THE NEW JERUSALEM, THE CITY OF GOD (PART II)
ITS CITIZENS AND PROVISIONS
Revelation 21:24 – 22:5
Key Word – Christian Responsibilities
Today, after a small break we are again in Revelation. We begin with the fact that the new heavens and earth will have a capital city. A city where the thrones of God and of Christ sit.
NOTE: The city is being prepared in heaven (see John 14:2-3) and it is beyond description. Its name is the NEW JERUSALEM or the HEAVENLY JERUSALEM. This was seen in our previous study in the Book of Revelation. Now, Scripture is showing us the citizens and the provisions of the great city of God.
- The citizens of the city are seen (v. 24-27).
- Also seen are the provisions of the city (Revelation 22:1-5).
Now let’s get into Revelation 21:24-27 with the New Jerusalem, the Believers, and Heaven.
Note: There are the citizens of the Heavenly Jerusalem. There are six things said about the citizens of the New Jerusalem that we want to look at to get our minds going.
The citizens of the New Jerusalem are from all EARTHLY NATIONS (v. 24). They are the SAVED people from ALL the nations of the earth. This again shows us that the gospel is universal; anyone from any nation can be saved. God does not discriminate between people nor show partiality to any person. This of course corresponds to the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20 and Acts 1:8.
Note: Matthew began his gospel by proclaiming that the baby Jesus was the Son of David. The promised King of Israel (Matthew 1:1-2). He now closes his gospel by proclaiming that the Lord Jesus possesses all power and authority in heaven and earth.
Note: Do not miss this: The Lord Jesus had risen from the dead. Christian’s are to live in the power of His resurrection His followers [true believers] are to go forth proclaiming His glorious kingdom and the fact of God’s free gift of salvation (John 3:16; Romans 10:9-13; Hebrews 11:6; Acts 2:41; Ephesians 2:8-9). Anyone who wants to go to heaven can go but they must make a commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ that they are trusting His work on the Cross. Anyone who wants salvation can have it, but it only comes one way, they must come to God through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:3-12, V-7).
In Matthew 28:18-20, Matthew covers the great commission of the resurrected Lord, the King to whom all power and authority belong. Let’s note 4 things Christ promised His followers:
- At a prearrange time and place, the disciples met Jesus in Galilee (Matthew 28:16-17).
- Jesus assured His followers of His power (v. 18).
- Jesus commissioned His followers (Matthew 28:19-20). In other words, Jesus gave His followers a job to do until He returns for them in the Rapture (I Thessalonians 4:13-18).
- Jesus promised to always be with His followers. (Matthew 28:20).
Now let’s examine Matthew 28:16-17. We note that the disciples met with Jesus in Galilee. Note several background facts.
1. Matthew says that the eleven disciples met with Christ. The eleven were the prominent ones, but apparently there were over five hundred believers present, all meeting with Him at the same time. (I Corinthians 15:6)
The reference to “they” and “some doubted” (v. 17) seems to indicate that this was the great appearance of the mass of believers mentioned by Paul. Christ had already appeared to the eleven on several occasions. They already knew the reality of His resurrection. It is unlikely that they were the ones who were questioning at this time, (Mark 16:12-14; Luke 24:13-48; John 20:19-25; 20:26-31; 21:1-25).
2. The disciples met the Lord in Galilee on a pre-appointed mountian (Matthew 26:32; 28:7, 10).
Note: a. The Lord had apparently instructed the apostles to pass the word along and to round up all His disciples to meet Him in a mass meeting in Galilee.
b. A particular mountain was designated as the meeting place. Note that Galilee was where the Lord had conducted most of His ministry and where most of His disciples lived. It was also some distance from Jerusalem, a place somewhat safe from the immediate enemies of Christ.
Note: There are appointed places where True Christians are to meet the Lord: in prayer, devotions, worship, and Bible study. When we meet the Lord as He says, He meets us. We must meet the Lord as He instructs if we are to know the reality of His resurrection.
3. This is significant. They worshipped Him, but some doubted. They just were not sure. Note what Jesus did: He “came and spake to them” (Matthew 28:18). Apparently, His coming and speaking to them erased their doubt and questioning.
When we meet with Christ as He instructs, He meets with us and all fear and doubt vanish. The person who truly seeks after Christ, who truly seeks to meet Him, will have his or her doubts erased. Christ will COME AND SPEAK TO HIM OR HER spiritually.
Now note something important in Matthew 28:18. Jesus assured His followers of His power. Isn’t this interesting, in Ephesians 6:10 (the armor passage) we find Christ assuring the true believer of His strength and the power of His might.
1. Note some additional principles concerning the power of Jesus. His power or authority is a given power. It is given by God, and it is given for one reason: to exalt Christ above and over all circumstances and enemies of God.
“And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name.” (Philippians 2:8-9)
2. Jesus’ power is above and over all that is in heaven and in earth. His authority is over all the universe. His authority includes at least three areas.
a. The Lord’s authority includes the power to rule and reign…
*to receive the worship and subjection of all men who willingly surrender to His dominion.
