Summary: 19th in a series on the wonder of God as our loving Father. This message continues the discussion of heaven as our inheritance.
“The Reward & Inheritance Factor -- Heaven” Pt 5
(The Fatherhood of God Message 19)
X. The Reward and Inheritance Factor
We inherit our Dad’s riches and resources
A. PRESENT AND FUTURE REWARD
B. FUTURE INHERITANCE
C. INTERMEDIATE HOME
D. RENEWED HEAVEN AND EARTH
Rev 21& 22
1. The physical aspects of life on the new earth
a) General Observations
There are a few things to establish that will open our Biblically directed minds and imaginations to a whole new way of thinking. The new heaven and earth is a literal physical place. The New Jerusalem, Zion, the Holy City will come “down” and take its permanent place on the physically renewed Earth under the physically renewed Heavens. Our eternal destiny is not some unfamiliar immaterial dimension where we float around in immaterial bodies in an immaterial universe doing unfamiliar activities in a world where time and space no longer exist.
The very nature of the word “world” demands a space dimension. If you have space you have to have time. The culmination of God’s eternal plan includes resurrected lives in a resurrected body on a resurrected earth engaging in resurrected relationships enjoying a resurrected home and culture with the resurrected Jesus employing resurrected gifting for the glory of God.
It will be a time when EVERYONE perfectly fulfills the admonition to glorify God in EVEYTHING.
Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31
The present heaven is only the temporary transportation terminal awaiting our ultimate journey home.
Note: See heaven perception chart at the end of notes.
b) THE CAPITAL CITY – THE NEW JERUSALEM
Revelation reveals a number of physical characteristics will find on the Renewed Earth by its description of the New Jerusalem which comes “down” out of heaven and permanently locates on the Renewed Earth. This is the eternal capital city, Zion the City of God located on a renewed and restored earth. It is where God has chosen to eternally dwell among men. (Mentioned 15 times in Rev 21-22)
John describes a city of great beauty. He describes a city with measurable dimensions.
He catalogs many recognizable elements: trees, rivers, streets, throne, fruit trees, people, angels, jewels, stones, gates, walls, lights. We might expect the same characteristics of cities on earth; people; activity, education, arts, culture, government, social events, homes, buildings, shops, roads, eating places. All this without pollution, crime, greed, selfish ambition, prostitution, McDonalds, garbage, trash, decay, dilapidation.
An angel measures its size. Why discuss measurement if the city has no actual physical significance? The angel measures a city of 1,400 miles in length, width, and height. A city of this size dropped in the middle of the United Sates would reach from Canada to Mexico and from the Appalachian Mountains to the California border. This calculates into about two million square miles. If you consider the height aspect, the city could contain some 600,000 twelve foot stories. Obviously the capital city has plenty of room for God's people. Jesus' description of his father's house containing many “rooms” triggers some interesting thoughts in light of the enormity of this city. John describes both architecture and natural wonders. A river of crystal clear water flows from the throne. Where there are rivers, you also must have lakes and oceans.
Lining the banks of the river are the trees of life. It is like a natural park. Since the tree of life is described being on both sides of the river it is logical to assume that there is more than one tree.
The trees of life bear a different fruit every month and its leaves provide healing for the nations.
It is easy to think of the tree of life in spiritual terms when in reality it may actually have physiological significance. The fruit and leaves from these trees may actually have physically regenerative and life-sustaining properties. What other reason would God have to keep man from eating that particular fruit from the garden? We will continually be dependent on the life-sustaining provision of God through eternity.
There are most likely other natural wonders. John was taken to a “high mountain”. Perhaps we will see waterfalls that outshine Niagara Falls or new and exotic plants and flowers our Mountains that tower over Mount Everest. With our renewed bodies perhaps we will be able to see dimensions of flowers and plants and animals we never saw before. Familiar yet new.
God’s original creation was perfect. He planted the original garden in which Adam and Eve walked. Why not restore the earth back to its original perfection? The capital city contains both elements of nature and architecture. John describes a 300 foot walls delineating the city of God.
The walls seemed to be inlaid with 12 varieties of precious stones. The streets themselves are made of pure gold almost transparent. There are 12 gates entering the city made of material from a single pearl.