The Heavenly City

January 10, 2013

The Heavenly City

When Jesus was here on earth he told us something about his heavenly home.  In John 14:2-3 he said, “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.”  By reading in Revelation chapter 21 we learn that this heavenly city is called “The New Jerusalem,” and that it will be the eternal dwelling place for those who are the people of God.

Judging from what we read in Revelation chapter 21 we can see that this city will be far superior to any earthly city.  An angel came to the Apostle John and said “Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” Who is the Lamb’s wife?  The Bible teaches that God is preparing a people for himself.  Zachariah 8:8 says, “And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness.”  In the New Testament we read similar words in II Corinthians 6:16.  “I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”  At times God calls his people his bride.  We find that in II Corinthians 11:1-2.  “Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me.   For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.”  God also calls his people his body.  Ephesians 5:30 says, “For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.”  His body is also called the church.  We see that in Ephesians 1:22-23.  “And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,   which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.”

I want to be included among those who are going to that city.  Don’t you?  God not only is providing a heavenly dwelling place; he has also provided a way to get there.  Jesus said, in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”  What does it mean that Jesus is the way?  Let me explain that.  The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).  God is a perfect holy being.  He cannot and will not permit impurity in the heavenly city.  If he did it would not be a perfect place.  Revelation 21:27 says, “And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” That’s why he sent his only Son to this world to offer himself as a sacrifice for us sinners.  Romans 5:8 says, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” It’s by means of the sacrifice of Christ that God can forgive us and make us worthy to enter the celestial city.

John 3:18 says all unbelievers are condemned. “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.   However,   John 3:16 promises everlasting live to those who believe in Jesus. “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.”  God is keeping records in a book that is called “The Book of Life.” The names of those who have put their faith and trust in Jesus are written in the book.  Revelation 21:27 says that only those whose names are written the “Lamb’s Book of Life” shall enter into the celestial city.

Many mistakenly think that their welcome into the celestial city depends on their own merits.  That’s not what the Bible teaches.  Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “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.”

If God’s people follow him in faithful obedience they enjoy his favor in this life, while they look forward to something infinitely better in eternity.  Psalm 144:15 says, “Happy is that people, whose God is the LORD.”  God has great things for you if you are willing to humble yourself before him and ask him to forgive your sins.  Then you need to receive Christ’s sacrifice for your sins.  Why not do it now?  If you do you will be assured of a place in that heavenly city.


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