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Future-Town - Part 2 - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
September 17, 2020 2:00 am

Future-Town - Part 2 - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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September 17, 2020 2:00 am

In heaven, there will be no temple because we will have direct access to God. What else can we expect from our future home? Skip looks into that topic as he shares the message "Future Town, Part 2."

This teaching is from the series From the Edge of Eternity.

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Website: https://connectwithskip.com

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You know, some people are a little bit put off that heaven will include a city. They think that, well, this is heaven. It should have, like, lots of beach and lots of open spaces, and I think that's going to be there on the new earth.

But they somehow don't like the idea that it's going to be this big city. All I can say to that is God would disagree because it's going to be there. And the obvious point perhaps is that heaven is going to be a very social place. It's going to be a restored, renewed community where we interact with God and we interact with each other.

The Bible talks about a futuristic city that those who follow Christ will one day live in. Today on Connect with Skip Heitzing, Skip examines the unique features of this city and your part in all of it. And at the end of today's program, Skip and his wife, Lenya, share some encouragement if you're feeling far away from the Lord today. The darkness that is around us, I am going to challenge those of you who are feeling that to let the darkness be an opportunity to start a lighting party. Figure out how I and my life and others who think like I do and believe like I do can bring light to the darkness that surrounds us.

How can I shine my light? How can I share the truth? Thanks, Skip and Lenya. Be sure to stay tuned after today's message to hear the full conversation. Now we want to tell you about a resource that will help you overcome your struggles so you can experience faith-enriching transformation. I've enjoyed watching the growth and the ministry of my friend Levi Lusko. This month's Connect with Skip resource, Take Back Your Life, the new book by Levi Lusko.

Here's Levi to tell you about it. It's all around this idea of taking back your life. It's a 40-day interactive journey to thinking right so you can live right. And it's going to be really powerful and special, I think, for people to have this.

Not only is it in hardcover, which just makes me happy because I've never had a book released in hardcover, but it has a ribbon. So you'll be able to keep track of your progress through these 40 days. It would be an incredible gift to someone who is looking to grow in their faith or for any of us who want to maybe kind of do an oil change for your heart, a checkup on your wellness, on where you're at.

It'll deal with internal difficulties and help you deal better with external circumstances that are challenging as we explore how we can get to the very best version of ourselves that we are meant to be. Get the book, Take Back Your Life, with a donation of $35 to connect with Skip. Call 1-800-922-1888 or online at connectwithskip.com. This hardcover book by Levi Lusko will help you take back your life. It's a 40-day interactive journey to thinking right so you can live right.

1-800-922-1888. Okay, we're in Revelation chapter 21 as Skip Heitzig starts today's study. We may have heard about the elderly gentleman who was on his deathbed. He only had days to live and everybody knew it, including himself.

One afternoon, the old guy smelled a familiar aroma. It was his favorite chocolate chip cookies. Well, this sort of gave him a new lease on the last few days of his life. He managed to push himself out of bed, get up, lean himself against the wall, work his way to the edge of the room, find the railing, went down the stairs.

It took him a long time but he made it. And he slumped himself toward the threshold of the kitchen and looked in the kitchen and there, spread out on newspaper, were hundreds of chocolate chip cookies. And he thought, am I in heaven?

Or is this the last act of kindness from a devoted wife who wants her husband to leave this earth experiencing one last pleasure? All those thoughts tumbled through his mind. His last bit of energy, he lunged toward the counter, crumpled over on his knees, his parched lips parted. He could already taste it in his mouth and that withered hand reaching forward to grab one cookie and it was smacked by a spatula. And his wife said, stay out of those, they're for the funeral. Poor old guy.

Just wants one final pleasure and his wife's already burying him. Well, we have spent including today 16 weeks looking at what happens to a Christian when that Christian dies and is in the presence of the Lord and awaits the resurrected body and what the resurrected body will be like and what heaven will be like and all of the different phases of eternity including the millennial kingdom and what we'll be doing in it. And all that we have discovered, we got to admit it's a whole lot better than a few cookies. What God has planned for us. Well, last time, last couple of times and today, we're looking at that last piece, the final installment which we call the eternal state. It includes new heaven, new earth and a new city. You know, some people are a little bit put off that heaven will include a city. They think that, well, this is heaven.

