City of God

For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. – Hebrews 11:10, 13:14

Text: Revelation 21-22:5

Prop: a small cube such as a Rubik’s cube

Summary: John saw the city of God, the new Jerusalem. It was a city from which Jesus would rule a newly created earth.

How many of you have heard the story of Peter Pan? (Listen to responses.) As you know, that story is make-believe. The young boy Peter is able to fly to Neverland where he never has to grow up. It is so incredible it makes one wonder if anything like that could ever really happen. Now let me tell you a true story. It is from the very last book in the Bible, the Apocalypse (or Revelation), written by the apostle John.

John was one of the original twelve disciples. As a young man, John heard Jesus promise his followers, “I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2) Later in his life, when John was a very old man, he got to see a place that God had prepared. It was a city from which Jesus would rule a newly created earth. God sent an angel to John. The angel showed John a vision of the future. John saw a new heaven and a new earth. The angel took John to a high mountain. From that viewpoint, John saw the city of God, the new Jerusalem, coming down from heaven to the new earth.

Now perhaps you have been to a large city such as New York, Mexico City, London or Tokyo. As big as those cities are, they are nothing in comparison to what John saw. The angel measured the city for John. It was shaped like a cube. (Show the cube.) Its length and width and height were equal. Now listen carefully: the city was 1,380 miles long (2,220 kilometers). That is about the distance from Los Angeles to Dallas, or from Montreal to Miami. It would take three hours in a jet airplane to go from one end of it to the other. It was huge!

Next the angel gave John a tour of the city. The street of the city was pure gold. The city had three pearl gates on each of its four sides. John wrote: “And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it; for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light therof. “ The Lamb is a name for the Lord Jesus. John saw that the gates were kept open all the time. It never got dark at night because God’s radiant glow gave light everywhere. John said only those that believed on the Lord Jesus were allowed to enter, “they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”

Finally, the angel showed John “a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.” John saw in the middle of the street and on both sides of the river “the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month.” The servants of God will serve God; “they shall see his face, and his name shall be in their foreheads.”

Does that sound like the kind of place you would like to see one day? (Yes!) The Lord Jesus has invited you to the city of God. He spared no expense in building the city of God! “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.” ( 1 Corinthians 2:9)

©2004 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.

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