"A New Home"
As we bring our study of Revelation to a close, we will see eternity open up – the day when we begin to live forever with God and the Lamb. Lord Jesus, come soon!
A New Home
A. Babylon has fallen! The punishment that would come upon Rome was prophesied. Sometime after that, the great dragon was bound for 1000 years. Many debate the meaning of the binding and the 1000 year reign of the martyred, but John doesn’t give much detail.
B. After the dragon is released, he again makes one last effort to fight against God’s people, we Christians, at the end of time, not the end of Rome. As the pressure upon Christians mount, God steps in at what I call, Judgement Day. The Bible speaks of fire from heaven and that Satan is thrown into the lake fire for eternity.
C. The Revelation of Jesus could have stopped right there and all would be fine and it would be a great ending to the vision, but Jesus unfolds Judgement Day for John. Listen to Rev. 20:11-15.
D. With the destruction of the earth and the sky as we know it, comes the judgement of all mankind. For the child of God this day should not be one filled with dread, but one in which we are excited to participate. Yet, because we struggle with sin, many Christians fear this day that John sees.
E. The only ones who need to fear are those whose names are NOT written in the book life. We know about that book and have read that our names are written there, so for us this is not a day to fear. Paul would tell Timothy that he longs for or loves the day of Jesus coming back because that is the day in which we wear a crown of righteousness. So, to we who are saved, let Jesus tell us about our new home.
I. A New Home
A. Go back in time. Jesus had his last supper with his disciples, washed their feet, and now had some teaching he wanted to give them. Judas had left the dinner to go and make plans on how to betray Jesus. The teaching from Jesus is that he was leaving to go to the Father but would return.
B. Jesus says these words (READ John 14:1-3). Jesus was going, but was going “to prepare a place for them.” The words are that of a groom that goes to prepare a place for his bride. The time that it took was undetermined, but the bride would make herself ready to receive her groom and go to her new home when he came back for her.
C. It is that same language that we get at the end of Revelation. The battle with the beasts is done; the binding, releasing and then the eternal punishment of the dragon is done; the day of Judgement for all humanity is done; heaven and earth have passed away and we get for us a picture of a new home for those whose name has been written in the book of life. Listen again to our text (Rev. 21:1-4).
D. This is not a physical Jerusalem on a physical earth. We are told the first heaven (or sky) and earth (the planet that we live on) are gone. This the spiritual world in which God opens up for us is the place Jesus went to prepare. Let me tell you about our home that we will one day see with eyes of faith after these eyes have closed.
E. What makes our eternal home so great is that God and us live together. Jump down to verse 22. The whole point of a temple is a place to go and worship, but our new home needs no temple, because God is dwelling with us. That type of intimacy is beyond anything in human time. The only time that might be close is with Adam, Eve and God before the fall. But John sees the whole city, the New Jerusalem come down, and there is no temple. For that matter there are a few other things that there is no more of.
F. Listen to vs. 4 and 23. I am so excited about a place where pain, suffering, crying and death are all gone. So many of us in this room have gone to funerals of people we love and miss in this life. I am excited for the best family reunion ever. Where joy and laughter replace pain and tears. And even the sun, wow, there is no sun, because the point of the sun is to give light, and all the light we need radiates from God and the Lamb.
G. If you were facing the trials of Christians in the days of John, this would be the greatest ending of a letter you ever read. This is not a fairy tale ending, this is your ending. This is your eternal home.
H. John sees more of our new home and it takes us through many Bible stories. Listen to Rev. 22:1-5. That tree that started in the Garden of Eden is given now without curse, but with fruit that continuously grows. So how about drinking from that river of life?
II. The Great Invitation
A. Each week I offer an invitation. I want you to know that we as a church desire to support, help, strengthen and keep you spiritually strong. There are times when we have to face sin, and sometimes that sin is so public we want to simply share our repentance with the church family who hurt because of our sinfulness. Invitations are offered because love flows freely.
B. Let me read you one more invitation (Rev. 22:14-17). Come. It’s one word but is said with depth of love. Come. It’s four little letters in English, but there is nothing little in what is being offered. The question we must each ask is will I come to the fountain free? Will I come to Lamb who washes me clean? Will I come to my God who is victorious and wants to dwell with me?
C. “Blessed are those who wash their robes so they might have the right to eat of the tree of life.” Are you wearing a robe that has been washed in the blood of the Lamb? Jesus died that you might live, and lives so that your death would only be a stop on you way home.
D. If you need to respond to Jesus, the come as we stand and sing.
Because of Jesus,
Jeffrey Dillinger, minister