It should have like lots of beach and lots of open spaces and I think that's going to be there on the new earth but they somehow don't like the idea that it's going to be this big city. All I can say to that is God would disagree because it's going to be there. And the obvious point perhaps is that heaven is going to be a very social place. It's going to be a restored, renewed community where we interact with God and we interact with each other on a whole new intimate level.

Now I just want to cover this thought again before we dive into it. Some actually believe that what we read in Revelation 21 and 22 is not physical at all. It's not a real city.

It's simply an allegorical presentation in the Bible of the people of God. Well, all I can say to that is it's called a city over and over and over again. And not only that, it's given actual dimension, right?

It's given color, materials, texture and it's laid out. It's measured 1,500 miles by 1,500 miles by 1,500 miles. And we saw last time that means just the base level is 2,250,000 square miles. That's just the first level. You got to go up 1,500 miles.

It's a huge city. And it's able to house every redeemed person who has ever lived. Now John gets a personal tour of this city. You know, in the Bible there's only two people in the New Testament that saw a vision of heaven. One was Paul, the other was John. Now Paul didn't help us very much because he says, yeah, I was taken to the third heaven and it's just so cool I can't even tell you about it.

So that doesn't help us. John, however, was told to write these things down. And we're given this description. Last time we looked at the description of the outside of the city. And now we look at the inside of the city. Today we view it from the inside, not the outside.

This is the walkthrough today where we see it as we go in and we notice what's not there and what is there and who's there and who's not there and what they're doing there. This is the inside of the city as spoken by John. Let's look at it in verse 22 of Revelation 21 and we'll follow down several verses. But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. And the city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it, and the Lamb is its light. And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. Its gate shall not be shut at all by day, there shall be no night there, and they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. But there shall by no means enter at anything that defiles or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life. And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.

In the middle of its street and on either side of the river was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and his servants shall serve him. And they shall see his face, and his name shall be on their foreheads, and there shall be no night there. They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light, and they shall reign forever and ever." So what we have here is the internal view of the eternal city.

And because John approaches it a bit different than the outside view, we're going to notice in closing, and I say in closing because this is really the last study in this series, we'll do a summary explanation next week, but this is really the last, this is the end of it. So I'm going to give you this morning five conditions that will sum up life in the eternal city, the New Jerusalem. Heaven, the eternal state. The first condition I want you to notice is what I call proximity. Now in verse 22, John, the first thing he notices is there's no temple in New Jerusalem. And later on in chapter 22, it says they're going to see his face.

There's a close intimacy and proximity. That means we don't need a temple in heaven. Now understand that to ancient peoples, it was unthinkable to have a great city without temples. Every great city had several temples, and even the city of Jerusalem had at its centerpiece the great temple, where God was worshiped and animals were sacrificed.

But the idea here is that you don't need one. The Lord God is the temple, and the Lamb, they're the temple. So in heaven, you and I will have direct access to God. No need of a holy place. You don't need a church, a cathedral, a chapel, a synagogue, a house of worship.

You don't need special days of worship, and there won't be separate groups gathering in heaven grumbling, let's make another heaven. We don't really like this place, like there happens to be on earth. I heard about a guy who was stranded on a desert island, you may have heard this. He was there all alone, and finally after years he was rescued, and the captain of the ship that rescued him noticed that there were three huts on the island. The captain said, now wait a minute, I thought you were stranded here all alone.

The guy said, well, I was. The first hut, that's my house, that's where I lived. And the second hut was my church, where I went every week.

And the captain said, well, what's the third hut? The guy said, that's the church I used to go to. None of that in heaven, God's presence will literally fill every spot, every place in the new heaven, the new earth, and the new city. Now you know, it's always been God's desire to be close to his people, to be in close proximity to his people.

Before the fall of man, God was seen walking with Adam in the cool of the day in the garden. But sin marred that, sin ruined that. And there was a separation between God and man, and so the Lord provided a tabernacle where he could be worshipped, and then later on a temple where he could be worshipped. But there was still distance between God and man in those places. You couldn't just barge in, you had to go to a priest who represented God to you. You couldn't walk into the holy of holies.

