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Transcript: Welcome to “5 Minutes with Pastor Lutzer.” Thanks for joining me again and today we come to the end of a very long series, entitled, “The King is Coming.” If you missed any of the episodes, I hope that you go back to the beginning. We’ve tried to put them in some kind of chronological order. These are all events in which you and I are going to participate. The future is coming and for believers, it is glorious.
Well, today, we continue our study of the New Jerusalem. And I want to point out that it says in verses 11-13 of Revelation chapter 21 that it is a cube, of course, as we’ve noticed last time, but it has 12 gates, which represent the twelve tribes of Israel and it has 12 foundation stones, representing the twelve apostles. In the New Jerusalem you have the beginning of God’s eternal program bringing Jew and Gentile together in His presence forever and ever.
Now as we think about this we know that the Bible goes on to speak about the streets of Heaven—streets of Gold and so forth and it’s described and you have to understand that John here is grasping for analogies. He goes through and he mentions all kinds of very precious stones and he is saying, in his mind, “As I saw this vision, this is the only way in which I can describe it.” But, of course, it is much more beautiful in reality than human language could ever possibly describe.
I emphasized last time that a cube represents the Holy of Holies and the very dwelling place of God is where we are going to be forever, in fellowship with the Almighty. Think of what that is going to be like. As Jonathan Edwards, the great theologian, says, “We’ll be studying and thinking about God forever because the ideas of God go on for all of eternity.” What an experience we’re going to have.
Now very quickly you’ll notice that it says that the streets are going to be paved with gold and we have to understand that for us streets are always horizontal. But remember the Bible says that our bodies shall be transformed like onto His glorious body. What that means is we’d be able to travel also vertically. We will be able to go wherever we want to go. If you’re in the 95th floor of the New Jerusalem and all the activity is on the downstairs lounge, all that you have to do is to choose to be there and you will be there. Just like Jesus; He can be in Galilee after the resurrection with His glorious body and then He can be in Jerusalem, and He can travel through space very quickly. That’s the way our bodies are going to be.
Now the question is what else is going to be there in the new Jerusalem? It says in verse 24, “The kings of the earth shall bring their glory into it.” In those days when a king was defeated, he would take off his crown and he would give it to the victor and here you have a vision of all the kings of the earth who are there taking off their crowns and giving all of them to King Jesus.
What about our health? We all like to eat, don’t we? Some more than others. Chapter 22—and I hope that you take time to read all of these texts on your own—but chapter 22, “He showed me the pure river of the water of life. And a tree that bears twelve manner of fruits every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.” Why would we need healing and why would we need fruit in the heavenly city? Not in order to live because our bodies will not need anything to sustain them but for sheer enjoyment—just to enjoy the presence of God. And really it is paradise reconstituted. You remember Adam and Eve? They were in the garden and there was the tree of life. Thankfully they didn’t eat it after they sinned or they would been permanently in a sinful state, so God prevented that. But here we have the tree of life. God is going to say to us, “Eat all of its fruit. Enjoy it.”
What are we going to be doing? Well the Bible says and, of course, you can read it here for yourself that we are going to be serving Him, worshipping Him. His name shall be on our foreheads and we shall reign with Him forever and ever. Imagine that. Sitting on the throne with Jesus. You say how big is the throne of Jesus? I don’t know but it’s big enough to accommodate all believers. “He who overcomes, to him I shall grant to sit with me on my throne, even as I overcame and sat with my Father on His throne.” We’re going to be given responsibility in heaven. It’s not going to be one endless church service beginning with hymn number one in the hymnals, singing all the way through, and then beginning again. No. It’s going to be a time of glorious service and worship forever.
Now very quickly you’ll notice that the Bible begins in a garden but it ends in a city. Why does it end in a city? Because a city is a place where there are many common places. And, you know, if you have a common place, that’s where people meet each other. I really do believe—and I know that this deserves a longer discussion—that we are going to be doing life together. In the presence of God in the presence of Christ. Ruling yes, serving yes, forever and ever.
Now the Bible does say that the gates of this city will not be closed. You’ll be able to go in and out but on the outskirts there are going to be some people who are described here as those who are unbelievers, liars, the immoral. They will not be invited into the heavenly city. Let me ask you a question? Are you going to be there? Do you have the assurance that you are going to be there? Because you have trusted in Jesus Christ as your Savior and He will welcome you into everlasting habitations? I love to tell the story about a little girl. Her mother read to her out of a book about how beautiful Jesus was. And the next day the little girl said, “You know, I dreamed about Jesus and He is so much better than the pictures!” Read Revelation chapter 21-22. Familiarize yourself with your eternal home and remember this: It’ll be so much better than the pictures.
I want to thank you so much for joining us for this series. Next time, I’m going to begin a new series but as for today, well, you just go with God.