Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Heavenly City

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you may have already seen several blog posts written here about Dr. David Jeremiah's study guide, Revealing the Mysteries of Heaven. Every chapter is filled with so much good news and Bible verse knowledge about heaven, I consider it a crash course in clarifying the most important questions Christians have about their future eternal home.

One thing that catches my eye each time I read about the heavenly city is the fact that "no lie will ever be told" there. Could you imagine how wonderful life would be? Living in the truth of that reality changes everything!

In our temporal world, lying is an art. It is considered not such a "big deal." Everyone does it. That may very well be true, but lies destroy - rather than build up. It is the reason why what man sees as a "not so severe sin" is seen as unacceptable in God's eternal world.

Every chapter and lesson in this study guide is so good, it is difficult to choose a favorite. However, one of the lessons that makes me smile most and causes me to look forward to eternity with joy has to be Lesson 6 - The Heavenly City. Most of the chapter is about Revelation 21.

In this lesson we discover the glory of the New Jerusalem, our heavenly home.

Dr. Jeremiah discusses the dimensions of the city. How interesting that it is described as a perfect cube with many translucent floors.

Next, there is the description of the city. Dr. Jeremiah gives detail about the following:

1. The Holy City (Wycliffe Bible Commentary describes the holy city: "A holy city will be one in which no lie will be uttered in one hundred million years, no evil word will ever be spoken. No shady business deals will ever be discussed, no unclean picture will ever be seen, no corruption of life will ever be manifest. It will be holy because everyone in it will be holy."

Only those who have been cleansed of their sin by the blood of Christ will be able to enter the holy city. )

2. The Pearly Gates (Can you imagine a huge gate made of one pearl? It is interesting that Dr. Jeremiah reminds us that a pearl is formed in an oyster as a result of a wound - just as our entrance into the "pearly gates" is accomplished through the wounds of Christ and the shed blood for our sins.)

3. The Foundations of Precious Stones (Amazingly, a twelve-layer foundation of the city is built from 12 precious stones including emeralds, sapphires, topaz etc.)

4. The Streets of Gold (Gold so pure it is translucent! The street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass" (verse 21) We will most likely perceive things differently in our glorified bodies!)

5. The Lamb (Jesus Christ) That Is the Light (There will be no lights in the New Jerusalem: "The Lamb is its light" (verse 23). The glory of God will illuminate the entire city (Isaiah 60:19).

6. The Tree of Life (Oh yes - it reappears! Remember such a tree in the Garden of Eden before the fall of man?)

7. The River of Life (That flows freely for the healing of the nations. This will be healing in a therapeutic sense: growing in our sense of fulfillment, pleasure, and joy at being in the presence of God.)

My brief descriptions above only touch the surface of Dr. Jeremiah's descriptions.

Now, at the end of this particular lesson, Dr. Jeremiah describes "The Denial to the City (Revelation 21:27):

It is unfortunate, but not every person that has lived on earth will gain entrance to the heavenly city. In Revelation 21:8 we read, "But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."

Verse 27 also says, "But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life."

The Bible doesn't say that you can't have ever committed any of these sins and still enter the New Jerusalem. It refers to these sins as lifestyles - those people who have practiced those sins willingly, have never repented of them and received the forgiveness of their sins through Christ. Every person who enters the New Jerusalem will be a person who has sinned, and in many cases the sins will be some of those listed above. But they will be sins that have been repented of and forgiven and that no longer characterize the life of the one who once committed them.

That last paragraph is crucial to realize when you are witnessing to the lost. No one is good enough to get into heaven. Only Jesus Christ accomplished what no mortal man could ever achieve. And that is what the Gospel and Great Commission is all about.

Dr. Jeremiah:

Our calling as Christians today is to go throughout the world as Christ's ambassadors, telling people of the place God has prepared for them and inviting them to accept Christ's invitation to come to Him to be made ready for the City of God. We get that message out every way we can: In person, in print, on television and radio, the Internet - whatever is available, we will use. After reading the glorious description of the city God has prepared for us, doesn't it break your heart to know that some may not get to enjoy it? They at least need to know of the opportunity. If they reject Christ's invitation, that is one thing. But if they die without having heard of the opportunity, that is another. And we are accountable for their failure to hear the Good News that is for them.

[H]eaven is real and so is the New Jerusalem. But only for those who have received the forgiveness of sins Christ offers that makes them pure enough to enter the Holy City of God. Make sure that you are one of those who has made a reservation to stay in the New Jerusalem for all eternity. If you wait until the city appears, it will be too late.

Hat Tip:

Dr. David


stevex09 said...

Just to make it to Heaven and not be burning in Hell, will be good enough for me. I'll be thrilled take a small log cabin in the very corner of Heaven, hopefully with my dog Sandy ...

stevex09 said...

"Looking for a city".
This is the kind of music I was raised on.

You have no idea how much I miss this ...

Christinewjc said...

Ha ha Steve. Really!

It is amazing to me that certain people would think on the same level as Milton in "Paradise Lost" - that to "rule (reign) in hell is better than serving God in heaven." Don't they know about the father of lies - a.k.a. Satan and his tricks? They won't be ruling or reigning in hell - they will be under the same curse given to Satan and his demons. What fools to think that submitting to God's law and love would be worse? What kind of logic is that?

Will listen to that youtube link now.

stevex09 said...

Hey Christine;
You're absolutely right. That is a proud and foolish saying. There won't be a "ruler" in hell. The place of eternal torment is for one and all that are there.
Like I said, a small COOL place in Heaven will suit me just fine! :)

GMpilot said...

Jeremiah's book sounds remarkably like a travel book by people who haven't been there, for people who aren't going there.

Christinewjc said...

I'm sure you count yourself in with the crowd of those "people who aren't going there," right GM?