Summary: # 6 in series on Eternity. To gain an appreciation for just how marvelous Heaven will be we must understand the city that will be its capital.
“Eternity: What Awaits After Death”
Sermon # 6
“Life In The Heavenly City”
There is within every human heart a desire for home, this desire for home can only partially be fulfilled in the present. Someday we who have by faith believed in Jesus Christ as our Savior, are going home. As C.S. Lewis said, “If nothing in this world satisfies me, perhaps it is because I was made for another world.”
Jesus assured his disciples in John 14, verses one through three, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. (2) In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (3) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”
For over two thousand years God Himself has building a city. In Revelation chapters 21 and 22 John uses the term “city” – eleven times to refer to Heaven. But this is not just a figure of speech. The writer of Hebrews wrote, Hebrews 11:13-14,16 “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. (14) For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland…. (16) But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.”
This morning I want to take you on a brief walking tour of Heaven. I have just two more messages I want to preach, to complete our series on Heaven, next week we will examine, “But What About the Children” and we will complete our series the following week with, “Living in the Light of Eternity.” We could have spent many months on the study of Eternity and I still would not have answered all your questions. I will tell you, that this has been a learning experience for this preacher and it has forced me to think through my own concept of Heaven. I want to commend a couple of books to you if you want more information. Randy Alcorn who is known for his fictional works, many of which touch on the topic of Heaven, has written two non-fiction works. First in his book “In the Light of Eternity” he has written a small concise work on questions concerning Heaven. In the other simply entitled “Heaven,” he has written a comprehensive examination of Heaven as it is revealed in the Bible. And while I do not agree with all his conclusions both books are worth reading.
Our most detailed description of Heaven is found in Revelation chapters 21 and 22. Turn with me to Revelation 21:1-4.
“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. (2) Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. (3) And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. (4) And 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.”
To gain an appreciation for just how marvelous Heaven will be we need to understand the nature and dimension of the city that will be its capital. The New Jerusalem is the crown jewel of the new creation of God. The New Jerusalem is not all of Heaven, but it is the capital city of Heaven.
There are three things I want us to notice about our new Heavenly Home. Let’s imagine that we are standing on a vast plain, with the heavenly city towering over us in resplendent beauty. The very first thing that is going to strike our consciousness is the sheer immense-ness of this city.
First, The Dimensions of the City (vv. 15-17)
“And he who talked with me had a gold reed to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. (16) The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed: twelve thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal. (17) Then he measured its wall: one hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel.”