THE NEW JERUSALEM, THE CITY OF GOD
IT’S CITIZENS AND PROVISIONS
Key Word – “responsibilites – believers”
In our last study we had been examining the six things said about the citizens of the new heavens and earth. We had considered 3 of the six and will today examine the 4th, 5th and 6th things said about the citizens of new heavens and earth which are important to believers.
Before we get into the Revelation study, I would like to give some hope and help to those who are experiencing fear and discouragement because of the virus. For that help we will turn to Psalm 4: 1-8.
Perhaps you have heard the name Eppie Lederer who received fame through writing an advice for hundreds of North American newspapers. She used the pen name of Ann Landers. Millions of people sought her advice on just about any subject you can think of.
Eppie is quoted as saying, “If I were asked to give what I consider the single most useful bit of advice for all humanity it would be this: Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life…”
It is a fact that trouble never ceases in this earthly life. Right now, for many, their expectation is that the virus will never end, and they are experiencing great fear and lack of trust in our eternal God. However, no matter what we may think God is STILL ON THE THRONE and he knows exactly what you are experiencing, and He has unlimited help for you if you will talk to Him (pray). Remember, God has promised [and He can’t lie] so why not trust Him? The Apostle Paul has given us some important information about our God, listen closely to the Bible:
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13)
But Paul didn’t stop there, he had a wonderful promise a little later in Philippians 4. Listen carefully again:
“But my God shall supply ALL your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
Now let’s listen to some principles of help from Psalm 4 and how to get relief from adverse circumstances [the virus]. Often folks say they want God’s help but forget that they have some responsibilities in order to get the blessings they want from God. Think about the following outline:
1. Call upon the God of righteousness. Good Question, are you living a righteous life or living just as you want and complain, complain, complain? How can you realistically expect to hear from God with unconfessed sin in your life? In any event if you are truly saved and attempting to live like you should then go to the God who loves you and ask for help:
a. Ask for relief from distress. (Psalm 4:1)
b. Ask for mercy. (Psalm 4:1)
c. Ask to hear and answer your prayer. (Psalm 4:1)
2. You must call upon God and repent for any unconfessed sin. (see Psalm 4:2-4; I John 1:8-10) Jesus clearly said “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15) Are you living in obedience to the commands of God? If so, go without fear to God with your concerns, cares and fears and He will hear you.
Now let’s move back into Revelation 21 and the fourth thing said about the citizens of the New heavens and earth.
4. The citizens will have constant, unbroken access to God (v. 25).
The gates are NEVER closed and there is no night in the spiritual world. There is always perfect access into the presence of God, and there is no need for sleep or rest. We will have perfect bodies with perfect strength.
In addition, the Holy Spirit will fill us to the fullest. The Holy Spirit will give us a perfect knowledge and consciousness of God’s presence. He will focus our hearts and minds upon God in a constant, unbroken worship. He will give us an unbroken fellowship and communion and worship with God.
NOTE: In the new heavens and earth, no matter what work and service we may be doing for Christ, our minds and hearts will be conscious of God’s presence. Every thought of our mind will be a righteous and pure thought, a thought that is either upon God Himself or upon something that has to do with our daily lives (like our service and work or fellowship with other believers), a thought that will PLEASE GOD.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 – “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnel, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”
Philippians 4:8 – “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virture, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
Isaiah 26:3 – “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”
5. Believers will bring the glory and honor of their nations into (eis auten) the city. This is a continuation of what was said earlier (point three).
NOTE: This shows that believers are the kings being spoken about, that believers will be coming from various rules or nations to bring the glory of their nations to God (Revelation 21:24).
Again, the picture seems to be periodic celebrations of great worship. There will certainly be times when all believers come together from the corners of heaven (the spiritual world or universe) in a great celebration of worship. We would Think that the Marriage Supper of the Lamb will not be the only time we will all be brought together to worship our precious Lord.
NOTE AGAIN: Scripture says that as Kings we enter “into” the city. It is as though we are coming from the far reaches of the spiritual world from which we bring the honor of our nations to God and Christ. But we must also repeat whatever the case—it is the spiritual world from which we bring the honor or our nations to God and Christ. But we must also repeat whatever the case—wherever we are coming from—our minds could never imagine the glory and the majesty of what will really happen.
6. Believers will be quaranteed a perfect life and service. Believers never have to worry about heaven being imperfect or defiled.
God is not going to let an imperfect person into heaven, no matter who he is. He is not going to let heaven become contaminated with a single sin.
NOTE AGAIN: Heaven will always be heaven—perfect, absolutely perfect. No person who has ever sinned (all men, Romans 3:23) will ever enter the city, not until the person, in this life, accepts the cleansing of Jesus Christ (John 3:16).
- Unless a person accepts the cleansing of Jesus Christ, he is quilty of sin.
- He stills bears his own sin and the pollution of it.
- Therefore, if God let the polluted person into the heavenly city, the person would contaminate heaven.
- Heaven could no longer be perfect, clean or pure.
- Therefore, God will always keep out any person…
- who defiles (is unwashed from his sin).
- who does what is shameful (immoral things).
- who lies or deceives.
The ONLY person accepted into the heavenly city are those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life (Revelation 21:27). The person who accepts the sacrifice of the Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ, for his sins—that person will know his name is written in the Lamb’s book of life. He will be a citizen of heaven of the great heavenly Jerusalem.
“Now then works of the flesh are manifest (made known), which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatre, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envying’s, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21)
“For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:20)
“Verily I say unto you, whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.” (Mark 10:15)
“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?” (I Corinthians 6:9)
“And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” (Revelation 21:27)
Now let’s move to Revelation 22:1-5 the New Jerusalem or Heaven:
These are the provisions of the Heavenly Jerusalem. The provisions are SEVEN in number.
1. There is a pure river in the city, a river that has the very water of life (v. 1). Is there a real river in the heavenly Jerusalem or is this to be taken symbolically? Probably both. Certainly, the New Jerusalem, being 1500 miles cubic, will have the beauty and refreshment of a running river and of many other other bodies of water.
NOTE: We too often spiritualize when we think of heaven, imagining that we will be in some kind of dreamy unreal world instead of a real world. We must always remember the teaching of Scripture: God is going to RECREATE THIS EARTH AND THE HEAVENS OF THIS UNIVERSE. This is what he explicitly teaches in the Scriptures.
2 Peter 3:10 – “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?”
Revelation 21:1 – “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.”
A recreated world would certainly have the same features that this world has with one exception: it will be perfect. The Heavenly Jerusalem is said to have a particular river flowing through it and the river has the water of life in it. What does this mean? The verse tells us where the source of the river is: “the throne of God and of the Lamb.”
The water of life flows from God and Christ: they are the source of all life that lives in the city. There will be no life there, no person there, other than those who have drunk of the life that God and Christ give. Therefore, the river symbolizes the life that flows out from God and Christ. It will be a constant reminder to us that Jesus Christ is the living water who gives us life…
- who quenches our thirst for life.
- who satisfies our thirst for life.
- who fulfills our thirst for life.
- who completes our thirst for life.
John 4:10 – “Jesus answered and said unto her, if thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would gven thee living water.”
John 4:14 – “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”
John 7:37-38 – “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.”
Revelation 22:1-2 – “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”
Revelation 11:17 – “Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.”
In our next study we will think about the tree of life and the fact there is no more curse. This means that it is free of evil and death. It is perfect and will last eternally. You will want to be here as we study more about the Heavenly city, your new home, as a Christian.
John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Romans 10:9-13 – “That if thou confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek; for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 – “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Think about these verses as they will lead you to heaven, if you want to go there upon your death.