Recap of last week: The Heaven we go to now, in spirit, at our time of death is NOT the final place designed for mankind to spend eternity. The Heaven designed for mankind to spend eternity is a real, material place- here on a New Earth, not somewhere else in the Universe or another dimension; and we’ll have very real, new, perfect bodies of flesh and bone to live in this restored Paradise on Earth. (God will restore His Perfect Model- not recreate a totally different design). [Read/Watch Narnia Series]
Picking up: Jesus returned at the sound of the Trumpet, and took His beloved Church Home (the terrible times of God’s Wrath on the earth during the seven years of Tribulation have passed; the thousand years of the Millennium on the old earth are finished; the wicked have been judged, Satan and his demons dealt with, sin and death have been conquered and done away with)- Revelation 21:1: this includes the whole universe- All of Creation has been under the curse and will be made new; Romans 8:20-21. Question #1: Why no sea? Since the flood, the sea has been a place of division & destruction (thanks to the curse of sin). Scriptures don’t say there won’t be large, awesome bodies of water (Revelation 22:1-2)- Scriptures only say they will not be as the sea (perhaps meaning as large, or violent, or dividing). Revelation 21:2-3: Jesus comes down to live with us: HERE. Revelation 21:4: it’s amazing that science has yet to understand why the body doesn’t live forever (it has the ability to repair and refresh). On our New Earth- our new bodies will not deteriorate or be damaged; and there will be nothing in life that cause heart-break and pain and sorrow (as all pain is ultimately rooted from sin & evil); we will still have challenges, excitement, struggles… Question #2: If we will have no sorrow or pain, does that mean we will lose memory from our previous lives? Absolutely not! How could we possibly be who we are without our memories, experiences and friendships of the past? Romans 14:10-12 (sounds like we’ll have better memories than we have now!) Revelation 6:10. God the Father, Jesus and the Angels all have knowledge of bad things that have happened; they have knowledge of those who will not be with us in Heaven, and they are in Heaven. It’s not a memory loss that brings peace and joy, but a true understanding of God’s perspective on what happened and why (Romans 8:28); a true understanding of what sin and unrepentant hearts would do if brought to Heaven, knowing what God saved us from in His great love. Revelation 21:5-11: beautiful visual of the New City; the entire City glows from crystal jasper (clear). Revelation 21:12-22: these 12 stones were present on the “Breastplate of Judgment” worn by the High Priest in the Tabernacle and Temple; each stone represented a Tribe of Israel. The City is a perfect cube in shape (1400 miles)- (just like the dimensions of the Hoy of Holies or The Most Sacred Place where God dwelt among His People in ancient times; then the Law required only the High Priest could enter and only once a year on the Day of Atonement- then Christ came: Hebrews 9:23-26; 10:19-22: (foreshadowing of Scripture)- we are free to enter the Holy of Holies where God dwells for eternity, because of our Lord’s sacrifice.) The walls of the City are made of brilliant, transparent Jasper that are over 2/3 thickness of a football field. You would not be able to see the ends of it in either direction as they stretched for 1400 miles; the top would disappear into the clouds. It will sit on 12 giant, flat, foundational stones stacked upon each other, each with an Apostles name engraved (Foundation of the Gospel of Christ); each is inlaid with countless precious stones (a certain stone in each foundational platform). There will be three gates to enter on each wall (totaling 12) with the name of one of the Twelve Tribes on each. Each gate will be cut from either a single pearl or made literally from a pearl; and will open through over 200 feet of crystal-like Jasper, to a city made of pure gold. Revelation 21:12-22; Revelation 22:1-5: the City’s beautiful gemstones, walls of Jasper and buildings and streets of gold will be brilliantly reflected and lit up by the brightest, constant source of light in the universe: Jesus Christ. The clearest, cleanest, purest river of fresh water will flow from beneath Christ’s Throne- flowing down the center of the City as a symbol to all of the Water of Life at its source. Question #3: Will there be night and day in Heaven? Will there be seasons? Will there be time? Contrary to popular belief of 2 Peter 3:8 (this verse is talking about God having patience while waiting for more sinners to come to Him- stating that to an Eternal Being- waiting 1000 years in the scheme of things is as a day to Him); Revelation 10:5-6 (John was saying there will be no more delay: time for this age, for mercy are over). Revelation 6:9-11; Romans 8:1: things didn’t happen without knowledge of time passing; God is outside of and untouched by His Creation of time- but we are made within this Creation- to live this Creation; Revelation 22:2 (seasons); Revelation 21:23-25: the City has no need for sun or moon- because His Presence there is always light; the verse says their Gates will not close, because there is no night in the City- but God clearly shows times, seasons and the eternal presence of the sun, moon and stars to be seen and used by the rest of the earth. Isaiah 66:22-23; Psalm 89:35-37; Psalm 72:17: God is saying His moon and sun are as eternal as His name; the sun, moon and stars are a major and magnificent part of God’s Creation.
Every word in Scripture is there for a reason. He wants us to see how great His Love is for us; to get a small taste of the effort, and splendor God has put into this world for our indulgence; to see the magnitude of His creativity and power and beauty: so we would think about, imagine, anticipate the joy ahead.
Matthew 26:29. Doug issued a challenge for each of us to establish a memory peg in our mind to tie us to a future, anticipated time, to help us through hard times…