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The King Invites Us To Reign With Him Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
September 30, 2021 1:00 am

The King Invites Us To Reign With Him Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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September 30, 2021 1:00 am

Do you ever wonder what eternity will be like? The best description we have is that of the Holy City, the New Jerusalem. Here, the saints will enjoy perfect health, holy unity, and unhindered worship, serving God together into “the ages of the ages.”

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Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. Ever wonder what Heaven will be like?

The best description we have is that of the Holy City, the New Jerusalem. Here, the saints will enjoy perfect health, serving God together in the blaze of no more night, and all of this into the ages of the ages. From the Moody Church in Chicago, this is Running to Win with Dr. Erwin Lutzer, whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line. Pastor Lutzer, today you conclude a series on The King is Coming, and I must say these have been breathtaking teachings.

You know, Dave, one of the problems that we have in today's world is we no longer take time for contemplation. Because you're absolutely right, what the Bible predicts is breathtaking, and we ought to spend more time thinking about it and then asking this fundamental question, how should I live differently in light of it? I've written a book entitled The King is Coming, and I'd like to emphasize that in it there are 10 events that all of us are going to participate in in one way or another. We're making this resource available for this very reason. We want you to contemplate the future, realize that indeed the King is coming, and be ready when he comes.

For a gift of any amount, this book can be yours. And by the way, today's the last day we are making this resource available. Go to rtwoffer.com.

That's rtwoffer.com, or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Ask for the book The King is Coming. So you're going to have kings that are going to bring their glory and whatever they had on earth, and they're going to bring it and lay it at the feet of Jesus. It says that the nations also, it speaks about, they will bring their glory and their honor into it. I imagine that even though the nations will be represented in heaven, there'll be no nationalism. There'll be no feeling of superiority, obviously, because of sinlessness and because we're all there with a common purpose, namely the worship and the service of Jesus. So there's going to be equality in the holy city. And then, for those of you who are into vitamins and health foods, catch this, chapter 22. Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, brightest crystal flowing from the throne of God and from the land through the middle of the street.

You have to get this now. There is the throne of God. From the throne comes a river of water of life flowing right through Main Street, right in the middle of Main Street.

That's what it says. And lo, on either side of the river, there's the tree of life. Oh, we have to stop there.

It can't just continue. Tree of life. You remember where we encountered it before? Book of Genesis. When Adam and Eve were there, there was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And God says, whatever you don't eat of that tree, they went against his word and they ate of that tree. And then God would not allow them back into Eden. There's no going back to Eden. And God actually made sure that they wouldn't go back.

Why? Because if they were to eat the tree of life, they would live forever as sinners. They would never die. You say, oh, that would be really good.

I don't think so. Just ask my mother. Once you're aged, you're longing for death and to be with God. And you'd be locked into this existence when God has something so much better planned for you. And so as a result of that, they did not eat the tree of life thankfully. Now you can eat. You can eat from the tree of life. And what is more, the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.

Now for many of us, that's confusing. You say, well, you know, we have limitless energy in heaven. We have strength in heaven. Why is it that we need to eat?

Well, here's the deal. You don't have to eat in heaven if you don't want to. But I think that we do eat in heaven. And that should not be a surprise to you. Jesus, after he received his resurrection body, he ate with the disciples.

He ate fish along the Sea of Galilee on the shore, and he ate with them. If we eat in heaven, it will not be because we have to, but we will eat because of the enjoyment of eating. Some of you can hardly wait.

Amen. So there's going to be health in heaven. It says that no one will ever hunger, nor will the sun beat upon any. What a glorious experience that will be. And then there will be service.

We have to continue to read. It says in verse 3, no longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. Now some translations may say his servants will serve him.

Why the difference? It's because this word actually is the word service, but it's generally the kind of service that you do within a temple or a service that you do within a church, that kind of service. So it really is worship. We are going to be busy serving the Lord. And then lest you think that that isn't the case, verse 5, and night will be no more. They will need no light of the lamp or the sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever. The expression in Greek is the strongest language that you could ever use for forever.

Generally, they will reign into the ages of the ages with no end at all in sight ever. Wow. You know the cartoon, The Far Side, there was a drawing that the artist gave that I think typifies many people's view of heaven. A cloud with a man sitting there with angel's wings and he's playing a harp.

And when you look at his face, it looks as if he's just been marooned on an island and bored out of his mind for the rest of his life. And underneath it says, I wish I had brought a magazine. My friend, that is not the way heaven is going to be. It's not going to be us gathering in one long church service and we begin on page one of the hymnal, sing our way through. And after we have finished singing our way through, we begin on page one again.

