Sunday Evening 11-11-12

Posted by Sherry

The New Jerusalem
Rev. 21:1-8
CBC 11/11/12 SN

This is the capital of the eternal kingdom. God has, by this time, destroyed our universe, our heaven and earth, and this is a new one. And this is the capital city!

Will there be room for everyone? Sure! First of all, not as many will be there as is commonly believed. [“narrow is the way, few there be that find it.”] But it will be 1,500 miles squared…a perfect cube…in other words, it’s that high, that long, that wide! There would be room for every human who has ever lived if they had all been saved.

6. Heaven is a Place of Refreshing
v. 6 Ever been really thirsty?…maybe this week! You don’t want milk. Sometimes you want a soda or tea or lemonade, but even those won’t do when you’re REALLY thirsty…you want what? Water!

How satisfying! And in heaven, every righteous desire that we have will be perfectly and completely satisfied, once and for all!

Here on earth we pursue happiness, but don’t ever completely find it, but in heaven that thirst will be quenched!
Friendships/relationships/knowledge/more about God/wealth/health/answers to questions…why?

By Jack Hyles

I have heard the white-tipped tapping cane,
Which leads a blinded eye.
And then a darkened, lonely voice
Cries, “Preacher, show me why.”

I have caught a fiancĂ©e’s burning tears,
And heard her lonely cry.
She held an unused wedding gown,
And shouted, “Pastor, why?”

I have heard the cancer patient say,
“’Tis gain for me to die;”
Then look into his daughter’s face,
And mutely whisper, “Why?”

I’ve heard an orphan faintly say,
Who gazed into the sky,
“Tho Mom and Dad have gone away,
My preacher will know why.”

I have sat beside a tiny crib,
And watched a baby die,
As parents slowly turned toward me,
To ask, “Oh, Pastor, why?”

I tiptoed to my Father’s throne,
So timid and so shy,
To say, “Dear God, some of Your own
Are wanting to know why.”

I heard Him say so tenderly,
“Their eyes I’ll gladly dry,
Tho they must look through faith today,
Tomorrow they’ll know why.”

And so I’ve found it pleases Him
When I can testify,
“I’ll trust my God to do what’s best,
And wait to find out why.”

And in heaven, we’ll know as we are known…all life’s thirsts quenched!

7. Heaven will be a Restricted Place
v. 8 Right here in the middle of this positive, beautiful description of heaven, God gives us a list of some who won’t be there.
Why does God include this info? Perhaps to show that the sin which has cursed and ultimately destroyed this world will NOT be allowed into the next! 

The fearful—never accepted Christ, afraid to take the stand.
The unbelieving—didn’t believe at all in Christ or the Bible.
The abominable—not just sinners…these have committed abominations. From God’s perspective, there’s no difference between big and little sins…but this is encouragement of what WON’T be there and we need to understand from a human perspective. What are some abominations?
Lev. 18:22 says homosexuality is.
Deut. 17:3 says astrology and horoscopes are abominations.
Deut. 18 says consulting a medium, fortuneteller, a wizard, or somehow communicates w/ the dead, they have committed an abomination.
Prov. 20 says cheating in business is an abomination. “false balance”
Prov. 12 says compulsive lying is an abomination.
Prov. 16 says a heart full of pride is an abomination.

And heaven is off limits to all of these things. Don’t miss this truth however: any of these people can get saved, and you don’t have to commit an abomination to be lost, just 1 sin!

…and murderers. 
This would include all forms of homicide as well as infanticide. [it’s being legal doesn’t make it moral] The true Supreme Court is in heaven, and has already decided this case!
You can be saved if you’ve had an abortion, and see that child one day!
…and whoremongers.
Addicts of sinful sex.
Premarital sex/extra-marital sex/wrong gender/wrong species/pornography, etc.
They can get saved, too!

These are all people who died in their sins, never repenting!

…and sorcerers.
Could mean witchcraft, but there’s a deeper meaning. The greek word here is pharmacia, and I believe it’s talking about drugs and other chemical dependences.

…and idolaters.
You have an idol if you love something more than God. 
Matthew 6:33 
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 

…and all liars.
Cat-faced liars as well as those more crafty, who lie by insinuation, and exaggeration. Heaven is the ultimate truth and no liars will be there, praise God!

Now, most of us have fit into one or more of these categories at some point in our life. Some might be convicted this moment that they are still living that way, tho’ they are saved.

1 Cor. 6:11 
And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. 

The New Jerusalem, Pt. 3
Rev. 21:9-22:5

10 Facts about The New Jerusalem: [we’ve covered 7 so far]
1. Heaven is a Real Place
2. Heaven is a Remaining Place
3. Heaven is a Readied Place
4. Heaven is a Place of Relationship
5. Heaven is a Place of Relief
6. Heaven is a Place of Refreshing
7. Heaven will be a Restricted Place

[read 9-14, 18-21] If I was going to move somewhere, say to Wahoo, Nebraska or otherwise, I’d send off for info., search the web, etc. And we should study about Heaven, for we will spend eternity there!

8. Heaven is a Place of Riches
• Foundations=represent permanence
• Walls=protection
• Gates=provision
• Streets=praise

Foundations—building foundations are usually underground, and cannot be clearly seen, but this one is visible, and not only visible, but 12 layers thick! And each of the 12 foundations is garnished w/ a different jewel. 

The jasper will be clear crystal
Chalcedony-greenish blue
Emerald-deep green
Sardonyx-white w/ brown streaks
Sardius—blood red
Chrysolite-yellow quartz
Topaz-yellowish green
Chrysoprasus-apple green

Just picture this…all of these colors represent something about the character and nature of the Lord Jesus.
Blue=deity, white=purity, purple=royalty

[Just like the multi-colored veil in the holy temple]

I believe these foundations will also represent His manifold grace and His manifold wisdom. [I Pet. 4:10, Eph. 3:10]
1 Peter 4:10 
As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 
Eph. 3:10 
To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, 

Manifold=multi-faceted, multi-colored. There are many different shades to the grace of God/wisdom of God…it’s manifold!