Romans 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
I Corinthians 6:20 “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
Romans 10:9-10 “that if thou shalt 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.
Revelation 5:12 “Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.”
*to bow the knee of all men and to receive their acknowledgement of His Lordship.
b. The Lord’s authority includes the power to govern and direct…
*the affairs of men without violating man’s freedom.
Mark 16:19 “So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.”
Luke 22:69 “Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God.”
Romans 13:1 “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.”
I Peter 3:22 “Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.”
Christ governs the affairs of nature and the world without violating the laws of nature.
Matthew 8:27 “But the men marveled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!”
Ephesians 1:22 “And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church.”
c. The Lord’s authority includes the power to forgive sins, to judge, receive and reject men, and to save and deliver men through life and death.
Matthew 9:7 “And he arose, and departed to his house.”
Luke 5:20-21 “And when he saw their faith, he said unto him Man, thy sins are forgiven thee. And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?”
John 5:11 “He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk.”
John 5:27 “And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.”
3. Jesus’ power assures the believer of deliverance. Note WHEN Jesus “came and spake” of His power: immediately upon the heels of some doubting and immediately before charging His disciples to go into a hostile world. He proclaimed His power in order to erase doubt and to strenghten His disciples in going forth. His power was the disciples’ assurance of victory.
Much more could be added but we need to return to our study of the book of Revelation 21:24-27. As indicated, the citizens of the new Jerusalem are from all earthly nations (v. 24).
They are SAVED from all the nations of the earth. This again shows us that the gospel is universal; anyone from any nation can be saved, if they truly want to be. Again, God does not discriminate between people nor show partiality to any person.
The citizens walk in the light of the city. This would mean…
- that they walk in the light of the glory of God.
- that they walk in the light of the KNOWLEDGE OF GOD, the full and perfect knowledge of God.
- that they walk in the light of perfection, of purity and righteousness and perfection of wisdom, knowing exactly what to do and how to do it.
The citizens are kings who bring their glory and honor into the city (v. 24). This says two things.
a. Believers will rule and reign with Christ and serve Him in responsible positions as kings (refer to Revelation 14:13 and 20:4-6 for more discussion).
Matthew 19:28 “And Jesus said unto them, verily I say unto you, that ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
Matthew 25:23 “His lord said unto him, well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”
Luke 12:42-44 “And the Lord said, who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath.”
Luke 19:17, 19 “And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities…And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.”
Romans 8:17 “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”
II Timothy 2:12 “If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us.”
I Corinthians 6:2-3 “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? And if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? How much more things that pertain to this life?”
Revelation 1:5 “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.”
Revelation 5:10 “And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.”
b. Believers will bring their glory and honor into the heavenly city and give all their glory and honor to the Lord who bestowed it upon them.
Note: Believers owe everything they are or have to God and Christ; therefore, they are going to acknowledge and praise God and Christ for giving them so great a salvation.
Note: Believers will bring their glory and honor INTO the city.
- This speaks as though believers will be serving as kings of nations OUTSIDE OF THE CITY.
- This speaks as though there will be special occasions when believers will gather in THE HEAVENLY CITY, they will gather to bring the glory and honor of their nations to God and Christ.
Note: Read it carefully (the Greek says (eis auten), for this seems to be the picture being painted. One thing is sure: no matter what we may describe or picture, it is going to be far beyond anything we could ever describe or ask or even think. God’s Word emphatically declares this:
I 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.”
Ephesians 3:20 “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.”
Romans 11:33-36 “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! Or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen”
NOW LET’S CLOSE WITH A THOUGHT ABOUT SALVATION OR “HOW TO GO TO HEAVEN”.
Let’s begin with a thought that an awful lot of folks do not like: “The Bible says that your good works are not good enough to get you to heaven.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
The Bible makes it pretty clear as it says:
“NOT BY WORKS of righteousness which you [we] have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost [Spirit].” (Titus 3:5)
Note: The Bible makes it clear that one day we “all” must answer to God personally.
“For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:11-12)
The Bible says athat there is none that are good enough to get to heaven without Christ (Ephesians 1:3-7).
Note what the Bible actually says about this area:
“The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. …They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is NONE that DOETH GOOD, no, not one.” (Psalm 14:1, 3)
The Bible makes it clear that you are not good enough on your own, nor ever will be good enough on your own to go to heaven. Why? Because you have sinned (Romans 5:12; Romans 3:23).
The Bible says that you face a penalty for your sin, and that penalty is death and separation from God for all of eternity unless you take care of the sin problem by trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior (John 3:16; Romans 10:9-13; Hebrews 11:6; Ephesians 2:8-9).
Good Question: Are you ready to face death without the Lord Jesus Christ? Who must bear your sins for you if you are going to go to heaven? Remember, Christ died FOR YOU! This is personal and no one can do it for you. This is your personal responsibility to God, and you must do it on your own.
If you have accepted Christ, now you have a responsibility to mature [grow as a Christian]. If you want help, drop us a note at:
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