Life After this Life

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“God has more for His people than the ability to worship Him in this life. His ultimate plan will take place on the last day. And the book of Revelation presents that picture of the consummation of all that Jesus Christ has done for us; it presents a picture of the promised future city. John writes: I saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. . . and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them and they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away’.  This passage expresses life under the perfect reign of God. It reveals the joining of the saints forever. And it tells of the Christian yearning to be there, to be with Him, to experience eternity. . .

 

In this life on this present earth, God’s kingdom has not fully come, and so, the way we live as kingdom people in this life, is by inviting God to live within us. That’s why, for years the church has talked about opening our hearts to Jesus. You see, we understand that the inner place is the one that matters most in our faith walk. Our gathering together for times of worship reinforces and feeds that relationship. But, until we invite Christ into our heart, into the center of who we are, well, He has no spiritual home, within us.

 

Here’s the thing. For now, it’s a heart thing that flows out of our relationship with Christ. We can say we love all of humankind; we can say we are members of God’s universal kingdom, but for it to have any substance, our profession has to demonstrate itself in how we act in the actual community where we live and work and worship. The location where we most need to worship God is from within us, a place that is not tied to any physical building. On the other hand, the location where we most need to live out the results of that worship is in our churches, our homes, our workplaces, and our community. And how do we do that?, through acts of faithfulness to God. And guess what? The actions that glorify God in this life will be laid up as treasure for us in the new heaven and new earth, which is promised to believers in the future.

 

John, in Revelation 21 says that, the new heaven and new earth will have a capital city, a specific place where the presence of God will be centered and where the Lord Jesus Christ will live and rule the universe. And so, even amongst terrorist attacks, horrific industrial accidents, and other situations like: Hurricanes, Tsunami’s, floods, fires and tornados, volcanoes and earthquakes, those who love the Lord Jesus Christ no longer have to live in fear. We’ve read the last book and we know that goodness wins. Truth wins. God wins.

 

And as long as we remain faithful to God and His purposes, we need not live in fear. Because one day God will gather together the true meaning of all things, including: Our turning to Him, our desire to move closer to Him, our acknowledgment of a personal need for His saving grace, as well as, our service in His name. And then, we will be together with all the saints in glory in a place called the new Jerusalem, feasting with our Lord at His heavenly banquet, resurrected and fully equipped, to be with our Lord and our God forever. That’s what is at the very heart of the Christian faith. And so, we can say with the same confidence that John the apostle had when he communicated to the listeners of his day: Jesus Christ, the Alpha and the Omega, will take care of those who turn to Him in faith.

 

Where will He do that? Well, scripture gives us the name of a city: It’s the new Jerusalem. What will the city be like? It is indescribable. It’s humanly impossible to describe it. I mean, how can we? Even so, I’m looking forward to joining all of God’s faithful, on the last day. How about you? Jerusalem, Jerusalem, God’s promised new city. May we all place our faith fully and firmly in God’s plan for salvation through Jesus Christ.”

 

(An excerpt from A New Heaven and New Earth: The Book of Revelation Revisited by Paula J Behrens, Copyright 2015)