Summary: Sometimes I feel like we are a generation endlessly staring at the screen, watching movies and tv shows, and series, applauding at the entertainment.
"The Danish philosopher, Kierkegaard, tells a parable of a theater where a variety show is proceeding. Each show is more fantastic than the last, and is applauded by the audience. Suddenly the manager comes forward. He apologizes for the interruption, but the theater is on fire, and he begs his patrons to leave in an orderly fashion. The audience think this is the most amusing turn of the evening, and cheer thunderously. The manager again implores them to leave the burning building, and he is again applauded vigorously. At last he can do no more. The fire raced through the whole building and the fun-loving audience with it. "And so," concluded Kierkegaard, "will our age, I sometimes think, go down in fiery destruction to the applause of a crowded house of cheering spectators." -Resource, July/August, 1990.
Sometimes I feel like we are a generation endlessly staring at the screen, watching movies and tv shows, and series, applauding at the entertainment. And the preacher is the one calling out to us like the manager of the movie house, “Run, the house is on fire!” But everyone thinks its part of the show.
How distracted we are, how often we can’t seem to focus clearly on what is actually real. So we entertain ourselves instead.
But the truth is judgment is coming, and this city is destined for destruction. We have to wake up and realize that God will return, and all will be changed. And if we simply live in the ways of the world, we will be destroyed too. We will never live in paradise, if we don’t turn to Jesus. Time is running out.
Jesus said, “7 “Look, I am coming soon! Blessed are those who obey the words of prophecy written in this book.”
We’ve been studying the saga of the return of Jesus at the end of the book of Revelation. Today we consider the last chapter of the last book of the Bible, revelation 22.
Jesus said, “12 “Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”
The king of kings is returning soon. And he will reign on the Earth. Last week we talked about the New Heavens and the New Earth, and the New City of Peace. Today we reflect on the tree of life and the river that flows from the throne of God. The river flows through the city of the New Jerusalem. Many cities are built around rivers, rivers are sources of travel, and of electricity and commerce. It seems fitting that the eternal city has a river running through it. It says in Revelation 22:1-6:
“Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit,[a] with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations.”
Absolutely astonishing. The tree of life, the fountain of youth you might call it, is there, at the center of the city. The same tree of life that Adam and Eve ate from in the garden of Eden. Wow. Eternal life, to live forever, is the dream of every person who lives isn’t it? As we grow older we wish we could escape death. And there is only one way to have that, Jesus Christ. This river flows from the throne of God, and through the city. The river is the water of life. Who gave us the water of life? Jesus Christ. Jesus is the water of life, that makes us pure.
So apparently we’ll eat from this giant tree of life, each month, twelve different crops of fruit it produced each month. I’m assuming eating from it is what sustains eternal life in our bodies then. Once a month pill, fruit from the tree of life, once a month, to live forever.
And the leaves of the tree of life were used as medicine to heal the nations. I wonder what that means? The New Jerusalem is a picture of a jewish city in a way, a new Jerusalem, perhaps across the New Earth other cities will be developed, of gentiles. I’m not certain. Leaves to heal the nations. Medicine to heal. Fascinating.
In contrast, right now, we are under several difficult realities in the world. The law of death is at work, all people grow old, and die. We suffer from various forms of illness and brokenness in our bodies, back pain, arthritis, organ failure. Those realities will no longer exist in this perfect reality.