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Hope When You Are Defeated – Part 2

Living in the Light / Anne Graham Lotz
The Truth Network Radio
December 4, 2022 3:00 pm

Hope When You Are Defeated – Part 2

Living in the Light / Anne Graham Lotz

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Heaven doesn't move. It's absolutely stable. There is no uncertainty, no insecurity.

Absolutely stable. And in our world where things just change so fast. And in heaven there's none of that. It's glorious. We're so glad you joined us for this week's Living in the Light with Anne Graham Lotz and this amazing journey through the book of Revelation. What Anne calls the vision of His glory. Finding hope through the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Her message today begins with Anne reading Revelation chapter 21 verses 3 and 4. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, Now the dwelling of God is with men and He will live with them. They will be His people and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain for the old order of things has passed away.

Praise God. There is coming a day when there will be no more pain, no more suffering, no more tears. What do you shed tears over? What makes you cry on your pillow at night? In what way are you suffering? Physically, emotionally, mentally, relationally? In heaven there will be no more suffering or things that cause our suffering.

So again I made a list. You might make your own list but of course no more death or pain, no more betrayals, no more hospitals, no more funerals, no more walkers or wheelchairs, no more grief, no more broken homes or broken hearts or broken lives. or broken hopes, no more famines and starvation, no more physical handicaps or muscular dystrophy or blindness or lameness, no more deafness, no more diabetes, no more heart disease, no more renal failure, no more paralysis, no more cataracts, no more strokes, no more cancer, no more AIDS.

Just fill in the blank. Nothing ever again that would cause you to suffer. It's all going to be wiped away. And I love the tenderness of God the Father getting up off of his throne and coming over and wiping the tears from your cheeks and saying, My child, you're home.

You're safe. There will be no more suffering here. So heaven is a perfect place. You can look homeward knowing that it's prepared for you, it's perfect and it's permanent.

It's built to last. Verse 15, the angel that was speaking to me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls. And I won't give you the measurements but I think two things here. I think one, it's implying that if you could go to heaven right today, it's somewhere in the universe and you could walk it off. So it's a literal, actual, physical place. This isn't a vision, a fantasy, a dream, a whim.

This is a real place. And this angel was walking it off. If we take the measurements that the angel gave, then it's a city that's 1,500 square miles. So it would stretch from the Atlantic Ocean to the Rockies, from Mexico to Canada. And it's as wide and long as it is high.

So it's a cube. And if there were 20 billion residents of heaven, which there are not going to be because, well not at this point, there are not that many people who have lived in the history of the human race and we know not all of them are going to heaven anyway. But if there were 20 billion residents of heaven, every resident would have 75 acres to herself or himself and that still leaves rooms for public parks and buildings and streets.

So that's what Jesus said. In my father's house there are many rooms, many mansions. It's a great big place.

It will never be overpopulated. So you can feel free to invite every member of your family and every member in your neighborhood and every member in your city and you just share the gospel freely because everyone is invited to come live in heaven forever. Great big place. And as John begins to look at it, the angel takes him in verse 9. One of the seven angels, and this is one that had the seven bowls. Can you imagine what a joy this was to the angel after pouring out those bowls of wrath?

Now look what he gets to do. He came and said to me, I'll show you the bride, the wife of the lamb, and he carried me away in the spirit to a mountain great and high. And he showed me the holy city drew some coming down out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel. Like a jasper, clear as crystal.

In other words, it looked like a diamond. The whole city. It had a great high wall with 12 gates.

And it goes down in verse 17. The wall is a great high wall that goes around the city that's 1500 square miles and the wall is 200 feet thick. So the first thing that catches John's attention is this incredible wall made out of something that looks like jasper. It looks like a diamond, but it's huge. It's magnificent. So one of the things it's telling us is that heaven is spectacular, but I think that it's telling us something else.

I think it's telling us that heaven is a safe place. Have you ever been the victim of a violent crime? Has your home been robbed? About 30 years ago our home was robbed. It took everything of value in my home. Everything my grandmother left me, everything. I never got it back.

I remember that feeling of violation. Drive-by shootings, somebody that just walks into a marketplace or walks into a restaurant in a friendly, wonderful neighborhood and all of a sudden blow themselves to smithereens. There'll be no more suicide bombers, drive-by shootings, guns, bombs, missiles, war. Heaven is a safe place. And you and I can know that we'll be safe forever, but let me give you this thought. What about your children? You know when our children were little, and some of you still have little children, but we're so careful to hold their hand when they cross the street, to put our medicines behind a cabinet that they can't reach. They put the little medicine caps on them that they say are child proof and actually you have to ask a child to open them because we can't.

