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Future-Town - Part 1 - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
September 15, 2020 2:00 am

Future-Town - Part 1 - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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September 15, 2020 2:00 am

In the book of Revelation, the New Jerusalem is called a great and holy city and the bride of the Lamb. Skip unravels the meaning behind these metaphors as he begins the message "Future Town, Part 1."

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

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Website: https://connectwithskip.com

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Aren't you glad that our salvation and therefore heaven is by God's grace, not by having to answer a question or spell a word or do a work, but we are saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb without spot or blemish. Getting into heaven and getting others into heaven ought to be our primary goal in life.

After all, it's forever we're talking about. When you move somewhere new, it's a good idea to know about the place you're moving to and where the best place to live is. Today on Connect with Skip Hytech, Skip gives you an exciting glimpse of the future city you'll live in after Christ returns. Then, at the end of today's program, Skip and his wife Lenya share about some special resources to help you center your life on God's Word. Listen, I'm an author, but my wife is a tremendous author, and she's written some great books, women's Bible studies, as well as a book about reload love and a book about holy moments, and I would recommend that you go there to get those.

Thanks, Skip. If you want to hear more, please stay tuned after the teaching. Now we want to tell you about a great resource that will help you become the difference maker God created you to be. 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 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. Well there was a woman who died after a long illness and she died and she went and stood before the pearly gates of heaven and she was waiting for Peter, of course, and before Peter got there she peeked her head in and saw how beautiful it was and by the time Peter got there she said, wow, this place is really fabulous.

How do I get in? Peter said, well, you have to spell a word. She said, okay, what word? Peter said, spell the word love. She thought and she said, okay, L-O-V-E. Welcome, Peter said. You're admitted into heaven. So she gets there. She loves it. She spent six months there and one day Peter found her and said, look, I'm going to be out for the day.

Could you just take my position just for the day at these gates? So she was watching the gates of heaven one day and her husband arrived at the heavenly city and she turned and said, honey, what a surprise to see you. How have you been? And he said, oh, I've been doing pretty well since you died. I married the beautiful young nurse who took care of you while you were ill. Then I won the lottery and I sold our little house that you and I lived in and bought a huge mansion. My wife and I traveled all around the world. We were on vacation and I went water skiing today.

I fell, the ski hit my head and here I am. And then he said, how do I get in? And she said, well, you have to spell one word. He said, okay, what's the word?

And she said, Czechoslovakia. Aren't you glad that our salvation and therefore heaven is by God's grace, not by having to answer a question or spell a word or do a work, but we are saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb without spot or blemish. Getting into heaven and getting others into heaven ought to be our primary goal in life. After all, it's forever we're talking about. And that's where Revelation, chapter 21, comes in. Revelation, chapter 21, there is a shift in dimension.

We leave time altogether and we shift into the eternal dimension. In verse six, God who sits on the throne says it is done. That immediately takes our mind back to Jesus on the cross who said it is finished. This is after all of redemptive history is over and God can now say it's done. Everything I've wanted to accomplish is over, including the salvation of souls, including the judgment of the world, including the consignment of Satan and those who committed evil with him, including the kingdom given to Israel for a thousand years.

It's all accomplished. Time has run its course. The seven-year block called the tribulation is past. The thousand-year kingdom, past.

Time designations like BC or AD are all gone. This is the eternal state. Now I remember being in school and the teachers would talk about time as almost linear. In fact, when we talked about people's lives, we would draw a line on a chalkboard and little dots would represent periods in their life. So here's the line and then you have the first dot, that's birth, and the next dot could be the person's marriage, third dot, kids, fourth dot, bankruptcy, fifth dot, death. And that's the life.

And if you wanted to depict eternity, I suppose you just have the line go on and on and on, as if it's just time after time after time, when perhaps the best way to think about eternity is remove the line altogether. We're dealing with an entirely different dimension. Think about it. Our bodies are different at this point.

The environment is different. There's no sun, there's no moon, there's no sea, there's no sorrow, there's no death, there's no pain. Everything is new. That's why in verse five, again, he said, Behold, I make all things new.

