Sunday, October 24, 2010

October 24, 2010

Week Six – “Home, Sweet, Home!” Revelation 21
"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." Revelation 21:1-4

The late comedian George Goebel once said, “Sometimes I feel like the world is a tuxedo and I am a pair of brown shoes.”

C. S. Lewis made a similar statement with a little more definition, “If nothing in this world satisfies me, perhaps it is because I was made for another world.”

We have some very gracious hosts in our fellowship who welcome you to their home and will treat you with such grace that you feel like part of the family, but as gracious as they are their home is not your home. After a relaxing and enjoyable evening you return to your home. Despite their hospitality gifts, your home still feels more like home to you than theirs does.

There are a couple of good reasons why we don’t fit real well in this world:

1) Paradise Lost
2) Kingdom Lost

The Bible refers to this longing for a spiritual home. Here are a few examples:

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God[; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.” John 14:1-2

“All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own.” Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.” Hebrews 11:13-14, 16

This world is not our home! We do not fit here! God has designed and destined us for a “happy ever after” place! Revelation 21 and 22 gives us a great view of Heaven, our “happy ever after” place. Today we get to peak into our future home.

I. The Dimensions of the City, Vv. 15-17

To gain an appreciation for just how marvelous Heaven will be we need to understand the nature and dimension of the city that will be its capital. The New Jerusalem is the crown jewel of the new creation of God. The New Jerusalem is not all of Heaven but it is the capital city of Heaven.

“The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls. The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia in length, and as wide and high as it is long. He measured its wall and it was 144 cubits thick, by man's measurement, which the angel was using.” Rev. 21:15-17

You may not be a big city person, but you’d better make an exception for Heaven because it is ONE BIG CITY! Even bigger than Texas!

Why do you think this is revealed to John? Why do we need to know how big the Holy City will be?

Could it be God wants us all to know that there is plenty of room for us in Heaven and for everyone who will trust in Jesus! And remember, this is just the New Jerusalem. Heaven is even bigger than this!

So, how big is it? It is pretty mind-boggling! Check this out!

The city is cubic in its shape – 12,000 stadia x 12,000 stadia x 12,000 stadia! A stadia = a furlong = 660 ft. Do the math on that and it figures out to 1,500 miles long by 1,500 miles wide by 1,500 miles high. So, this city would cover 2,250,000 square miles.

If this city were placed in the United States it would stretch from Canada to Mexico and from New York City to Oklahoma City and as high as a 800,000 story building!

Again, that is not all of the Heaven that is just the Holy City!

I have got to believe that in an area that big – there would have to be a golf course!

Not only is the Holy City huge, but it is unbelievably beautiful! Once you walk into it you would not only be overwhelmed by its size but also amazed by its sheer beauty!

II. The Description of the City

a. The Pearly Gates, vv. 12-13, 21

This city is accessed through gates of pearl! And not just one gate but 12 of them! And not just pearls but 240 feet high pearls!

Why pearls?

For one, pearls are beautiful!

Secondly, pearls are the product of irritation, pain, and discomfort. Could it be that every time we enter that city through those gates of pearl we will be reminded of the suffering and pain it took to get there? Both His suffering and ours.
b. The foundation of precious stones, Vv. 19-20

c. The streets of gold, v. 21b

d. The Lamb is the Light, v.23

e. The river of life and the tree of life, 22:1-2

This is a pretty impressive place, wouldn’t you say? How can you not be impressed with a place where the pavement is pure gold!

III. The Distinctions of the City, Vv. 4, 8, 27

Heaven is certainly distinguished by the amazing wonders that will be revealed in Heaven. The splendor of what He has prepared for us will be daze and amaze! When people talk about Heaven or write about Heaven these are the things they concentrate on! And rightly so! Never has there been anything like this before!

But equally impressive are the things that WON’T be in Heaven! The Apostle John. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit focuses on three significant things that won’t be in Heaven and those three things make it a distinctive place.

a. Sadness Is Absent, V. 4

How many of you have had a really good day recently? I am talking about a really care-free joyous day?

Every day in Heaven will be like that! Every second, every minute, every hour and every day will be better than your most perfect day on earth!

Kleenex will have no place in Heaven! God will wipe away all tears AND every reason and every cause of sadness. The only tears possible in Heaven might be tears of joy!

b. Sinfulness Is Absent, V. 8

Heaven is a perfect place – a holy place!

This is quite a list of undesirables! I find it interesting that those types of people mentioned at the end of this verse you would expect to be banned from Heaven, but notice the “cowardly” and the “unbelieving” – interesting….

c. Self-Righteousness Is Absent, V. 27

No one in Heaven will be able to say, “I deserve to be here!”

No one in Heaven will be able to claim, “I earned my way here!”

As Paul wrote to the Ephesians, “For it is by grace you are saved…..”

Heaven will be eternally magnificent based on what is there! And more importantly – WHO is there!

But Heaven will also be incredible because of who ISN’T there!

This world is not your home! Your home is being prepared for you!

You are being prepared for your home!

· What needs to be done in your heart?
· If you find yourself being to comfortable in this world you may not fit in the next.

What are you doing to prepare others for their eternal home?


This morning we have been reminded why!

I want to close with one more amazing truth about Heaven:

“3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."