KEY TEXT: Revelation 22:1-5 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: Inside the City of God is the river of the water of life, flowing from the throne of God in the midst of the City. Whoever drinks of this water will be refreshed from God's life. Jesus alluded to this eternal river when he told the Samaritan woman at the well, "Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty forever. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." And when this sinful Old World Order is replaced by God's New World Order, we will be enjoying God's presence in His city and will live and reign with Him forever. What a glorious prospect! If we invest our lives only in this Old World Order, we will regret when we are shut out of this City of God.
On either side of this river are trees that yield twelve kind of fruits every month. And the leaves of these trees are for the healing of the nations. There will be no night because the Lord God will be our light. We will see God's face and his name will be etched into our foreheads. So will this be our ultimate destiny. With our new spiritual and immortal bodies, we will explore the new heavens and new earth. There will be plenty to do, to see and to create. Lives will not be boring but exciting. We won't be sitting on the clouds with harps everyday, doing nothing but only singing. There is a new world to explore. And with our new bodies, travel will be easy and instantaneous--just as Jesus did with his resurrected body.
I was talking to a young pre-believing teenage girl about eternal life the other day. She asked me: "Why would anyone want to live forever?" My answer is: "If there is no God in your life, there is no reason why you want to live forever. But if God is in you, life is exciting and there is so much to live for. And there is so much we want to do! Living forever means loving and serving God forever!" But if we don't start enjoying God now, we will probably share the same pessimism as the young girl: Why does anyone want to live forever?
Richard Baxter wrote this famous line in his hymn (Lord It Belongs Not to My Care): "For if Thy work on earth be sweet, what will Thy glory be!" If you find life on earth boring now, perhaps, you are not living for God but for yourself. Or worse, maybe you don't even know the Lord Jesus Christ. But if God is in us, life on earth is sweet. And God promises us even more in the new heaven and new earth.
- Matthew 7:21-23 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'
If serving God is a burden to us now, why would we want to live forever? In fact, the prospect of living forever in the City of God heaven may be a daunting prospect, not a joyous one. But if you have tasted a little of God's goodness here, you will look forward to the full glory--to live in God's presence and serve Him forever and ever in the City of Light!
Abba Father, what a glorious future awaits those who love and trust in You! The new House You have prepared for Your children is indeed worth all our sacrifices here on earth. Even our sacrifices are not burdensome but sweet. Amen.