So just keep this in mind. At this point, everything we know about this present life is gone. It's new heaven, new earth, and new Jerusalem. This is forever.

This is eternal. So what will this eternity now be like? What will this new city of Jerusalem be like? Chapter 21, we would say in real estate terms, is the walkthrough. This is the walkthrough to the new city of Jerusalem. He begins by giving us the elevation and outside view, and then he proceeds to an inside view, which we'll get to next week. Today, we just want to get sort of the outside view, the splendor, the magnificence of our future home. Now, God has long desired for this city. This has always been his plan from the beginning. He says in Hebrews that Abraham longed for a city that has foundations, whose builder and maker is God, and this is that city.

Okay, so as we go through it, keep this in mind. Architecturally, this is very different than any town you have ever seen. This is so modern.

This is beyond modern. This is future town. This is the new Jerusalem. What I'd like you to do is open your Bible.

You probably already have it, to chapter 21. And first of all, go back to verse 2 for a moment, though principally we're going to look at verses 9 through 21. Let's consider the making of this new city. Let's consider the making of this city. Because it says, Then I, John, saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared. That's the word I want you to notice. It's prepared.

And over in verse 10, it's descending out of heaven. So, obviously, thought has gone into the city. Planning has gone into the city.

It's never going to outgrow its infrastructure. It's planned because it is prepared. Now, something we know about God, He's always prepared. He's never haphazard. When He first created this present universe, it wasn't haphazard.

There were definite, sequential days of creative activity where this came into view and this came into being, etc. And Jesus promised this. He said, In my Father's house, there are many mansions. I'm going to prepare a place for you. So this is the place prepared. Now, some people, because of this word and because it descends out of heaven, sort of like a gift where God is saying here, some believe that this has been prepared during the millennial kingdom, those thousand years on the earth.

And there's a whole study that we could even delve off into there, but it's pure conjecture. We don't know if God instantly makes it or if it's prepared over a thousand years, but here it comes to the new earth. It is prepared, just like hell is prepared by God for whom?

The devil and his angels, Matthew 25 41. So the new Jerusalem is prepared for all of God's saved people. It goes by the name, New Jerusalem, but it has a couple of nicknames. And, you know, a lot of cities have nicknames. New York is called the Big Apple, Chicago, the Windy City, Los Angeles, the City of Angels, Santa Fe, the city different, aptly named.

These are nicknames. Well, the new Jerusalem is called, in verse two, the Holy City. In verse 10, the Great City.

In verse 11, having the glory of God. I remember the first time I was in my 20s when I saw the old Jerusalem, the one that is there now in Israel. It was so breathtaking. I don't know how to describe it, except I had the feeling that I belonged there. I had the feeling that I'd be back there again. A few years later, I had married Lenya and I brought her there, and she looked at Jerusalem. Her first time of viewing it, she just wept.

Different reactions, but breathtaking reactions. Nathan was just a little kid and he saw it and he said, Dad, Jerusalem is like our second home, huh? And there's all sorts of mystique and opinion and literature written about Jerusalem.

There always has been. In the Jewish Talmud, the ancient sages used to say, God gave 10 measures of beauty to the whole world. Nine of them were taken by Jerusalem and one was dispensed through the rest of the world. They went on to say 10 measures of knowledge was given to the whole world. Jerusalem took nine of them and one was given to the rest of the world. But they also say 10 measures of suffering has been given to the world and Jerusalem has taken nine and the rest of the world has taken that one. But the sages used to say of Jerusalem, he who breathes the very air of Jerusalem, will become a wiser person. Now, you know why I keep going back.

I want it to rub off. It truly is, though, amazing and wondrous to stand on the Mount of Olives east of Jerusalem. Just stand there and look. Just to take it all in. To look over the city with the Temple Mount and to think about its history and to imagine its future. Because Jerusalem has such a focal point in the Bible. I want you to consider this. Jerusalem is the geographic center of the earth biblically.

Now, hear me. There's a text in Ezekiel chapter five, verse five, where God says, this is Jerusalem. I have set her in the midst or the middle of the nations and countries all around her. Right in the middle. If you were to look at the Bible, you would say, this is Jerusalem.

