Saturday, February 17, 2018

Focus on Faith

By "How Heaven Comes to Earth"
Sept. 7, 2017 at 11:23 a.m.

John was placed in exile on the island of Patmos by the Roman authorities for views on the second coming of Jesus Christ. John's views explained how he received the revelation from God of the New Jerusalem as described in Revelation 3:12. The New Jerusalem or Heaven is the future dwelling place of the people of God. John indicates the future city will descend from heaven to Earth after the following events take place: seven years of tribulation (Revelation 6-19, the Second Coming in Revelation 19:11-16, the Millennium Kingdom in Revelation 20:1-10, and the final judgment of the lost in Revelation 20:11-15. John, in Revelation 21, describes a vision the Lord gave him of this future city. He told of its beauty, location, inhabitants, and the absence of sin and suffering.

The beauty of the New Jerusalem is described in Revelation 21:2, as a "bride adorned for her husband, which points to its unsurpassed beauty. It is a great metropolis of matchless glory and brilliant light like that of a "jasper stone, clear as crystal (v. 11)."

The New Jerusalem location is actually heaven (God's abode) on Earth during the eternal state. After God creates the new Earth, heaven will descend to Earth so that He may dwell with His people forever in a way they have never before experienced.

The New Jerusalem inhabitants will enjoy God's presence in the new heaven. Jesus said, "only those who have thirsted and taken freely of the water of life (Revelation 21:6)". Believers from throughout the ages will live there with God, revealed in Hebrews 11 and 12:22-24. This multitude includes church saints (Revelation 21:9-10), a fact also indicated by the names of the 12 apostles on the city's 12 foundations (21:14); Jewish and other Old Testament believers; and believers from the Tribulation and even the Millennium. John indicates "The names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel will adorn the city's 12 gates, in Revelation 21:12.

In the New Jerusalem or Heaven there will be an absence of sin and suffering. God's presence in the New Jerusalem means the elimination of the curse of sin and death: "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" in Revelation 21:4.

Today, Christians are confronted with different "life styles" that are not compatible to the Bible. But Jesus Christ will eliminate the sin cursed environment when he comes the second time. Nothing will enter the holy city "that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life" in Revelation 21:27.

Until then, we must urge unbelievers to trust in God through His Son, the Messiah Jesus, so they too, may share in our glorious hope of the hereafter.



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