Summary: Our city throws out a portrait to all who visit her. They can see and observe what values we live by. So what do they see?
God’s Glow In the City?
Thesis: Our city throws out a portrait to all who visit her. They can see and observe what values we live by. So what do they see?
Texts: Rev. 21:23,24 “The 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. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings on the earth will bring their splendor into it.”
Rev. 22:4,5 “ They will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.”
Introduction: This portrait in Revelation 21,22 is a portrait of the New Jerusalem a Holy City. It describes the city where God dwells. Moore notes this about cities:
Every city has certain unique characteristics. These indicators give away a lot of information about the cities inhabitants. For instance, The fact that New York City has over 40,000 licensed taxi drivers and nearly 12,000 operating taxicabs tells us that a large number of that cities residents are heavily dependent on public transportation. When I lived in Louisville, I saw many more kid’s soccer fields, and far fewer kid’s baseball fields, then I see here in Pine Bluff – an indication of the sport of choice for the majority of young people in each of the two cities. The presence and proliferation of adult bookstores, strip clubs, and so forth can be an indication of the prevailing moral attitudes of the community’s residents”(1).
In Pittsburgh where I grew up it was a dirty city – lots of smog and filth. The cities rivers where smelly and dirty in color. This reflected that at this point in history it was a steel city and the home of Blue Collar workers. Since I left the steel mills have closed and the city has changed dramatically into a White collar city. The city today is very clean and well maintained. A few years back it won the most beautiful city of the year award.
Chicago was different than Pittsburgh. It had a clean city and reflected a city of White collar workers (The downtown area). There where many malls and fancy restaurants. Many people drove BMW’s, sports cars, Audi’s, Mercedes and dressed like yuppies. It was a fast paced city with everybody going a mile a minute. I use to remember when we would come back to Chicago how the traffic speed up. There was a rush to be somewhere. I’m not sure if anyone knew where somewhere was? The prevailing mindset you see is if you want to be successful be busy as a bee. You ask how someone was doing and they say “I am so busy!”
You have Somerset with its Rock festivals, and tubing center, and strip joints and party places and dance clubs all telling us something about those who live there.
Amery is different than Chicago. We have a lot of weekend lake home people. We have a lot of tourists in the summer time. Life is at a slower pace than in Chicago. The town is relaxed and friendly. Yet there is Soo line park, Uncle Bobs which paints us another portrait of Amery. Share about the all night prayer meeting and observations on county. The county has one of the highest suicide rate in the state. It also has a high rate of divorce, poverty, high rate of drug addiction. All these characteristics tell us something about our city. We have many bars packed on the weekends. (Share about walking around Uncle Bob’s seven times at the prayer meeting).
We have new construction in the city which portrays the another characteristic of the town. All these indicators put off a glow as to what the residents in the city are like.
In Revelation 21 and 22 we learn about the residents of the Holy City. Revelation 21;10 states, “And in the spirit he carried me away to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God.”
Moore makes this observation that I would like to expand on today,
“In the verses that follow (Revelation 21 and 22), John describes the unique characteristics of that holy city. Now, the promise of Revelation is that, if you’re a believer (i.e. in the language of Revelation, you have had your “robe washed in the blood of the Lamb”), you will someday inhabit that holy heavenly city in the New Heaven!”
One of the premises of …Revelation… is that people can experience a foretaste of the future blessings of God today. In most cases it’s not possible to experience the full blessings spoken of in the future, today. We only catch glimpses of what it will really be like from books such as Revelation. But God gave us Revelation to get a glimpse of who He is. We see his attributes and character traits through out the vision John received. This vision is given to us today so that we could start to pursue the character traits of the Lord. We need to seek after the values that the Lord holds as attributes to the Holy cities residents.