Right in the middle. If you were to look at a map, you'll discover that Jerusalem in Israel is located on a land bridge that connects Europe and Africa and Asia. North in the Bible is north of Jerusalem. When it speaks about south in the Bible, it's always south of Jerusalem. East and west, that same reference point. So it's the geographic center of the earth biblically.

But it's more than that. It's the salvation center of the earth spiritually. There's no other place on earth where the salvation of souls has been purchased except just outside the gates of the city of Jerusalem at a place called Golgotha. Remember the little conversation Jesus had with the woman at the well of Samaria? And she's arguing about places and she says, you know, we worship in this mountain, but you Jews say Jerusalem is the place where we ought to worship. Remember what Jesus said?

He said, you don't even know what you worship. We know what we worship for salvation is of the Jews. It's the salvation center of the earth spiritually. Third, Jerusalem is the storm center of the earth prophetically. The Bible predicts a time in the book of Zechariah. It predicts a time when all of the nations of the earth will gather together against Jerusalem.

And world leaders know this. They know that the hot spot to look at is the Middle East, especially what goes on in the city of Jerusalem. But fourth, Jerusalem is the glory center of the earth ultimately. Jesus Christ will come back for a thousand years. He will occupy the city and rule from the city and he will fulfill Isaiah chapter two. The law will go forth from Zion and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

But all of that will take place and has taken place in the past and in the future up through the millennial kingdom. Now we're dealing with a whole new creation yet called Jerusalem. This is new Jerusalem. This is eternal Jerusalem. It's a city. Now the fact that it's a city tells us something about our eternity. It tells us that in our eternity we're going to be very social. Some of you go, I don't like the idea of being in a city.

I kind of thought having to be like I have like 52,000 acres all to myself and tell everybody else to bug off. Well keep in mind you're going to be in a redeemed body. You're going to think very differently than you do now. You're not going to be under the same pressure and part of your eternal dimension will be a city. It will be very very social. It's going to have all the advantages, all the culture. It'll have none of the disadvantages of modern cities. There's going to be no pollution, no garbage, no crime, no sirens, no traffic accidents, no one driving while they're talking on cell phones or putting makeup on.

I don't know if you've seen a lot of I've seen people do a lot of things while they should be driving. Now consider with me the meaning of the city. Notice this description in verse 2, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

What a description. Look over at verse 9, 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. A strange way to describe a town as a bride. John is describing something visually and keep in mind John is just seeing this and writing down what he sees in this vision. And what he sees of this city is that it's pure, brilliant, bright, beautiful, breathtaking, graceful. And the description that he sees is it's like a bride.

It's like a bride. Notice the word adorned in verse 2. It's the Greek word cosmeo. What word do we get from cosmeo? Cosmetics. It means to beautify or to make attractive.

John is saying, let me just tell you something, this town is decked out. And when that city comes from the sky, it's like all of your attention is drawn like a bride. I've done lots of weddings now. I love doing weddings because I always tell people I have the best seat in the house. I get to see the faces of people as the bride comes in. This is how a wedding usually works. First of all, everybody's attention is drawn to the platform as I come out with the groom because the groom is typically very nervous, kind of rubbing his hands, a little bit sweaty, shaky. And then the bride is announced. There's a change of music, everybody rises, turns backwards and that bride, beautifully bedecked, comes down the center aisle.

Everybody looks at her. And then I'm often looking at the groom who's going, cool. There's only one wedding that I remember where the bride didn't get the center of attention and that's because as soon as the groom saw the bride, he fainted. Now all of the attention was directed at the groom. Well, we got the guy back up. He looked at her again.

He fainted the second time. So the rest of the wedding, what a scene. He was seated while his bride was very aptly standing next to his side. This is John's description visually. The city is breathtaking. Also, I would say this is a description metaphorically.

Now hear me. In the Bible, the closest relation on earth is a marriage relationship. It's where people really get to know one another in the most intimate way. And so very often, Paul included, would describe the relationship of God's people, the church, as a bride and a bridegroom.

