The Beautiful City of God
Bible Lesson: Revelation 21:1-8
Theme Verse: Vs.5 And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
The Bible gives hope to all those who trust in God’s Word and His Son Jesus Christ. The paradise lost in the third chapter of Genesis is regained in Revelation 21 with the New Heaven and the New Earth. Even after the fall God’s unbounded love and grace continued to flow through every book of the Bible. Along with this, God’s unfailing promises encourage all believers for a secure life not only in this world but in the world yet to come. Psalmist in 119:140 writes, your promises have been thoroughly tested, and your servant loves them. The redemptive work of God gave a new humanity to us in Christ Jesus and allowed us to be the part of the Kingdom of God. The description of New Heaven and New Earth is amazing in the book of Revelation where our ultimate destiny lies.
Scripture reveals that the heroes of the Old Testament longed for the ultimate dwelling in heaven i.e. in the beautiful city of God. Hebrew 11:16, mentions, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed, he has prepared a city for them. The vision of the New Heaven and the New Earth to John is the permanent and ultimate dwelling of God’s people in His presence. Because of the first Adam we were moved out of the Garden of Eden from the presence of God but we are now taken back because of the Last Adam who is Jesus Christ our Lord. St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo and famous Church father in his work The City of God describes two different types of cities: firstly, the Worldly City, which is united by the common love for temporal things and secondly, the City of God an eternal dwelling place of believers which is bound together by the love of God and whose architect is God. King David in Psalm 23:6 has written, surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Our dwelling in New Heaven and New Earth will definitely make us to forget all the troubles and pain we are going through today. In 2 Corinth 4:17, For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. Joan narrated her first experience of her journey to her grandma’s home when she was a Child. Her grandma lived on hill station with gorgeous natural surroundings. While travelling in a car to a hill top Joan developed headache, giddiness and nausea. Her journey became very uncomfortable. But after reaching home by seeing the beautiful ambiance she got so excited that she forgot all her past sickness. According to 21:4 there will be no ‘tears,’ ‘no more death,’ ‘mourning’ or ‘crying’ or ‘pain’ for the old order of things will pass away. All our fears will be vanished; instead of shame we will be clothed with God’s glory; instead of sin we will be immersed in the fragrance of God’s holiness; suffering will be replaced with God’s joy.
Before we enter into the City of God it is mandatory for us to drink ‘waters of eternal life.’ Jesus Christ is giving free invitation to the whole world to drink from this water. In John 7:37-38, Jesus cried out loudly, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water. Anyone who lacks this water they are dry, unspiritual and barren. J.H. Jowett says, ‘without the river my soul shall be like an unwatered garden. My life shall be realm of perpetual drought. The heavenly Husbandman shall find no fruit when He walks in the garden in the cool of the day.’ We need to root ourselves in the waters of eternal life so that we may bear fruit in all seasons. The water of life speaks of the fullness of refreshment, life and joy. In Christ we are more than conquers and we have all rights as children to be in His glorious presence. Let us prepare ourselves too before we enter into the New Heaven and the New Earth to meet our Savior face to face.
O that I had wings of angels,
Here to spread, and heaven-ward fly!
I would seek the gates of Zion,
Far beyond the starry sky.