Summary: “And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal” John 21:10-11.
Theme: Prepare for the heavenly city
Text: Acts 16:9-15; Rev. 21:1-12; Jn. 14:23-29
Adam and Eve began life in a perfect home and could rightly say “A man’s home is his castle”. When man sinned it affected all creation and he lost his perfect home in the Garden of Eden. However, within every human heart remains the desire for such a home. Many people, however, now have the wrong idea about the place they can call home. They still see the earth as being their home but the truth is they are calling the wrong place home. Believers who have put their faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord know that they are pilgrims on earth on their way home. They understand they have lost their home in the Garden of Eden and that God has prepared a new home for them. Christ paid the price for our sin and restoration and has prepared another home for us called the heavenly city. The heavenly city has more to offer and is worth more than anything we can ever dream of.
God has prepared a heavenly city for those who believe in Him. By faith Abraham looked forward to living there. According to the writer of Hebrews in 11:9-10, “By faith Abraham went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God”. The Old Testament saints did not receive God’s promises but saw them by faith, embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
God reigns in the heavenly city He has prepared and His desire is to reign in the hearts of those who believe in Him. Everywhere God reigns He is praised and worshipped. We declare this whenever we say the words of the Lord’s Prayer “Our Father who art in heaven. Hallowed be thy name. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. Why would we not worship Him? He has not only saved us and made us righteous but has also prepared a new heaven and a new earth for us, a holy city, the New Jerusalem.We cannot truly praise and worship God and not do His will. When we are sincere in our praise and worship we will accept that doing His will is the best thing that can ever happen to us. In the Holy city where His will is done everything is perfect. When we do His will we will dwell with him as His people. He will wipe away every tear from our eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
At Creation God prepared a perfect home for man. He gave man dominion over all creation to safeguard that perfect home. He had dominion over the serpent but was deceived and lost his home and his god given dominion. Satan believed he had won an important victory because God had given authority to man and only a man could restore that authority and man was no longer in a position to exercise that authority. This seemed impossible because in Adam all have sinned. The devil did not reckon that God would become a man, live a sinless life and be offered up as a sacrifice to pay the penalty for sin. On the Cross Christ shed His blood to pay the penalty for sin. “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive”. Christ has purchased us with His blood and when we confess Him as our Saviour and Lord we are made spiritually alive and become God’s beloved children.
Salvation is necessary to enter the heavenly city and salvation is attained by believing what Christ has done on your behalf through His suffering, death and resurrection. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God” Eph. 2:8. Salvation imputes to every believer the righteousness of God. When Christ is made sin with our sinfulness, we are made righteous with His righteousness. Our spirit is recreated righteous for the Holy Spirit to dwell in. We are a spirit being, we possess a soul and we live in a body. At salvation our spirit is made perfect and the evidence is that the Holy Spirit can now come and live in our spirits. When we allow the Holy Spirit to rule our life He influences the soul and the body by renewing our mind. A renewed mind thinks and acts in accordance with the Word of God. We can only renew our mind when we know the word of God especially because before salvation we had always acted contrary to the Word of God.