His ways/thoughts are high above our own. His grace is greater than our comprehension!

I believe the primary interpretation of these foundations is permanence. You see, you can build a dog house on dirt, a storage shed on a simple slab, but if you’re gonna build a house and you want it to be there in 100 years or more, you’d better have a good, strong foundation.

And every time we look upon those foundations we’ll be reminded of it’s permanence. “10,000 years, and we’ll just be started!”

v. 12 v. 18 In Bible days, walls were all about protection…an un-walled city was vulnerable, an easy target.
And the enemies of earth will be no more…sickness cannot scale those walls, heartache cannot tunnel under…no crime or perversion, nothing to harm, nothing to molest, nothing to injure, nothing to destroy, and so, nothing to fear! No viruses, no disease, no pestilence, and no public enemy #1…death!

We’re all trying to outrun death…that’s why we go to the dr, health club, eat right, etc. When we were kids, we thought life would never pass us by. If life was a book then the pages turned sooooooooooo slowly, didn’t they.
“oh, I wanna be 10 like the big kids/13 and be a teenager, 16 and be able to drive, I want to be 18 and graduate, I want to be 21 and be able to vote, and do other things! [if not saved!]”
But ever since then life has flown by! And we try to outrun death, but eventually it catches us down here, but not “up there!” Old man death won’t be allowed in!

v. 12-13, 21 Who started the stories about St. Peter standing at the gates of heaven? It’s not Biblical. But each of the 12 gates is guarded by an angel. If every gate is 1 pearl, they are gigantic…and it’s a reminder of God’s provision.

A pearl—how is it created? There’s not much to it, really. If you crush it, you’ll have a handful of powdery lime…the same substance as ordinary chalk. And the value of a pearl is not about how it’s cut, like a diamond…for if you cut a pearl you ruin it. It’s value is in the way that it’s made. 
A pearl is made in the depths of the sea in the heart of a living oyster. Something invades that oysters shell, like a little grain of sand. It begins to cut, irritate, and dig into that soft oyster. The oyster begins to secrete that white, milky substance…layer after layer, it hardens, and finally you have a perfectly formed, brilliant, round, shiny pearl.

The pearl is the oyster’s answer to that which wounded it! The pearl owes it’s existence to the will of the oyster to “cover” that which hurt it!

2 parts in the formation of the pearl: the cutting and the covering…what a wonderful spiritual lesson there is there for us. For there’s the same 2 basic parts to salvation! Sin invaded God’s perfect world, and it cut away at the heart of God, but He was willing by His own blood to cover it!

Ours was the cutting…God’s was the covering!
“Calvary covers it all, my past with it’s guilt and shame,
my sin and despair, Jesus took on Him there,
and Calvary covers it all!”

Calvary was God’s answer to man’s sin…and as we walk thru those gates we’ll be reminded of this fact! We cannot enter in and of ourselves…we won’t be there because of us, but because of Him, and He made us His pearl of great price!

Streets of gold=praise
v. 21 Gold is a symbol of the glory, honor, and majesty of God. That’s why so much gold was used in the OT temple. Won’t it be great to truly be able to lift up the Lord in the way He deserves w/out the restraints of this sinful human flesh?
Ill.—Uncle Bud Robinson, an old tongue-tied preacher of years ago, and he was often criticized for how much he shouted and got happy in Jesus. Somebody asked him why he always praised the Lord so audibly and outwardly. He said, “I just can’t hep it, when my left foot hits the floor it says hallelujah, and when my right foot hits the floor it says, praise the Lord, and so it’s hallelujah, praise the Lord, hallelujah, praise the Lord, everywhere I go!”
And that’s how it will be for us walking down those streets of gold in heaven!

So, heaven is a place of riches…

9. Heaven is a Place of Righteousness
v. 15-17 1,500 miles squared…that’s huge! From the tip of Maine to the s. tip of Florida, over to Colorado…and then, it’s that high too! I’m not even sure what that means, so, Lord, surprise me! Either way, this will make NYC look like a little village! A perfect cube stands for balance and order…perfect in it’s materials, majesty, and even it’s measurements!

It will be filled w/ the righteousness of God, and w/ the “righteous” of God, us!

10. Heaven is a Place of Refuge
v. 22-27 4 things that won’t be there:
A. No Sanctuary
v. 22 Why no temple? Because the sanctuary localizes and confines God to 1 location…but all Heaven will be filled w/ His glory!
B. No Shadows
v. 23 The light will be everywhere, the night will be vanquished!
C. No Secrets
v. 24 We live in a war-torn time where people meet behind closed doors and there’s top secret things like this movement grid the Russian sub got stuck in last week! But there will be no secrecy there, all will be out in the open and peaceful. 
A survey of 6th graders 50 years ago asked what they were most afraid of. The most common answers were “the dark”, and “mean dogs.” They repeated that survey recently, and the top 2 was “mom and dad getting a divorce” and “nuclear war” was the top one. 

Isn’t that sad, how realistic those fears are? They can fit a nuke in a briefcase now and we are scanning now in major cities for it!
D. No sinners
v. 27 How do you get your name written there? By grace alone, thru faith alone, in Christ alone, plus nothing, minus nothing. Put your faith and trust in Him alone as your only hope for heaven!

If there was a place like we’ve had described here on earth, wouldn’t you do anything you could to go there? It’s real, it’s the New Jerusalem. And Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life…no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”


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