HEAVEN AND THE
1. THE GLORY OF THE LORD AT HOME
22:1-5 I love the river of water CLEAR AS CRYSTAL, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. Notice it is one THRONE just as it is ONE GOD! (Ephesians 4:4), Christ though in the very form of God, and thus His equal (Philippians 2), having humbled Himself to stoop low enough to reach us, even taking human form to do it. THERE is your pure worship, the Lord of glory in His own realm, blessed Trinity. Likewise, in Revelation , for the city of
Such is heaven. Then, just as God dwells in light inaccessible, except as shown by the Lamb (I Timothy , John , 14:9-10), so once more, “the Lamb IS the light” of that city (Revelation ). THERE is your lighting, and that is how you see! In just the same manner, in Revelation 2:8, Christ Jesus is “the First and the Last,” a signature name of God Almighty from Isaiah 41:4, 44:6. That is why in Revelation 5, you see in v. 12, that the Lamb who was slain is worthy to receive honour and glory, and in v. 13, that this glory is to be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, and that ? “forever and for ever!” Such is the eternal glory, which God refuses to give to another (Isaiah 42:8), eternally attributed to that same God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit (cf. Revelation , and see John 14-16). THERE is the Majesty of the One you worship, the glory of the everlasting God, King of Eternity, maker of all things made.
2. The WAY TO IT and the VIEW FOR IT
As Christ, deity in form, became human in form, to rescue man, so eternal by nature (Micah 5:3, John ), He is the divine way into divinity, the door, the gate. John 10:9 tells us I AM THE DOOR. It all starts at the door. You enter ? Not by works, by wisdom, by attainments, by love of yourself or your own way, by your wits, but by Jesus the Christ, the divine gap filler, the gracious accountant who cancelled your sin debts and gave you an account in righteousness infinite in Him (II Corinthians 5:17ff.). He then is the WAY, for not in your thoughts or those of others of creation, but in HIS presence and power, you are propelled to glory (I Peter 1:5ff.), while on the way you ADD the graces He gives, with a CHILD’s keenness! (II Peter 1:9ff.).
22:5 Thus, as the Lamb is the Light (Rev. 21:23), and the Lamb and the Father the Temple (Rev. 21:22), the throne of God and the Lamb being there, there is one throne, one God, one majesty, one divinity, one worship through one Mediator to the Trinity, the Godhead, in all His glory. So it is in heaven in glory; and by this same ONE, Jesus Christ, is the path. In perfection of grace He leads; to perfection of face He brings.
“They shall see His face…” and reign forever (Revelation 22:4). What more do you want than knowing God with this amazing closeness, as if having long seen surf and beauty on pictures, at last you go to the great coastline yourself and taste it with your own senses! But even now we have the vistas of glory (John -23), as if visiting the coast of wonder briefly, before LIVING THERE!
3. THE EQUIPMENT and the PREPARATION
II Cor. 5:1ff. shows us the eternal formatting for resurrected mankind. NOT, says Paul that I want to be as naked without a body, but overcoated! He looks in fact for that eternal temple for his life, prepared in the heavens (cf. John 14:1-3) as do all who walk by His faith. HE who created the first, can well create the second; He who made the test site for Adam, can make the quest site for every child of God. Small wonder Romans 10:9 with I Cor. 15:1ff. specifies FAITH in the bodily resurrection of Christ as indispensable. Fail to believe that, and you dismiss God!
“Clothed with our habitation which is from heaven,” says Paul, is our destiny; but in the interim, “we who are in this tent groan, being burdened” – and HOW burdened was the apostle as he put service above self-fulfilment (II Cor. 4:8ff., II Cor. 11:28-29, “my deep concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation?”).
Meanwhile, we have the Spirit of God as our guarantee (II Cor. 4:5), and the blood of Christ as our secure way in to eternity ((Romans 3:23-25, John 14:1-3), so that we are justified by faith, knowing this, that whom He justified, those He also glorified (Romans 8:17,30, John 10:27-28), and that His sheep have an almighty and resolute shepherd to ensure that HIS sheep do NOT perish. As we come on this road with Christ Himself the WAY, therefore, “we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.”
That is renewal, the Lord enlivening, girding and strengthening you; and with this endurance comes
v the exhibit of faith (your testimony THROUGH HIM, Hebrews ),
v the purification of heart (motives are cleansed as reality is met – I Peter 1:5ff.),
v the way of discipleship (you LEARN as you walk).
v Thus as a child of God (I John 3:1-3)
v in the company of His people (Hebrews ),
you do not walk
with the family failing or the family wailing (Hebrews 9:14 -
How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God ?”),
v but on the family trail (Isaiah 35:8), like millions before you, the family of the blessed friends of God (John ), with that holy and humble waiting on Him (Isaiah 66:2), that comradeship of spiritual arms (Ephesians -20) and mutual prayer (Ephesians -19) which coming from His life, enlivens.
Next Sunday, Lord willing, we plan to speak from verses in Romans 4-5, on the life of victory, virtue and wonder in the perspective of history and the present power of the Holy Spirit.