"There shall be no more tears and no more death"
People often come to this verse at the end of the bible in Revelation and try to base their entire theology on this one verse.
The verse is...
"And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." Rev 21:4
But in order to understand the book of Revelation you must first understand a few key things...
1) The book is highly symbolic- more so than any other book in the New Testament
2) The book uses imagery, metaphor, and hyperbole often
3) The book pulls from both the Old Testament and other portions of the New Testament.
If we are at all ignorant of any of these 3 things, we will end up using a modern day interpretation which will lead into great error. Especially the third point. If you don't realize where all of the terminology is coming from, you won't ever pick up on what the book really is saying.
One example real quick is the New Jerusalem in the end of Revelation. People are so quick to assume that is a literal place that is literally going to come down out of the sky and have literal dimensions like John says. However, if they would only go and read Galatians chapter 4, Paul explains clearly what the New Jerusalem actually is. It's God's New Covenant people. It's the creation of God's new people as opposed to the Old Covenant people who were divorced and destroyed at the destruction of Jerusalem at the end of the age.
What about the statement "there will be no more tears"? Clearly today people still cry. We have to understand this in context and understand it in light of what happened to Old Covenant Israel and her people at the end of the age.
When Jerusalem was attacked at the end of the age and slaughtered mercilessly by the Roman armies, there were many things that happened that actually fulfill and line up perfectly with the book of Revelation.
The no more tears reference comes directly from Old Testament references to the end of the Old Covenant and the pain and distress that the Old Covenant people would go through. Isaiah refers to God executing final judgement on them at the end of the Old Covenant age. Comparing that final judgment with the NEW Covenant people that He was going to create at that same time, Isaiah says...
"I will rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in my people; no more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping and the cry of distress." Isaiah 65:19
Josephus the historian who wrote in great detail about that final destruction actually records how in those days you could hear all around Jerusalem was overwhelming weeping and agony and pain. The women screamed and cried day and night because their husbands and children were slaughtered in front of them. The women actually are recorded to having eaten their own children due to the severe famine during the war. It was surely a painful and horrific time and the tears flowed all day every day. So the "no more tears" is just a stark contrast to that time. Of course we still cry, but the Kingdom of God is JOY AND PEACE. There is the contrast. Symbolism that isn't meant to be taken in a strict literal sense but rather to demonstrate the difference between what God did away with and what He has brought in which is the New everlasting Covenant for all men both Jew and Gentile.
And what about the "no more death"?
Well the first thing to remember is that without any doubt at all, the bible does not speak of the end of the physical world. At all. It speaks ONLY about the end of the first covenant. The entire New Testament is a glimpse into that last generation as the old order was passing away.
Now, at the very end of Revelation we are shown "Babylon" or "the mother of all harlots" being destroyed. Again, if you don't know your Old Testament you won't know that Old Covenant Jerusalem was REPEATEDLY called and referred to as "the harlot" or "the whore". So we see at the end of Revelation that this whore aka Jerusalem is being destroyed and New Jerusalem is being ushered in.
The angel declares that "the temple of God is (now) with men." (rather than in an actual temple made with hands like it once was)
But what was the Old Covenant and the Old Law called? How is it referred to all throughout the bible especially by Paul? The answer is...
"THE MINISTRY OF DEATH" 2 Cor 3:7
Now, that's not all. If you read 2 Cor chapter 3 you'll see clearly that Paul is pounding it into our heads that the Old Cov and the Old Law was synonymous for death.
It brought forth nothing but DEATH. It ended in DEATH. Only by DEATH could it have been brought to an end. He calls it "the letter that KILLS". Also, "the ministry that CONDEMNS".
In contrast, the New was to be a Covenant OF LIFE. It promises eternal LIFE. It's a "ministry that brings LIFE". It's eternal.
Jesus said, "He who believes in me shall never taste death" and "though he dies, he shall live"
Do you not see the perfect harmony between the Old Covenant of DEATH and the New Covenant of LIFE?
The old covenant always brought tears, pain, sorrow, and DEATH.
The new covenant brings peace, joy, and LIFE.