But you know we're trying to keep them safe from things that might hurt them and put the little locks on the cabinet doors so they can't get to the chemicals under the sink. But what about their eternal safety? Did you share the gospel with your children? One of the things I've referred to her several times and this is the thing that's sort of stunning. And every year she'll share the gospel with her children's classes. She has three children and so she'll go into each of their classes and she shares the gospel. Either at Halloween when she talks about the pumpkin and you pull the junk out and you put the light in and then she just shares the gospel, the sin that has to come out and the light of Jesus that goes in. Or Christmas she'll share the gospel or Easter she'll share the gospel. Every time she shares there are six or eight children that raise their hands and pray the prayer out loud and come up after and say I prayed the prayer with you. She led chapel the other day and she said one of these children came up to her and she had been saved, shared the gospel a couple of years ago and now the child is in fourth grade.

I mean he's an old fourth grader. She's been saved a couple of years now and now she says God has called her to the mission field and she knows when she grows up she's going to be a missionary to Africa. And every time a little child raises their hand and prays to receive Christ, that's another one. We like snatching them out of the fire. Think of the children. What can you do to make sure that children are safe forever?

And you can start with your children and your grandchildren and your neighbor's children and the children in your church and the children in your child's school and it can be somebody else. I was giving an interview over the radio and it was in a studio and we had one engineer to run it and it was quite an interview, I'll tell you what, 45 minutes. And I shared the gospel every which way because it was for a secular program. And afterwards it occurred to me that the engineer had gotten an earful. And so I just sat where I was sitting and he came out from behind the glass to open the door to let me out and I asked him if he had faith. He said no. And I said, do you want to? And he said we're driving to the studio.

He had no idea what he was going to be doing. He just knew to set up this interview and do the connection and he said but he was thinking as he was driving to the interview that something was stirring in his heart and he really needed to have a relationship with God. And I said would you like to have one today? He said yes. So I invited him to come over and I had the privilege of just leading him through the gospel and praying with him as he prayed to receive Christ. And as I walked out of that studio, which actually happened to be in the Natural History Museum in Raleigh, but I walked out of it and you know what I was thinking?

Snatched him out of the fire. Because any moment the world's going to blow and that's one more that won't be going through the tribulation. I just felt overwhelmed with the fact that there are people around us. If we're living at the end of time like I believe we are, then people around us are going to be going through the tribulation. And I don't want one person to go through the tribulation who wouldn't have gone through if I had been faithful to share the gospel.

If I had told them they were invited to spend eternity in heaven and shared Christ with them and they would have received him and escaped all that wrath that's coming. So heaven is a safe place. And when we think of the tribulation going on on earth, how precious it is to think that we're going home and we will never, ever, ever, ever experience anything like is poured out on planet earth because of their rebellion against God. We're going to be safe.

Oh, take as many people with you as you can. We want our friends and our neighbors. I actually even want my enemies to be safe.

So we pray for our enemies. The next thing John noticed was the foundation of the city. In verse 14, underneath these walls that were 200 feet thick, it says, the wall of the city had 12 foundations. On them were names of the 12 apostles. Now can you imagine, and down further in verse 19 it says each foundation was a different precious gem. So John is looking at this city, 1500 square miles, this huge wall, 200 feet thick that looks like a diamond. Underneath that are 12 layers of foundation, each one a different semi-precious stone.

On each foundation was the name of an apostle, and he's an apostle. Can you imagine him looking there and his eyes bugging out, and there's my name. And remember, he's on Patmos. He's in exile.

He's isolated, cut off. And suddenly he sees his heavenly home and he's got his name on it. You want to tell me, you know he was saying it's worth it. It's worth it. It's worth it to share the gospel and wind up on Patmos a thousand times over. It's worth it because heaven is my home. Abraham left Ur of the Chaldees, Hebrews said, because he was looking for a city with foundations whose builder and maker was God.

I hope I get to see Abraham's face when he sees that city and knows it's been prepared for him. But I think it also means if it's got 12 foundations, that city is stable. And coming out of the tribulation, people who go through that, the earthquakes we read about, and the bombs, and the mountains falling into the sea, and the city splitting in three parts, and heaven doesn't move. It's absolutely stable. There is no uncertainty, no insecurity. Absolutely stable. And in our world where things just change so fast, in fact I think that's demonic, you know to have things moving so fast that you get confused and there's a spirit of agitation and in heaven there's none of that.

