Friday, March 18, 2016

Our New Home

“Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”   Revelation 21:2-5  NKJV

Years ago we made the decision to uproot from the western part of the state and move to the eastern side where life seemed to offer a more relaxing and conservative atmosphere to raise a family.  Selling the home in which we had lived for so long presented us with emotions that seemed at the time to be more intense than we had imagined they would be.  Although tempered with the enthusiasm and anticipation of our new home, leaving the old and all of the memories that accompanied it was difficult to say the least.  Over the years, as I have talked and taught on the subject of heaven, it has surprised me to find that many people would appear to have similar feelings when it comes to contemplating leaving our earthly home to take up residence in our heavenly home.

Trying to explain to three little girls why we were making the move and talking about concerns we had as parents for our children’s well being truthfully didn’t get us very far.  We were then reduced to discussing how much fun we were going to have in our new home much as we would explain a trip to Disneyland.  That approach seemed to work much better, and created a sense of anticipation in the minds of our children as to what they would find in our new surroundings.  To be truthful, it has often appeared to me that this same circumstance has affected the way that God has chosen to approach His revealing of our future home to us, and especially the way He has chosen to describe it to us.

The first thing we find about our new home is that it is described as being as beautiful as a bride on her wedding day.  I have mentioned before that thanks to my daughters I am quite familiar with the time and effort, and expense, which a bride goes through to achieve the perfect look on her wedding day.  I am sure most of us can understand that line of thought as well and it comes as no surprise to me that Jesus uses that same picture to describe the time and effort He put into creating our new heavenly home. Best of all we are told that not only is it physically beautiful, it is at this time that the old passes away and all things become new, including the memories of an old life with all of its painful memories and sorrows.

“And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”   Revelation 21:6-8  NKJV

How many of us have imagined at some point in time just what it would be like to live someplace where everyone had the same beliefs and convictions as we do?  Just as the move we chose to make as a family was in part motivated by a desire to live in an area where society seemed to reflect the morals and standards we believed in, we are told that the inhabitants of our new home will all have made the same decision to accept the grace freely offered by our Lord and have received the “water of life” and become overcomers.  Those who chose to reject that same grace will instead be sent to an entirely different place, “the lake which burns with fire and brimstone”.  

“Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west. Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And he who talked with me had a gold reed to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed: twelve thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal. Then he measured its wall: one hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel.”    Revelation 21:9-17  NKJV

Again I would like to share some words from Jack Kelley as he talks about our new home.

“I’ve written about the New Jerusalem several times, how it will be the exclusive home of the redeemed Church. At about 1400 miles tall, wide, and deep it will be much too big to fit on Earth. In fact, it will be almost 2/3rds the size of the moon. Put in a different perspective, if the entire world population, currently about 7,000,000,000 people, lived in one geographic location with the population density of New York City, it would be a city the size of the state of Texas. The way it’s described in Rev. 21:16 leads many people to believe the New Jerusalem is either a cube or pyramid shaped. But if it was a sphere, like the moon, the New Jerusalem could easily accommodate 22 cities this size on its surface area. That’s 22 times the total current population of Earth. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s not big enough for the Church.”

How would I describe our new home?  Truthfully, I don’t think I can.  All I know is that it will be a place of unimaginable joy where we will live for eternity with our loving Father in a place of incredible beauty.  I fall back on what the apostle Paul said in his first letter to the church at Corinth.

“But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”            1 Corinthians 2:9  NKJV

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to move to my new home.

Keep watching.

If you have not had the opportunity to visit Jack Kelley’s website I encourage you to do so.  It is by far one of the most helpful and educational sites available and the source of a wealth of knowledge.