”

“No, you can’t. My life is hid with Christ in God.”

“Then I will take away all your material possessions.”

“No, you can’t. My treasure is in heaven along with my heart.”

“But I can drive you away from man. You will have no friends left.”

“No, you can’t make me friendless. I have a Friend in heaven from whom you can’t separate me. I defy all your attempts to silence me. There is nothing you can do to hurt me.”5[7]


[1] David Jeremiah, God Loves You: He Always Has–He Always Will (New York City, NY: FaithWords, 2012).

[2] David Jeremiah, God Loves You: He Always Has–He Always Will (New York City, NY: FaithWords, 2012).

7 William Hendricksen, New Testament Commentary: Exposition of St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1980), 301.

[3] David Jeremiah, God Loves You: He Always Has–He Always Will (New York City, NY: FaithWords, 2012).

8 Adapted from J.C. Macaulay, Expository Commentary on Acts (Chicago: Moody Press, 1978), 130-31.

[4] David Jeremiah, God Loves You: He Always Has–He Always Will (New York City, NY: FaithWords, 2012).

[5] Ibid.

4 James Montgomery Boice, Romans, Vol. 2: The Reign of Grace (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1992), 1001.

[6] David Jeremiah, God Loves You: He Always Has–He Always Will (New York City, NY: FaithWords, 2012).

5 Paraphrased from R. Kent Hughes, Romans: Righteousness from Heaven (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1991), 171.

[7] David Jeremiah, God Loves You: He Always Has–He Always Will (New York City, NY: FaithWords, 2012).