There were courts that separated you from God's presence. There was a sacrifice you would have to bring to be worthy. But the Lord Jesus has always anticipated this very time. You remember one of his great promises is, in my Father's house there are many rooms. If it were not so, I would have told you, I'm going to prepare a place for you. And if I go, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.

It's always been His desire. And Jesus prayed in John 17 these words, Father, I want these whom you have given Me to be with Me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave Me because you loved Me even before the world began. Listen, in heaven, you'll never feel far from God ever again.

If you feel that way today, if you feel lonely, you'll never feel that way ever again. You'll be totally satisfied all the time. You'll be in His presence.

You'll see His face. Have you ever been at a camp or a retreat or even a worship service where it's just so powerful? It's almost like you can touch and feel the presence of God.

And it's so utterly cool, you feel like, I don't ever want to leave. That's how heaven's going to be like all the time. That's why there's no need of a temple, because of proximity. The second condition that will be in this eternal city is what I call majesty or glory, God's glory. Look at verse 23 of chapter 21. And the city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory or majesty of God illuminated it, and the Lamb is its light. And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth shall bring their glory and honor into it.

Its gates shall not be shut at all by day. Notice this parenthetical statement, there shall be no night there. Now we're getting a little bit of insight into what the conditions will be like in this new setup, right? New universe, new heaven, new earth, new city.

Very different dynamic than what we presently know now. You see, on our earth now, we depend on cycles of the sun and the moon and alternate conditions of light and darkness. For instance, the moon provides tides for the ocean.

It controls the flow of tides in the sea. But that isn't an issue here because there's no what? There's no sea. Verse one of chapter 21, there was no ocean. And so there's no need for the moon. There's no need for the sun. There's never going to be a night there.

Never going to be night. Now just to remind you what John saw so far is this city itself is so well lit that when he first saw it, it was like this gigantic cube, 1,500 miles by 1,500 miles by 1,500 miles, descending from heaven toward earth, and light was cascading out of it, pouring forth from it. Huge light show, dazzling. And the way I described it last time, it's like a giant holy of holies coming down toward the earth. I said that because the only place we find a cube where God dwelled was in the Old Testament, the holy of holies. It was 15 feet wide, 15 feet deep, and 15 feet tall. A perfect cube. And that's in the tabernacle where the ark was kept. And so this new city of Jerusalem is sort of like the holy of holies on steroids. 1,500 miles cubed coming from heaven toward the earth. And notice in our verse that the source of this light is the Father and the Son.

They're together glorified. A very different kind of light. Visible light today as we know it. Visible light is part of the electromagnetic spectrum.

This is the stuff I used to have to study. And the retina of your eye responds to the measurement on the electromagnetic spectrum of somewhere between 390 and 740 nanometers in wavelength. That's what it responds to. But light as we know it usually has a source of combustion or fuel that burns and needs to be replenished. Whether it's sunlight or whether it's a light bulb. But notice here that God Almighty and the Lamb are the source of light. This is from the majesty and the glory of God.

It never runs out. God isn't going to say after 20,000 years, I'm sort of tired of shining now. It says there's going to be no night there.

Ponder that for a moment. No night. Experts tell us that human emotions can become very vulnerable late afternoon and early evening.

Not with everyone but with quite a few people. It's called sundowner syndrome. And it is more acute in the elderly. In fact, in pre-Alzheimer conditions, they say that certain people can become very agitated and confused in late afternoon and early evening when the sun is setting. Darkness does something to us.

I have a friend who lost a son recently and when I was with him, he said, you know what? I dread nighttime. I hate it when it's dark because your thoughts are focused. You're not distracted by visible things in this world that is shown by light.

There's going to be no night there. Because the glory of God permeates that place. God's majesty. Do you remember when Jesus in John 17 prayed that prayer and part of it is where he said, Father, glorify me with the glory that I had with you before the world was. Remember that part of the prayer? Glorify me with the glory I had with you before the world was.

This is the answer to that prayer. They're together. They're glorified. And it's radiant. It's brilliant.

It's majestic. Everyone will display the glory of God. Now that gives us a little insight actually into the incarnation.