It's glorious. But you know there's going to be a peace and a serenity that comes from being absolutely secure and stable. It had 12 foundations and it had streets. Verse 21 it says, the streets of the city were of pure gold like transparent glass. And there are country and western songs that are written about the streets of gold and people sort of make jokes about the streets of gold.

And I think they'll be spectacular. They look like mirrors actually because they're like polished glass. But my mother told me something that made me think because she said, you know, the streets are paved with gold in heaven so maybe it would have us think about our priorities here on earth. Because down here gold represents one of our most precious commodities, right? And we work hard for money that is represented by gold and we can sometimes even sacrifice our children and our families because we want to take another job and make more money. And we invest it and we, you know, all the things we hoard it and we want the money and the gold that it represents and that's a priority for us down here and the things that we do to get it.

And when we get to heaven it's just asphalt. So maybe it means that we have our priorities misplaced. That we're spending time on stuff down here that will mean nothing up there.

And spending no time down here on things that will mean everything up there. So don't lay up your treasures on earth where moth and rust corrupt and thieves break in and steal. Lay up your treasures in heaven. People say you can't take anything to heaven. Yes you can. You can take your children. You can take your neighbor.

You can take your friends. You can take your Christ-like character that you've made time to develop because you're walking with God and you're being conformed to his image and when he allows the suffering and the pain to come into your life you submit to it and say, God have your way in me. Conform me to the image of Jesus. I want to be like him in as much fullness as I can. You can take your character.

You can take people that you've led to Christ and maybe you haven't actually prayed with them when they've received Christ but you sow a seed and you're part of the team that brings that person to Christ. Streets were paved out of gold. Let that remind you about your priorities. What are your priorities? How do you spend your time and your money? What's the aim and goal of your life?

You need to adjust that. Just check it to make sure and I know we have to work for a living. I know we have to put food on the table and clothes on our backs. I don't want to be impractical but at the same time I know also what it's like to have your goal in life, your aim in life to be one to bring people to Jesus and to glorify God and all of this other just makes that possible.

So our number one priority is Jesus and bringing people to know him and bringing him glory. The gates to me are the most meaningful aspect of the physical permanent part of heaven. In verse 12 it says this wall that's 200 feet thick had 12 gates and it's down in verse 21. It says each gate was made of a single pearl.

So now think about that. If a gate hangs on a wall that's 200 feet thick it's a pretty big gate. And can you imagine if each gate is a single pearl how gigantic that pearl is? And do you know how pearls are formed?

It's like when a little grain of sand gets inside of an oyster or something that irritates the oyster and so the oyster just continues to cover that grain of sand or that irritation with a layer of mother of pearl and he just layers it and layers it and layers it and layers it until he can no longer feel the irritation or that little grain of sand. And so for an oyster to create a pearl big enough to be a gate that hangs in a wall 200 feet thick we're not talking about an irritation we're talking about incredible intense suffering. So could it be that the gates of heaven themselves speak of the suffering and the death and the blood and the cross of Jesus Christ? And when people say there are other ways to God besides Jesus and there are other ways into heaven besides the cross and I think every time you and I enter in through those pearly gates we're going to be reminded the only way we enter into heaven is because Jesus died for us. The only way we have entrance is through his blood and every time we walk through those gates we're going to say thank you, thank you, thank you for dying to open the gate for me. So don't let anybody tell you there are other ways to Jesus.

That's so offensive. Other ways to God. If there were other ways God would have found it.

There's no other way. That's why he gave us Jesus, sent him to the cross. They shed his own blood to redeem us from our sin. Praise God. God didn't even have to make a way did he? But he did make a way through his son Jesus and through the cross and so we just say thank you and those pearls will be constant reminders of the preciousness of the cross.

And the fact that our privilege to enter into heaven is only because of what Jesus has done for us. So our heavenly home is a prepared place. It's a perfect place. It's a permanent place.

It has physical components and I love this thought. It's a home where the light has been left on for you. Verse 22. I did not see a temple in the city because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. That's where God dwells. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it for the glory of God gives it light and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it.