In 2 Corinthians 11, verse 2, he writes, for I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you or engaged you to one husband that I might present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. And I think a few weeks back, we told you that there's three different phases to the old Jewish weddings. First was the betrothal.

It lasted a year. It was the engagement process. At the end of that year, at some point, though they didn't know exactly when, the groom would show up at the bride's house unexpectedly, make his announcement, and take her from her house to his house, which brought us to the third phase.

That was the wedding ceremony and then the marriage feast. Right now, we as the church, as God's people, are in phase one. We're spoken for. We're engaged.

At the moment of our conversion, we're engaged to Jesus Christ, and we are waiting for him to literally sweep us off our feet at any moment in something called the rapture of the church, where he'll take us to heaven, to his kingdom. So, this is the courtship phase. We're getting to know him. Now, I will be honest with you. My own courtship was not the model you want to follow. I dated my wife for a couple months. I wasn't really sure about the relationship.

I mean, I was Joe single. I just was a mess. And I flaked out of the relationship. I didn't really communicate adequately with her. I just sort of didn't call her. Just sort of walked off the face of the map and kind of left her wondering. And then, after a couple years went by, the relationship was kindled up again, and I asked her to marry me. And even that didn't go very well. I wasn't like the Mr.

Romantic. I remember when I asked her to marry me, I was talking really weird, like, you know, life is many roads, and there's green lights and red lights, and you know if you should turn right or left. And she's thinking, what on earth is he telling me?

And then she discovered, I think he's about to ask me to marry him. Now, I never remember popping the question, honestly. She said I did, but I don't remember asking her the question.

What I do remember is kind of an interruption. She said, skip, skip, skip. I said, yes. I said, to what? Well, you just asked me to marry you, and I said, yes, I will marry you. And I remember, this I remember. I said, now wait a minute.

This is a huge decision. We have to talk about this. I mean, I was so flaky. I guess I'm bringing myself up as the negative example to say, Jesus Christ isn't flaky. He's absolutely sure he's certain you're the bride for him.

And he knows all about you, and he still wants you. That's Skip Hyten with a message from the series From the Edge of Eternity. Now, let's head into the studio with Skip and Lanya as they share about some exciting resources to help you center your life on God's Word. Skip, the reason we know anything about what our future is going to look like is because God has revealed it through the scripture. Growing in the knowledge of the Bible is a natural part of growing as a believer. Can you tell us about some biblical resources we offer that our listeners can dig into today?

Well, I have a page of resources that are in front of me, and so I can't go through all of them, but let me just start with the website ConnectWithSkip.com. If you have access to a computer, go to that website, because you can download and listen to over 3,500 full-length messages that unpack the Bible verse by verse. They're free to you who listen.

If you want to spend time, you can download them. We also have other online resources, studies. Listen, I'm an author, but my wife is a tremendous author, and she's written some great books, women's Bible studies, as well as a book about reload love and a book about holy moments, and I would recommend that you go there to get those. Also, we have devotions called the YouVersion devotional. YouVersion is the great Bible app.

We're privileged to be on that platform. We have one on unforgiveness. We have an EmpowerOne, Lenny, that you've done, a devotional that overviews spiritual gifts and how to discover yours. So I'm going to just stop with that, because there's a whole bunch of resources.

Let me just tell you about the website ConnectWithSkip.com and go to YouVersion and download those devos. Thank you, Skip and Lenny. We're excited to share how God uses support from friends like you to connect others to His Word. Listen to this letter one person posted. I cannot begin to say how much I've learned from listening to Skip's expository explanations of Scripture.

I'm legally blind and have never been able to study with commentaries, and now I feel like a whole new world has been opened up to me. You make stories like this one possible when you give to connect more people to God's truths, and we invite you to reach even more people by giving a gift today at ConnectWithSkip.com slash donate and help reach more people with God's Word. That's ConnectWithSkip.com slash donate or call 800-922-1888.

Again, that's 800-922-1888. Thank you. Tune in again tomorrow as Skip Heisig shares just how special and unique your future home is going to be. Connect with Skip Heisig is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-13 14:52:47 / 2024-03-13 15:02:29 / 10

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