Tuesday, December 9, 2014

New Heaven and Earth (Revelation 21)

We had a Nor'easter today in New Jersey.  It was nothing this year.  Lots of rain and not any snow.  That's some good news : )  Our bank worked with the Salvation Army to put together Christmas gifts for kids.  In NJ we do have some very rich and very poor people.  My husband got a set of 100 hot wheels and a box to carry them for a little boy, and I got a set of crayons with some small "Frozen" dolls.  We never had kids so it was very fun!  The Salvation Army will distribute the toys to parents and allow them to pick things out for their kids.  It must be hard to be low on money around Christmas if you have kids.

1 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
No more pain, crying, or mourning.  We'll get to meet the Bible heroes like Moses, Abraham, David, Mary, and Joseph. When we sing our songs of worship the whole world will rock!  And we'll see Pastor Chuck who has gone before us.

5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
God sounds so excited : )  "I'm making all things new!"  No more evil or temptation.  The devil is no more.

6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7 Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. 8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars —they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.
He won't tolerate people who give up and choose to continue in evil.  God describes evil doers as cowardly.  Children will be safe from predators.  We'll be under God's rule now.  As I read this I am concerned that people will think of their sins and give up.  It's not like that, the victorious are those who seek God first.  Those who believe in God's sacrifice for man and women, His forgiveness and ability to help us change.

9 One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. 11 It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. 12 It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. 13 There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west. 14 The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
God chose 12 disciples and created 12 tribes.  God has not forgotten the Apostles or the Martyrs. 

15 The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls. 16 The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia in length, and as wide and high as it is long. 17 The angel measured the wall using human measurement, and it was 144 cubits thick. 18 The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. 19 The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass.
The new city will be 1500 miles, up, down, sideways, all around cube (not like work cubes... ugh!) this will be Heavenly.  Something that stands out to me and maybe I'm being a geek, but God makes most things round.  The sun, planets, earth these are round.  But the New Jerusalem will be a cube.  Who cares right?  We will be free with the best music ever, no more evil, pain, shame, none of that stuff.  We will sparkle.

22 I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. 25 On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. 26 The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. 27 Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
It stands out to me that the glory and honor of the "nations" is mentioned.  The Church is much bigger than we realize today.  It spreads all over the world.  
(Revelation 21:1-27 NIV)

Matt Maher, Christ Is Risen  (link)

Dear Heavenly Father,
I lift up the Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa.  It would be really hard to lose a man like Chuck.   I'm sure You have others in mind to lead the ministry.  I pray You will heal his family from the pain in losing their Dad.  Please be with our leaders in government.  I pray You will watch over them and help them make the right choices.  I pray for Your continued blessing on Ukraine and safety as Prince William and Kate travel.
In Jesus Name, Amen.

I included a link to Pastor Chuck's tribute after he passed away.  I thought some others might have known him or about him.  
Tribute to Pastor Chuck's ministry (link)
1927-2013 He was blessed by God who touched my heart.  Bet your having lots of fun in Paradise Pastor, maybe doing some cloud surfing : )  I'll never forget Calvary Chapel from when I was a little girl.  I vaguely remember seeing him and his wife.

Notes from Pastor Chuck Smith's Blue Letter Bible (link):
v.11 "Jasper stone" is the diamond.
v.12 The number twelve is used often in the new city.
v.16 The new city will be about 1500 miles in a cube, so it may be built on many levels.
v.19-20 These stones were in the breastplates of the Jewish priests.
v.23 God will provide the light source for the new city.

Used With Permission
© The Word For Today. We thank Chuck Smith, The Word For Today and Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa for their permission to utilize this work.

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