On no day will its gates ever be shut for there will be no night there. When my mother was here and still to this day but I live about three and a half, four hours east and when I would come home and my mother was expecting me. I would drive up the three and a half to four hours depends on how fast you drive but I can make it in less than three and a half hours actually. But I come to the mountain road, the drive that's our driveway and it's just a curving mountain road and when I come to it if the weather's warm I roll down the windows. If it's at night time I love to hear the catedids and the crickets and the frogs and I love to smell the leaves and I love to feel the warm air. It's just different from what we have in Raleigh and so I just go up that mountain drive but what I'm looking for is I come around the last bend around the drive. In the front driveway mother's got a great big post. On top of it is a bird house that's covered with a pink rose vine and underneath is a lantern that hangs. And when she knows I'm coming home she would turn the light on. So as I would come up through the dark and I come around that last bend I'm looking for the lantern hanging under that bird feeder or that bird house. And the light's on because I know when the light's on my mother's expecting me. And when she was able until she was bedridden she was always at the front door.

I don't know how she would know that's when I was going to be pulling up the driveway but she would always be at the front door to greet me. And I think and I know I'm reading into this but at the end of this passage it talks about the Lord and the Lamb and the light. There's no sun or moon and I just wonder as he's saying I've left the light on for you. I'm waiting for you. Waiting at the door. I'm expecting you. I'm looking for you. I'm longing for you.

I can't wait for you to come home and can't wait to show you all the things I've prepared for you and he's left the light on for you. So we can look homeward focused on heaven and we can look homeward faithful on earth. Be faithful to the word of God.

I'll skip the first part of chapter 22 although it's very precious maybe I'll just read it. The angel showed me the river of the water of life. This is the living water as clear as crystal. Look where it comes from. It flows from the throne of God and the Lamb. Listen to me.

Remember we talked about when you get your heart back. And the river of the water of life, the fullness of God's blessings, the fullness of the Spirit, the joy, the peace, everything represented by eternal life. It comes from the throne out of the lordship of Jesus. When he's Lord of your life, when he's seated on the throne, that's when the river flows.

Okay? So the river is flowing from the throne. On each side of the river stood the tree of life and it bears the crops and the fruit and whatever. And the throne of God and the Lamb will be in this city. His servants will serve him. Verse 4. They will see his face and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more nights.

They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun for the Lord God will give them light and they will reign forever and ever. So stay faithful to the Word. The angel said to me, these words are trustworthy and true. You stay faithful to the Word because it's true. My mother wrote in the flyleaf of my Bible when I was baptized at the age of nine. And I've put these words, paraphrased a little bit, on the main banner on our website homepage because my mother said, Ann, this is your one sure guide in an unsure world. Read it, study it, apply it, obey it, live by it, love it. And I thought, you know, at the age of nine my mother couldn't have given me any better advice than that.

And now she's gone and I'm here and I'm the grandmother and I'm passing this down to my children and my grandchildren and I'm going to tell them the same thing. Isn't it wonderful that we have a book whose every word from Genesis to Revelation is trustworthy and true. So be faithful to the Word. Read it.

List your facts. Learn the lessons from the facts. Ask yourself those questions and then once a week you take that list of facts and you divide them and summarize them and come up with your aim and applications and then when God gives you time you just take it over and see what you can make of it and find the treasure that's underneath. Be faithful to the Word of God. The message is true and the message is timely. And three times in these 13 verses Jesus says, I'm coming, I'm coming, I'm coming soon.

You can underline it. I'm coming soon he says. And remember these words are trustworthy and true. Do you believe he's coming soon? I mean soon.

Matthew 24, Jesus told his disciples how to tell time because people come up to me and they say, Ann, hasn't every generation expected Jesus to come back in their lifetime? And I say yes. And they say so. And I say so.

You know what? We're the only generation that has all of these signs within one generation. Everything that's been done necessary to all the prophecy that needs to be fulfilled before Jesus comes back in the rapture has been fulfilled. And all the signs he gave in Matthew 24 are being fulfilled and have been in my lifetime.

Now here's Ann with this final word. He is coming soon. Time is running out. When you step into eternity not only will unbelievers lose any chance to repent and be saved from judgment, but believers will lose any opportunity to work for the Lord on earth. Jesus said, as long as it's day, we must do the work of him who sent me.

Night is coming when no one can work. Five minutes before you see Jesus face to face, what will you wish you had done differently in your life? Will you wish you'd taught Sunday school or opened your home for a prayer group or started a Bible study over your lunch hour with your coworker who seemed interested or gone on that mission trip or you fill in the blank? What will you wish you'd done at that too late time?

Whatever it is, just do it. Now. This has been Living in the Light. Please take advantage of all the free resources at AnnGramlots.org to help and encourage you in your walk with God and in your study of His Word. Join us here each week for Living in the Light.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-04 16:26:36 / 2022-12-04 16:37:06 / 11

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