I just want you to follow me here for a moment. Think of what Jesus gave up to come to this earth for 33 years. He gave this up. And so when he prayed glorify me with the glory I had with you before the world was, think about that. He gave all of this up to come here to be rejected, scorned, misunderstood, beaten, crucified so that you and I could be in heaven with him forever.

That's amazing. Charles Wesley wrote a song. We sing it every Christmas. Hark the Herald Angels Sing. There's a little phrase in that song.

And it goes like this. Veiled in flesh the Godhead see. Hail incarnate deity. Pleased as man with men to dwell. Jesus our Emmanuel.

It's picking up on this thought. Here is God in all of his splendor and glory but veiled by human flesh. Now every now and then while Jesus was on earth you could see through the veil.

You could peek at the glory. For instance on the Mount of Transfiguration. Peter and James and John who wrote Revelation were there. And it says in Matthew 17 he was transfigured before them and his face shone like the sun.

His clothes became as white as the light. What was that all about? That my friends is a preview of coming attractions.

That was the trailer to this movie. What they saw is what ultimately it will be like in the kingdom. Brilliant bright resplendent light of the glory of God. And I've heard people say it was a miracle that Jesus shined.

Listen the greatest miracle is he didn't shine all the time. But it was veiled just every now and then the disciples were able to see into it. So heaven will display let's call it the unedited widescreen version of the glory of God. The take your breath away wow glory of God. So majesty is a condition.

A third condition I want to draw your attention to is activity. Now we're not going to go through all these verses again but I'm just going to point out a couple things. A big question people have is okay so like what are we going to do in heaven? And we've covered this before in part like we talked about in the millennium what we'll do and what positions will be like how we'll help administrate. But now this is this is forever.

That's gone. This is now the eternal state. What are we going to do like forever?

That worries some people. As I as I work my way through the text there's a few words that pop out. Verse 24 of chapter 21 the the word walk. We're going to walk. We're going to move. We're we're going to be going places probably in and out of that city.

Maybe exploring the new earth or the new heaven. Verse 26 we're going to walk and bring honor and glory into it. That's the idea of praise and worship which we talked about before. In verse three of chapter 22 serve is another verb.

It's an action. That's what we'll be doing. We'll be serving him. And in verse five we'll be reigning.

That's Skip Heitig with a message from the series From the Edge of Eternity. Now let's go in the studio with Skip and Lenya as they share some encouragement to help you draw closer to the Lord today. In heaven there will be no more separation between God and man.

And there'll be no more loneliness because we will finally be in our Father's house with our Father himself. Can you speak to a listener who might be feeling far from that reality right now? Who feels discouraged and alone?

Well first of all we are far from that reality right now. We live in a fallen world. Sin does prevail but the darkness that is around us I am going to challenge those of you who are feeling that to let the darkness be an opportunity to start a lighting party. Figure out how I and my life and others who think like I do and believe like I do can bring light to the darkness that surrounds us. How can I shine my light? How can I share the truth?

Because if, though it can be difficult to share your faith with some people, if it leads to salvation I now have a brother or a sister who was once part of the kingdom of darkness but now is on the side of light. And let me just say if you're feeling that way you need a group, you need a family, you need a church. The church is essential during these days more than ever before and you can't always fellowship with just a screen.

You need to pray with somebody and be encouraged by someone and encourage others as well. Thank you Skip and Lenya. We hope this conversation refreshed you spiritually.

If so, please consider helping keep Truth Like This on air. Your support helps expand the reach of this ministry so more listeners can connect with God's word and hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. We invite you to continue in that partnership today. Just visit connectwithskip.com slash donate to give now. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate. Or you can call 800-922-1888.

800-922-1888. Thank you for connecting more people to Jesus. And just a reminder, you can watch Connect with Skip Heitzig on the Hillsong Channel on Saturdays at 4.30 p.m. Mountain or catch it on TBN on Sundays at 5.30 a.m. Eastern.

Check your local listings. Tune in tomorrow as Skip Heitzig gives you some encouragement about how to simplify your life in this hectic and chaotic world. Make a connection, make a connection at the foot of the cross and cast all burdens on his word. Make a connection, connection. Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-12 13:24:08 / 2024-03-12 13:33:42 / 10

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