Nothing like that. We are going to serve him. It says that his name will be on our foreheads and we will reign with him forever and ever. Because after all, we are heirs of God. We are joint heirs with Jesus Christ.

When D.L. Moody lost everything in the fire, somebody said to him, you lost everything. He said, no, there's a great deal that I haven't lost. I said, oh, you're wealthy?

No, no, no, no. He who overcomes, the Bible says shall inherit all things. If your name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life, there is nothing that can happen to you on this earth that will be of any permanent damage because you have a place reserved in heaven. There's a crown that only you can wear. There's a room where only you can enter. There's an assignment that you are the only one who can perform and you will be there reigning with Christ forever and ever.

No wonder, Cooper wrote, how thou canst think so well of me and be the God thou art is darkness to my intellect, but sunshine to my heart will reign with him forever and ever. A couple of comments about the lifestyle of the city. You read about the New Jerusalem and you say, well, you know, that's interesting. Gates, walls, why? Because if you read the entire text, you discover that nowhere does it say that the gates are ever going to be closed.

It says, in fact, that they're going to be open, easy access. You see, you might have to go on assignment. We don't know what all that reigning with Jesus really means. It could be responsibility for other planets.

God is an infinite God. But another thing that that signifies is a city. Now, isn't it interesting that the Bible began in a garden, the Garden of Eden?

The Bible ends in a city. Why a city? Why not a farm? Why not a garden? Because you see, a city is community. A city is community.

And so what you really have is the need for gates. Well, people connect. You know, for years, Rebecca and I have lived in a condo building, and sometimes the only time we really met our neighbors is when we were going through the common entrance together.

That's where we met. God says, I want you to be connected to others. You're going to have a much larger family. Your mother will still be your mother in heaven, absolutely, and you will know her as your mother or your mother, your relatives, your children. But at the same time, the intimacy that you have between your mother and yourself and your family, that kind of intimacy is now going to be extended to all the family of God and the same kind of things. I expect that we're going to be doing projects together. We are going to be doing worship services together.

We are going to be doing assignments together, all in community there in heaven. And that's why we end, actually, in a city. So you have such things as walls. You have a water source. You have travel.

You have the beauty of architecture. And all of these things are going to be ours. Now I hope that you take the time to read Revelation 21 and 22 on your own. But I need to say that no matter how John ever described it, it is really inadequate.

But this is the best that we can do. I'm reminded of a little girl who was, her mother was reading stories to her about Jesus one night in a picture book with Bible stories. And the next morning she said, oh, mommy, she said, I dreamed about Jesus.

And she said, you know, mommy, he's so much better than the pictures. And I can assure you it's going to be so much better than this picture. We're going to be encouraged, but we won't need the word of God. We are going to be strengthened, but we won't have to exhibit faith. We will be there in God's presence forever.

You see, that's why the Bible says, I has not seen, nor has ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man what God has prepared for them who love him. This is the best that we can do. This is the best that we can do until eternity. But I'll tell you, once we're there, we'll wonder why it was that we wanted to live as long as we'd all desire to live.

It's going to be great. Now, I promised you that I would answer a question that is absolutely essential to you, and that is, who's in and who's out? Well, let's take your Bibles now. I'm going to read from chapter 21. You'll notice I'm picking it up in verse 8. After this glorious description of the New Jerusalem, it says in verse 8, chapter 21, but as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, will have their portion in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.

They will not be in the city. Now, essentially, the same thing is over here in chapter 22. Verse 14, blessed are those who wash their robes so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they might enter the city by the gates. By the way, no gate crashers here. You're either on the list or you're not. It says very clearly that only those whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life, no need to wonder whether or not the Secret Service took care of that. You'll notice it says, outside are the dogs, sorcerers, the sexually immoral, murderers, and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. I'm speaking to you now, and some of you say, well, that certainly excludes me. I won't make it in the holy city because this actually is quite characteristic of my life. I have some news for you. This is the best news you will ever hear today, I promise you.

It'll never get any better than this. There are going to be people in heaven who committed all of these sins and worse, and they will be in heaven. You say, well, why the big distinction? Well, it's here in the text. That's why we have to read our Bibles. It says in chapter 22, verse 12, behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me. And then it says in verse 14, blessed are those who wash their robes so that they might have the right to the tree of life, that they may enter the city by the gates. The issue really is not the greatness of your sin, however terrible it might be. God is able to take care of that. The issue is whether or not you have had your robes washed by Jesus, and you are clothed in His righteousness and not your own.

