Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Revelation 21:10, 22-22:5 The City of God

KEY TEXT: Rev 21:10; 22:1-5 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… Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.

KEY THOT: Here the apostle John is given a vision of the inside of the city of God that will descend from heaven onto the new earth. Instead of a garden as in Eden 1.0, it’s a city in Eden 2.0. There is some similarities between Eden 1.0 and Eden 2.0: God’s physical presence, river flowing through it, the tree of life. Unlike Eden 1.0, there will be no tree of knowledge in Eden 2.0 as there will be no need to choose evil over good in the City of God. Also there will be no need for the sun or moon, for the Lord God will be their light and there will be no more night: “And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life" (Rev. 21:23-27).

It will be a City of Light and Glory and its gates will never be shut. Anyone whose name is in the Lamb’s book of life can enter and exit this city. In fact, the kings of the earth will bring their glorious gifts into the city. Outside the City of Light will be the new earth environment. 

Just as Eden 1.0 is a special environment where God’s presence was a palpable reality while outside was the old earth, so now the new Eden is a special environment where the Lamb and the Lord God will inhabit with his servants. Outside its gates will be the newly created earth with its new plant and life forms.

So Paul could say in1 Corinthians 2:9, "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.

And Richard Baxter wrote in his 17th century hymn: 

Come, Lord, when grace hath made me meet
Thy blessed face to see;
For if Thy work on earth be sweet
What will Thy glory be!

Indeed, we who do God's saving work on earth often catch a glimpse of God’s glory when the Spirit of glory comes in our midst to transform lives! May the glory and light of the City of God be reflected in our church and blind our hearts and minds to the counterfeit glory that the devil is offering us in this old earthly life. 

Thank You Jesus for preparing a place for us in Your glorious Kingdom where no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor mind conceive. No earthly city can ever compared to the City of God! Amen.

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