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Future-Town - Part 1 - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
July 3, 2021 2:00 am

Future-Town - Part 1 - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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July 3, 2021 2:00 am

Our English word town is related to the German word zaun (tuin in Dutch). The original idea behind the meaning referred to a space that a fence or wall would enclose. The town of the future described in this chapter, also enclosed by a wall, will be so magnificent that even John's depiction leaves us scratching our heads. This is God's revelation of the future Eternal dwelling of all believers. Let's do a walk-through today.

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

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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 5, 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. Before you move somewhere new, it's usually a good idea to try and get an idea of what that place is like.

You'll want to learn what the town is like, what kind of schools they have, and where the best areas of town to live are, and, of course, how the Wi-Fi situation is. Well, today here in Connect with Skip Weekend Edition, Skip Heitzig is going to help us get that same kind of scouting report about the future city we'll live in after Christ returns. Now, before we get started today, this month's resource looks into the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is mysterious.

In the Bible, Jesus even said, He moves like the wind. Even so, Christians are instructed to know and be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and His help, counsel, and comfort, as Skip Heitzig reminds us. You can't neglect the Holy Spirit since the scripture is full of the Holy Spirit from beginning to end, from Genesis to Revelation. Not only is the Bible full of the Holy Spirit, you can be too. The Holy Spirit is a divine person who helps us. How many of you think you need all the help you can get to live your Christian life?

Yeah, I'm with you. We need help. Discover who the Holy Spirit is with Pastor Skip's DVD study, Expound Holy Spirit. And for a limited time, you can also get a copy of Lenya Heitzig's booklet called Empower, Discover Your Spiritual Gifts. Both resources are our thanks for your gift of $25 or more to help expand this Bible teaching outreach.

To give online securely, visit connectwithskip.com slash offer or call 800-922-1888. Open your Bibles to Revelation chapter 21 as Skip Heitzig gets today's study started. 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 6, 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 5, 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, an 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 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 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 this city. Planning has gone into this city.

It's never going to outgrow its infrastructure. It's perfectly planned, because it is prepared. Now, something we know about God, He's always prepared. He's never a 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. Now 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 2, 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's 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 go 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 5 verse 5 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 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 2. 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 heaven would 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 his 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 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 and everybody looks at her. And then, I'm often looking at the groom who's going, oh, 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. 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 don't 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 beautiful. That's love. Now, the question, do you have a personal, close relationship with your groom-to-be, like a bride-to-be should have?

I'll ask it in another way. Are you flirting with the world? Are you going out on Jesus?

Is there something in your life that needs to be eradicated, removed, cut out? Do you need to return to your first love, that first love of a spousal? So I think this meaning here of the bride is simply to say, in this city, future town, your love with Jesus and for Jesus will be real, fresh, and absolutely complete.

Best description, it's a bride adorned for her husband. Although it's not quite the same as looking up a city on Google Earth, the Bible does give us a pretty good idea of what heaven and the future city we'll live in has in store for us. And just a reminder, there's only one way to get to this delightful place, and that's through Jesus Christ.

There aren't many highways leading into the city, only the narrow road. So if you'd like heaven to be your future destination, you have to come through Jesus. Why don't you call us if you'd like to ask how to do that? The number is toll-free 1-800-922-1888, or just click on the Know God link at connectwithskip.com. And remember, you can order a copy of today's teaching for just $6 plus shipping, or the entire From the Edge of Eternity series for only $39 plus shipping, both available when you call 1-800-922-1888, or order online at connectwithskip.com. We'll continue to explore the details of our future town of residence next time here in Connect with Skip Weekend Division, a presentation of Connection Communications. Make a connection, make a connection at the foot of the crossing. Cast all burdens on His word, make a connection, a connection, a connection. Connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-25 03:46:32 / 2023-09-25 03:55:17 / 9

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