That's really the issue. And this gift of righteousness is a free gift. I want you to notice what the text says. What a wonderful way to end the scriptures. It says in verse 17, and the spirit and the bride say come, and let the one who hears say come, and let the one who is thirsty come. Let the one who desires take of the water of life without cost. If somebody tells you that you have to give money to go to heaven, that is not the gospel. If somebody tells you that you have to deserve going to heaven, that is not the gospel.

None of us deserve it. If somebody tells you that it comes through your participation in a church, somehow through baptism or other means, that is not the gospel. The gospel is those who are thirsty come without money, without price, to freely receive a gift. That is the gift of eternal life.

It is the robes that have been washed by God so that you can enter through the gates into the city. One day, Dale Moody said that he was in a meeting, and he was listening very carefully, and an old man stood up and said, it took me 40 years to learn these three things. And everybody who listened thought, well, you know, that's really good.

If it took them 40 years, maybe we can get a jump on things by listening carefully. What the man said is, number one, that I cannot earn my way to heaven. That's the first thing I learned. By the way, have you learned that? It's not a matter of your goodness. You won't make it. The second thing he said I learned is that God doesn't expect me to earn my way to heaven.

God knows we can't. He knows that better than you know it yourself. And then he said, the third thing I learned is that Jesus did it all for those who believe and trust Him. Is there today a hunger and thirst in your heart to know God and to know that you have the robe and that your name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life? Because elsewhere in the previous chapter, that's what it says, only those whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life. Then freely come to Jesus and receive the gift.

Come as you are to receive it. A number of years ago, a very well-known pastor was dying. He'd been very effective in ministry, actually the pastor of a church and the president of a seminary at the same time, wrote books. But as he was dying, he was troubled. See, even Christians can be troubled at death. And some of his friends thought, you know what we'll do?

We'll encourage him. We'll think of, oh, you know, through you, God did this. Through you, God did that. It gave him no peace and comfort until someone reminded him that we are received into heaven, totally independent of all the good that we've ever done, clothed in the righteousness of Christ. And that's why we sing, clothed in his righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne.

The terrors of law and of God with me can have nothing to do. My Savior's obedience and blood washed all of my sins from view. My name on the palm of his hands, eternity cannot erase. Forever there it stands a mark of indelible grace. And that's the way we'll enter the holy city. And so the Bible ends. He who testifies to these things saith, and now Jesus is speaking, surely I'm coming soon.

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with all a man. God says, after that, I've nothing more for you to say, and neither do I. Amen. Let's pray together. Father, we have nothing to say too.

We're out of words. Why would you so honor us? Why would you send Jesus to purchase sinners? We pray that no one who has heard this message today would love their sin more than loving the Savior.

And for those who do, wrestle with them. Show them their need to receive the free gift. I pray even now that right now people might be praying and say, Lord Jesus, I receive the free gift of eternal life, that I might know you and walk with you forever. Do all that in our hearts, O God, we pray. And for those of us who love you, may we always live with eternity in view. Before I close this prayer, do you have to pray now in your heart? Receive Jesus even where you are seated, or no matter how you are listening, say, Jesus, be my Savior. I thirst.

I receive. We pray in His name. Amen. My friend, this is Pastor Lutzer. This ends this series of messages, but where is your heart today? Have you received Christ as your Savior? Are you going to be spending eternity with Him, the eternity described in His most holy word? Today is the day of salvation.

I've written a book entitled The King is Coming, and it really discusses 10 events in the future that all of us are going to be involved in. This is the last day that we are making this resource available. For a gift of any amount, it can be yours. Here's what you do. Go to rtwoffer.com.

That's rtwoffer.com. And in a moment, I'm going to be giving you a phone number if you prefer to connect with us that way. But before I give that phone number, I want to thank you in advance for your support of this ministry. We believe deeply that the Word of God is able to do a work that nothing else is able to do. It can transform hearts. It can change hearts. It can give us a different motivation.

And the fact that the King is coming is a great motivator indeed. Here is what you do. You can go to rtwoffer.com, as I mentioned, for a gift of any amount. Or if you prefer, you can call us at 1-888-218-9337. Let me give you that phone number again, 1-888-218-9337. Today is the last day we're making The King is Coming, the book available, 1-888-218-9337.

You can write to us at Running to Win, 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60614. Endangered Species. Some activists get very concerned about the fate of the spotted owl. But the real endangered species is the family. Fractured, broken, stressed, dysfunctional. All these words describe a crisis in the most basic unit of society. And if the church does not act to save the family, who will? Next time, a series begins on reclaiming the family. Plan to join us. For Pastor Erwin Lutzer, this is Dave McAllister. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-18 13:01:55 / 2023-08-18 13:10:18 / 8

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