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Two Destinations

Two Destinations

If the evils of earth have ever made us wonder who is in charge, these lessons in the Book of Revelation have reassured us, The Lord God omnipotent reigneth, Revelation 19:6. He allows evil doers to violate His will for a time, because He wants them to have a change, to change from evil to good.

2 Peter 3:9

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Two Destinations

God’s Word pictures two destinations for those who leave this earth. There is the Holy City described in our text and there is everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels. Between the two is a great gulf.

Luke 16:26 (Abraham speaking to a certain rich man, Jesus telling the events)

And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.

We can choose our destination and the time to choose is now but the choice is not one to be made once and then forgotten. It is a choice to live by as long as we live on earth. We must not get tired of doing good for our reaping depends on our continuing.

Revelation 2:10

Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

1. Heaven will be a place of learning:

1 Corinthians 13:9-10

9For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

2. Heaven will be a place of singing:

Revelation 5:9

And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

3. Heaven will be a place of service:

Revelation 22:3

And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it and His servants shall serve Him.

Our manner of life tells for “which world” we really live. Does the way we live say loud and clear that this world is the only one we believe in or does our life of holiness show to the world that we believe God’s promises of a new Heaven and Earth?

In His own time He will make His rule plain to all. If this world seems overwhelmed with evil, we look for new heavens and a new earth, where dwelleth righteousness. To encourage us while we wait, God gave John a vision of what is to be.

When we see all that God has provided for us, we will be overwhelmed and all the problems of the present will become insignificant when compared with the glorious prospects of the future.

What the future has to offer for the Christian is not a dream, although it is more wonderful than our minds are able to comprehend.

In a dream we sometimes find ourselves in a situation that is too good to be true. When we awaken we discover that it was not real, that nothing had changed, and that life must go on at the same pace as before, but Heaven is a place where dreams come true. It will mean entrance into a world that staggers the imagination and then we will discover that it is for real. It is not going to go away with the dawning of another day.

John saw in a vision what all of us will see in reality if we are faithful to the Savior: a new heaven and a new earth.

Revelation 21:1

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

We may wonder why there “was no more sea.”

We like to sit on the beach or walk along the shore and watch the ceaseless motion of the waves. We like seafood. We like to sail on the water, so why should there be no more sea in the better world to come? Our text gives no reason, so shall we make a few guesses?

The Bible sometimes looks on the sea as a symbol of restlessness, instability and danger.

Isaiah 57:20-21

20But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. 21There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.

James 1:6

But let him ask in faith nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

1. The sea can be deadly. Many have perished in it. The New Earth will have no such threat.

2. The sea separates people. John may have been keenly aware of this when he was imprisoned on an island and could not be with his brethren on the mainland. There will be no such barrier in the world to come.

In ancient times God was a husband to Israel, and lamented because Israel was not faithful to the covenant. In time to come those living in the “new” Jerusalem will be “the bride,” the Lamb’s wife. Never again will the Bride be unfaithful. The Bride is the Church, not in its present faulty condition, but perfected by the power of God.

Revelation 3:12

Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

Revelation 21:2

And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

As lovely as the city is with its gold and jewels, this is its best feature: God will live there with His people. He lives in the hearts of each Christian, but He is invisible to our mortal eyes, and all too often His presence is obscured by our faults and failures. In the New Jerusalem He will be clearly seen. No fault of ours will obscure His presence, for we then shall be faultless. When we become immortal we shall become incorruptible in every way.

1 Corinthians 15:51-53

51Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. 52In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

Revelation 21:4

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Whatever load of grief has been ours, He will lift it from us. We shall never grieve anymore, for in that Heavenly City is no cause of grief, no death or sorrow, no crying, no pain. This new home will be perfectly suited to our new resurrected bodies.

The city rests on twelve layers of foundation stones with each layer being inlaid with a different precious gem.

Foundations of the Wall of the City

First Foundation
Jasper, a crystal clear diamond, as bright as a transparent icicle in the sunshine

Second Foundation
Sapphire, a blue opaque stone with gold specks

Third Foundation
Chalcedony, a skyblue stone with stripes of other colors running through it

Fourth Foundation
Emerald, a bright green stone

Fifth Foundation
Sardonyx, a white stone with layers of red

Sixth Foundation
Sardius, a fiery red stone

Seventh Foundation
Chrysolite, a transparent golden yellow stone

Eighth Foundation
Beryl, a sea-green stone

Ninth Foundation
Topaz, a transparent golden green stone

Tenth Foundation
Chrysoprase, a blue green stone

Eleventh Foundation
Jacinth, a violet stone

Twelfth Foundation
Amethyst, a purple stone

These 12 foundations are not only inlaid with costly gems, but each foundation layer carries the name of one of the twelve apostles in the New Testament!

Revelation 21:14

And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

The Streets

The streets of the New Jerusalem are composed of pure transparent gold.

The city John saw descending out of Heaven from God was of enormous size. It appears that it was a solid cube of golden construction measuring one thousand five hundred miles in every direction.

The city has 12 gates each made of pearl. They will never be shut.

No church will be needed. God will be so close to everyone, and everyone so close to God that it will not be necessary to go into a sanctuary to seek communion with Him. What a beautiful thought! What a glorious day awaits the believer.

Revelation 2:10

Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

Our faith has a part in our salvation and our works have a part, but nothing we have can buy a ticket to the Holy City and nothing we do can earn our way there. It is a gift from God and we can stand in judgment as spotless as if we had never sinned! Praise the Lord!

Revelation 22:17

And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

2 Peter 3:9

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

The choice is ours.

Increasingly, since the demise of communism in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, political leaders have been talking about a new world order. Apparently, those who hold this vision of a new world order are hoping to create a new economic, political and military order of global proportions.

Time will tell how far mortal man can go with making such a vision reality, but it is certain that the man-made new world order will be just as cursed with sin and its consequences as is the present world order.

The only real hope of a new world, a genuinely new world, free from the curse of sin and filled with righteousness, is that promised by God in Scripture, and this new world, when it arrives, will not have been created by world leaders, but by God Himself.

Christians are not placing their hope on a new world order, but on a New Heaven and Earth made by God.

Author: Nannie Mae Jordan  
(Transcribed by Joyce Carter   Transcribed and Formatted by Jerry Knight)


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