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Summary: EASTER 6(C) - Believers look forward to the New Jerusalem because the gates are open and God’s glory shines in it.

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BELIEVERS LOOK TO THE NEW JERUSALEM

REVELATION 21:10—14, 22, 23 MAY 25, 2003

REVELATION 21:10-14, 22,23

10And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. 11It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. 12It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. 13There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west. 14The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. ...

22I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.

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Dearest Fellow-Redeemed and Saints in the Lord:

John once again gets to see a vision of what heaven is going to be like. He describes it as the New Jerusalem. John thought he was going to spend the rest of his life on the island of Patmos in exile, a lonely man, yet God gave him great things to see and to do. During the past few weeks we have heard about those things…how the Lamb is at the center of the throne, how the living creatures and the beasts and the angels and the saints all bow down to worship the Lamb at the center of the throne, and how all things are going to be changed…the list goes on and on. When we think of all things being changed, we sometimes think this life changes quickly. It changes too often; sometimes so much so that we can’t keep up or at least we think.

Then we have the blessed assurance that the last change that takes place is that we are taken to heaven. We have the blessed assurance that no matter the changes that take place, whether we can keep up or not, certainly one thing is sure. That is our salvation. Our salvation is described as a product of our faith. "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.” (HEBREWS 11:1,2) He’s saying the Old Testament people looked ahead to the Messiah who was to come and Jesus came. You and I, in the New Testament times look ahead to the Jesus who is to come again, not as Savior, but as a Righteous Judge. That is what we are certain of. That is what we are sure of. In essence, as John describes it for us this morning, we look forward to the New Jerusalem. We use this as our theme.

BELIEVERS LOOK TO THE NEW JERUSALEM

I. The gates are open

II. God’s glory shines in it

I. The gates are open

We have seen and discussed some of the visions that John got to see. Here, once again, we are given a description of what is going to take place. 10And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. We’re told that John was given ‘insight’ into what heaven was going to be like. He says ‘carried away in the Spirit’. He was, in a sense, given special understanding in order to write down these words so that you and I would be able to study them today. John’s insight was given to write down these words in order that they would encourage the believers of the day. We get the picture of him figuratively being taken to the top of a great and high mountain. He is there because the vision he’s going to see and the sight he’s going to see cannot be contained by earthly parameters. It is too great to be contained. He now describes this vision. It is the New Jerusalem coming down from heaven. Jerusalem was a good-sized city. What does he see? What he describes for us is described in very concrete terms. 12It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. In Biblical times the walls had only one purpose and that was to protect it’s people from those who were their enemies. We’re told this New Jerusalem had great high walls. The people are no longer in need of protection in heaven are they? The great high walls certainly reminded them of the security they had inside the walls at the throne at the Lamb of God.


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