Summary: I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. – Revelation 21:2
I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. – Revelation 21:2
Early believers in the Lord had a great vision and burden for heaven and that perfect holy city that was to come. It was taught and believed that the coming life in heaven was so beautiful and incorruptible that it was worth suffering and forsaking the present world as dross. The book of Hebrews speaks of a people who live by faith who were seeking a heavenly city, “they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one” (Hebrews 11:16). Do we have that same vision today as believers? The affluence that is available to many in the world far surpasses societies before us. Many people live as kings on this earth now not realizing the great privileges they have. The focus of the early Church was not on comfort but combat, they were at war with the desires of the flesh and the dangers of money (1 Timothy 6:9). The exhortation of Paul the Apostle to the believers in Colosse is simple: “Set your minds on things above” (Colossians 3:2). Do you see Christ at the right hand of God, do you see the city prepared for you? What sin, allurement and worldly fascination would keep you then from such a prize, such a heaven? Do you have a longing in your heart for that city right now or are you content with this present world and life?
St. Clement of Rome said in A.D. 100, “Look upon all the things of this world, as none of ours, and not desire them. This world and that to come are two enemies. We cannot, therefore, be friends to both; but we must resolve which we would forsake, and which we would enjoy. And we think, that it is better to hate the present things, as little, short-lived, and corruptible; and to love those which are to come, which are truly good and incorruptible. Let us contend with all earnestness, knowing that we are now called to the combat. Let us run in the straight road, the race that is incorruptible.” The cultural Christianity if our day speaks for us to enjoy this world as if God’s intention is for us to be full of pleasure and happiness now. The concept of the people of God as a pilgrim people (1 Peter 2:11) just passing through this world is not something most believers consider right thinking. The Scriptures tell us to avoid the pleasures of this world, to not over-indulge, to say no to the passions of the flesh and to be weary of amassing great amounts of wealth. The Church can invest and see things built on this earth that will serve others and help others, but still the heart of the Church must realize that this is not our home. Our Lord taught us that he who is faithful in small things will be faithful with much. The Church has been given a deposit to be faithful with on this earth, our Lord gave the example of a life that denied the evil desires of this world and served the poor, lowly and despised.