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The King Invites Us To Reign With Him – Part 2 of 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
February 29, 2024 1:00 am

The King Invites Us To Reign With Him – Part 2 of 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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February 29, 2024 1:00 am

Imagine enjoying perfect health, holy unity, and unhindered worship, serving God together into “the ages of the ages.” Everything will be good, perfect, and beautiful. In this message, Pastor Lutzer discusses the features and the privileges of the holy city. Who will dwell in the holy city—the New Jerusalem?

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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.

And you know Dave, it is breathtaking. When you begin to think of what God has prepared for those who love him, it is beyond our ability to understand, but trying to understand it is our responsibility. That's why I've written the book entitled The King is Coming, and I might mention that this is the last day that we are making this resource available to our listeners. Here's what you can do.

Go to rtwoffer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337. If we were able to grasp eternity, and we should try as best we can, no doubt we would live differently. That's why prophecy is given to us. It is to motivate us, knowing that eventually every single thing that we do for God will be remembered. And best of all, we get to glorify him forever.

So let's listen once again, but even as we do, let's remember that at the end of this broadcast, I'm going to be giving you that contact info again because today is the last day we're making this resource available. 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 low on either side of the river, there's the tree of life. But we have to stop there.

You 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. You know, once you're, once you're aged, you're, you're longing, 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 three, 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 five, 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. Literally, 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 angels 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. He'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've 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 DL 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. They 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 can 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 raining 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 that 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 father, 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 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, that 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 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 eight. After this glorious description of the new Jerusalem, it says in verse eight, 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. And 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, that's really good.

If it took them 40 years, maybe we can get a jump on things by listening carefully. And 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. Probably 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 have nothing more for you to say.

And neither do I. 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.

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, oh God, we pray. And for those of us who love you, may we always live with eternity and 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. Well, this is Pastor Lutzer.

Let me have a word with you. Have you savingly believed on Jesus Christ? You know, the reason that God revealed Christ to us and also the future, the reason for these revelations is that we might be ready for eternity. We're not dealing here with issues that simply have to do with time but rather issues that have eternal significance.

So if you've never trusted Christ as Savior, at this moment, repent, believe the gospel, and you'll be able to enter into that heavenly city. I've written a book entitled The King is Coming. It discusses 10 events that will change our future forever. I try to avoid a lot of controversies. There are issues over which good people disagree. But at the same time, we should never avoid prophecy.

It is given to motivate us to live for Christ. I hope that you have a pen or pencil handy because as I like to mention, for a gift of any amount, we're making this book available and today is the last day that we are making it available to our listeners. So here's what you do. Go to rtwoffer.com. That's rtwoffer.com or pick up the phone and call us at 1-888-218-9337.

Remember the name of the book, The King is Coming, 10 events that will change your future forever. One more time, rtwoffer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Thanks in advance for helping us because of people just like you were able to get the gospel around the world.

You can write to us at Running to Win, 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60614. Running to Win is all about helping you find God's roadmap for your race of life. The sins of mankind separated us from God, but He was not content to let His finest creation die without hope. He put in motion a plan to redeem those that believe in the value of a great sacrifice, that of Jesus on the cross. Next time, don't miss a series on The Drama of Redemption. Thanks for listening. For Dr. Erwin Lutzer, this is Dave McAllister. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-29 02:52:15 / 2024-02-29 03:00:41 / 8

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