by Cooper P Abrams III
INTRODUCTION:   Shortly after I was saved Carolyn and I purchased land on a lake near Rocky Mount and built us a really nice home there. I was a beautiful place with lots of trees, somewhat secluded on a small peninsula. Our property was right on the water and had a 40 foot pier where I kept my boat tied. When I would get off work some days I would come home, grab a sandwich and go bass fishing. We both loved the place and it was special because we did a lot of the work ourselves. I told people I had my dream home I would live there till I died....and would be buried there. Well, in 1977 God called me to preach and Carolyn and I sold our home and when to Bible college. I was mistaken in it being my final home.
But I do have a home that is in the future that is indescribable and is eternal in the heavens. That is what God has promised to all of us.
2 Corinthians 5:1 says, "For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."
It is a place especially prepared by the Lord Jesus for those who will repent of their sins and believe on Him as their Savior.
John 14:1-3 "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."
Surely, it is a wonderful place and life that God has planned for us.
We reach the closing two chapters of the Book of Revelation. John has seen the present history of his time, and the saw how history would unfold from his day forward.
Revelation 1:19 "Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter"
History records the events of the past 2000 years and we have seen the accuracy of the John's prophecy. Now before us is the coming Rapture of all believers in this the Church Age, followed by the seven years of Tribulation on the earth. When the seven years are up the Lord will return with the OT and NT saints and will purge this earth of sinners. He then sets up His promised kingdom for the Jews and rules from Jerusalem for a 1000 years. Then there is the final rebellion of man, followed by the Great White Throne Judgment where all the unsaved, those who rejected God's offer of salvation will be judged and cast into the eternal lake of fire.
Then come the New Heavens and Earth. That is what I want to talk about this morning.
I. John's Vision of the New Heaven and Earth. Rev. 21:1-8
2. This present earth will pass away and radically changed.
3. This new earth will have no sea.
2. As the beautiful city descends to earth a loud voice out of heaven which announces the wonderful event in the history of God's creation.
3. This holy city will be the abode of the Old Testament saints.
The Tabernacle in the Old Testament was a visible sign of God's presence with Israel. Here the expression show the closeness of God to those He has saved throughout the ages.
2. Further it is to show the permanency of His presence with them.
2. It is sin that brought tears, death, sorrow, crying and pain. Now these destructive things will not longer plague us.
2. He promises to all who will believe to give them the "water of life." This is not just life, but eternal life, the full and wonderful life God wants for each of us. V6
3. V7 This is not a statement of how one is saved. Ephesians 2:8-9 and other passage clearly state salvation is not merited, earned by works, but is freely given by God's grace to all who will believe and receive it. Here the statement is talking about those that do believe who shall inherit all these things God has for the believer.
4. The relationship is referred to as the relationship between a father and son.
5. Further verse 8, the Lord gives a warning and makes it clear that those who do not believe and those who practice sin without repentance will have their part in the Lake of Fire...which is the second death.
2. The term "wife" is well used, because biblically the role of the wife is to serve her husband in carrying our hit duties and work. The wife is the "help meet" to her husband assisting Him in the ruling and leading His people.
2. It has the Glory of God. The city is bathed in a brilliant light, the SHEKINAH glory of God, which is described as a jasper stone which has a watery crystalline brightness. V11
3. Jerusalem is always associated with Israel and is here described as having a great high wall surrounding it and having twelve gates named after the twelve tribes of Israel. Each gate is attended by an angel. V12
4. The city is a square with three gates each on each of its four sides. V13
5. The foundations of the walls have twelve foundations which have in them the names of the twelve Apostles. V14
6. The which was showing this to John had a golden reed which was used to measure the city. The city measured 12,000 furlongs which converts into 1500 miles. It is not clear, but it seems to be saying that the city is a cube 1500 miles on every side. A furlong is 1720 yards and therefore 12000 furlongs would be 1500 miles. V16
7. The wall measures 216 feet high. (144 cubits.) and was like clear jasper. The city is made of pure gold like unto glass. The city will shine as the sun does when it is setting and the reflection of its beams will be like thousands of panes of glass. V17-18
8. The foundation of the walls are garnished with all types of precious stones which are listed. V19-20
9. The twelve gates of the city are twelve pearls, and streets are of pure gold that is transparent like glass. V21 We might think that if the gate was a solid pearl then how would we enter the city. Folks...we will be like Jesus, with a glorified body that is not subject to material restrictions as we are now. Jesus appeared in the midst of the disciples in the upper room and then left not using any door. We will apparently just move right through this pearl gate.
2. There is not need of the sun or moon as the glory of God lights the place. The Bible says that Jesus is the light of the world. Jesus' statement in John 8:12 "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life" has a two fold meaning. He is the light that directs us today in this life and will be the light of our heavenly home also.
3. Verse 24 is very interesting. It states that the nations of saved people will walk in the light of this city. To be a nation means that there are different groups in heaven which will make up different nations of people. Further it tells us these nations will have kings and they will bring glory and honor to the New Jerusalem. They will walk in the splendor of this wonderful city.
We are not told much about our service to the Lord in heaven, but surely we will be actively serving him in various capacities. Jesus used the parable of the talents saying that various and differing gifts and abilities are given to men. Those that use them are greatly rewarded.
1 Corinthians 3:10-15 says all believers in this age will be judged at the BEMA judgment and rewarded for our lives that are lived for the Lord. Verse 15 says there will be those there who will receive no reward....they are saved, but they do not live their lives for the Lord and they will ....suffer lost. I believe God is tell us that some will greater opportunities of service because the kings are Christians saved during this the Age of the Institution of the Church.
2. I believe the statement "neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie" is a direct reference to the false teachers, cults, churches and false religions that are based on a lie. Only those who come to God His way will be there. Only those who by faith believed and received Jesus Christ as their Savior will be in heaven. The world's religions, and even many Christian religions teach that we are all working to go to the same place and there are many ways to God.
3. That dear friends is a lie...it is the lie that is noted here.
1 John 4:3 makes it even clearer...."And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of Antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world."
Many deny the deity of Jesus Christ, many churches claim you must to sacraments, rituals and good works in order to be saved. Some claim that baptism and the Lord's supper are necessary for salvation. They all are liars....because God says they are.
Salvation is in finished work of Jesus Christ on the Cross. Folks when He said "It is finished" the payment for salvation was done for all eternity. We cannot add to it our works.
Do you know why I make such a point of emphasizing this? Because what a terrible tragedy it will be for so many who think they will be good enough to get to heaven, for those who are working so hard following their false churches, to die and wake up in Hades!
God is love and He made salvation simple because we cannot save ourselves. It is the highest and most serious insult on earth for a man in his own thinking to elevate himself to the place of Jesus Christ...saying he can merit or earn salvation.
God is telling us about this wonderful place He has prepared for us because he wants us to be their with Him. Often as Carolyn and I visited various places and express to each other how we wished our grandson and family could see it too.
We cannot imagine how wonderful all this will be .....
1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
Everyone here this morning can be there....if you will believe and put your trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior.