I was reading the Bible to a couple of my relatives last week. We ended up talking about Heaven, Hell, demons, angels, the Rapture. We went to Matthew 24 going back over what Jesus said about the End Times. We went to different chapters Revelation learning about the real story of what "Heaven" will be like. It was an enjoyable and interesting experience.
At our respective churches, their pastor spoke about Hell being real. My pastor began a four-part series on the End Times. There I was, back in Matthew 24, Revelation, and II Peter chapter 3. Coincidence? I think not. The message is clear. Jesus is coming back, like a thief in the night, when we least expect it. We have to be prepared.
In my own studies, I found "Heaven" the most interesting. It isn't described in Revelation as I thought it would be. I figure people usually think, up in the clouds, rainbows, we're playing harps, people flying around... WHERE did we get that from? Hmm, I remember reading this chapter before, but when we went over it last week, it looked so different to me. No flying, no fluffy clouds, no rainbows, no harps. I knew this already. But my understanding was more like, Heaven had no boundaries, it covered the Earth or wherever we were so to speak. Well...not exactly.
First of all, in II Peter 3, Peter talks about the heavens and the earth passing away. Actually God will set the heavens on fire and the elements (the Earth) will melt away in the flames. Ooookay, God flooded the Earth in Noah's day. This time around He's going to torch it all. It's not coming back after that is it? I don't think so either. Which makes way for the new heavens and new Earth (II Peter 3:13) "filled with God's righteousness. Time out. What's the contrast here? Today's world is filled with sin, not God's righteousness. It's like sin is trying to take over everything. Evil would reign. Btw, II Peter was written in A.D. 67. 67! Fast forward to A.D. 2008.
Now, what is this new Heaven? We're supposed to go to Heaven as children of God. What does it look like? What will it be like to live here? What am I going to see? The Apostle John got an up close and personal look at what will be our new home. Side note, Jesus mentioned our new home in John 14:2,3. He said there is enough room for us in His Father's home and He is going to prepare a place for us. When everything is ready, He will come and get us, so we'll always be where He is. Follow me on the point. The book of John was written by John between A.D. 85-90. The book of Revelation was written in A.D. 95 from Patmos, by the same apostle John.
Revelation 21 kicks off with tying in what Jesus said in John 14. This is the Father's home, this is the place He went to prepare for us. John is watching all this go down, jaw-dropped, amazed is hardly a word to describe his reaction. John say the old heaven and earth had "disappeared" and he saw a new heaven and earth. The "sea" was gone. (okay, that's different). John saw the "the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven..." Wow! The city of Jerusalem, re-created. John heard a loud shout from the throne saying, "Look, God's home is now among His people!" Wow! Remember, John chapter 14, Jesus says in My Father's house are... Well, here we are. This is actually where "God" lives.
Okay, we all like nice, gorgeous homes. Right? But if God had a house, what would it look like? Well, He does have a house, but it's so big, it's called a city. And the city is so big, you need an angel to measure it. An angel did measure the city. Wow! God's home, we get to stay in His house. :) Lemme see, lemme see! The city is a perfect cube. Square...cube, you know. But check it, the walls are 216 feet thick. 216 feet thick! But that's not the kicker. The length, the width, and the height of the city is 1,400 miles. No, stop and think about this a few minutes! What city do you live in? Okay. Now what city is 1,400 miles away from you?
For me, Fort Lauderdale, FL. (my hometwon) is a little over 1,400 miles away from Springfield, Mass. Which means, DRIVING, it would take me almost 23 HOURS to get one end of the new city of Jerusalem to the other. It would also take take you 23 HOURS DRIVING to get from the bottom (ground floor) of the city to the top of the city because the city 1,400 miles HIGH. But, to make this more realisic, get a map of the United States and draw the lines with me.
Starting in the southeast corner of the new city, drive 1,400 miles north - Fort Lauderdale, FL. to Springfield, MA. This is the length east side of the city. Follow me? Now, from Springfield, MA. drive west 1,400 miles to Lincoln, NE. This is the north side of the city. Drive another 1,400 south...when you reach Brownsville, TX. drive another 225 miles into the country, Mexico...probably around the city of San Fernando. This is the west side of the new Jerusalem. Now for the south side, drive back to Fort Lauderdale, FL.
You want this in more simple terms? Okay. Drive, better yet, WALK from Raleigh, North Carolina to Kearney, Nebraska. It's not a perfect straight line but these two cities are 1,400 miles apart. What am I saying? The "city" of New Jerusalem is over half the size of the continent of the United States of America. The tallest building in the United States right now is the Sears Tower in Chicago. 108 stories, 1,451 FEET high. Tall building right? Now think about this. There are 5,280 feet in a mile. As huge as the Sears Tower is, it's not even close to one mile high and it's 108 stories. Compare this to New Jerusalem's height of 1,400 MILES......my brain can't conceive...comprehend...one of those words...how massive this one city is. MASSIVE! Who's going to get the top floor, the penthouse suites? You know what I'm saying. Of course Billy Graham has one, no brainer. Man, living 1,400 miles up in the air, you can see EVERYTHING LOL. What a view! I hope he's not afraid of heights. :)
I have to go to sleep and continue this conversation tomorrow, Lord willing. No...it's not done. I haven't gone into describing all the fine details of the city. I just have to say, God is RICH! Spaired no expense! I thought I had expensive taste! Gee whiz! Can you imagine Him...I'm building a new place...I want everything on the menu, buy it all LOL. Another mind-blowing thing, you won't need the sun, the moon, a candle, a flashlight, nothing! Because "the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light." - Revelation 21:23 (NLT)
Incredible. Beyond incredible. Begs me to ask...why?! Why do I get to live with God again? It slipped my mind! I can't possibly, ever deserve blessings on this scale, this amount. Not in a million lifetimes.
If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW
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