Saturday, November 17, 2018

The Challenge Of The Eternal City

Heaven is my destination for eternity and it is my motivation for this life.

Revelation 22:3-5 No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and His servants will worship Him. 4 And they will see His face, and His name will be written on their foreheads. 5 And there will be no night there--no need for lamps or sun--for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever.

Titus 2:12-14 And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, 13 while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. 14 He gave His life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us His very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.

At the end of the book of Revelation we see the ultimate end of our existence. We don't have to speculate or search Google to find the answer to the demise of humanity and our planet. Because we do know how it will end and we know that we will be answerable to God for this life we need to consider a few things.

First we looked at the idea that we should be excited to celebrate our final victory in Jesus and feel comfort in knowing that Heaven is in our future. We need to be encouraged to live joyfully so that other people will see the incredible hope and comfort that the world desperately needs.

Second we looked at the cause or the purpose of the eternal city and we learned that Heaven isn't supposed to be our great desire because we will get a more comfortable existence with a lot of great perks. My greatest desire should be to know God in a much more personal way.

Today I am looking at the third way that the reality of Heaven should affect our existence today. I should live a very different lifestyle with a new mindset because of wat has been done for me. I love to travel to other countries but it is always a tiny bit of anxiety while you wait to get through immigration. That anxiety is something that you don't need to have when you arrive at the eternal city.

I know that Heaven is a country where I could never get a visa without some serious help from somebody much better than myself. Since I have received such an awesome gift I should show my gratitude instead of acting like this life is all about me.

The king of the eternal city has a best selling book that tells us how to get through immigration and what is expected of the citizens of the eternal city. He wrote this book for our benefit yet there are many that have purchased the book and have never seriously thought about the author and what his intentions were for writing the book.

God's book makes it clear that the people that are looking forward to a better country are supposed to be patriotic representatives of the better country and it's King. These special people should live differently to promote our homeland and it's interest.
Romans 7:21-25 I have discovered this principle of life--that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God's law with all my heart. 23 But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.

24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God's law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.
The challenge to live to please the king of our new country should create a tension between the new country and the country of birth. The new creation that I am in Jesus demands my loyalty but the fact that I am still stuck in this fallen world in my old carnal body is a conflict that I must deal with for now.
Titus 3:5-8 He saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. 6 He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. 7 Because of His grace He declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life."

8 This is a trustworthy saying, and I want you to insist on these teachings so that all who trust in God will devote themselves to doing good. These teachings are good and beneficial for everyone.
Thankfully I do not have to master this conflict alone! Besides the best selling book that the king wrote I also have unbelievable power to live above the standards of this world because he also gave me the Holy Spirit. When I utilize the power found in the Bible and the Holy Spirit's power I can rise up to the challenge and live in victory.

Jesus knows that the citizens of his eternal city that take his instructions seriously will struggle against the culture and it's attitudes. That is why he gives us good news at the end of the book: “My reward is with Me.”

Will you be ready for great gain or will you suffer great loss? (! Corinthians 3:13-17)