Promise of Eternity: Bible Survey for New Christians

March 31st, 2009

2 Corinthians 5:1–10; Revelation 21:1–4  

Summary:
That in his assured hope of immortal glory,
and in expectation of it, and of the general judgment, he labours to keep a good conscience;
A new heaven and a new earth.

5:1. For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
5:2. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven,
5:3. if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked.
5:4. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.
5:5. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
5:6. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord.
5:7. For we walk by faith, not by sight.
5:8. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.

5:9. Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him.
5:10. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

21:1. And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.
21:2. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
21:3. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.
21:4. "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.''

Comments:

Everything we know in this earth comes to an end. Though our bodies may stop living and return to dust, we have a permanent place in God's kingdom. That dwelling place should be a deep desire of all of God's people. It only makes sense to want to ensure a place for ourselves there, so we won't have to stand before him and be ashamed.

The writer of this passage talks about being clothed, and being ashamed. Our heavenly clothing is from Jesus. He is the one who covers our sins and clothes us in the eyes of God. Any others will have to stand without such clothing, and be ashamed, as the clothing of the excuses they might have in this life are found to be no clothes at all.

God's purpose is for this end. He wants each of us to be in his final heavenly kingdom. We can't really be there as long as we remain in our physical bodies. Our life here is one of faith, since we can't see the spiritual realm. We just have to trust, have faith, and believe. Our desire should be for the time when life is ended and our eternal existance can begin.

Keep on living in a way that God would be pleased with. Live now, as if we were standing before him right now.

At some point in time, even the earth itself will pass away. God promises a brand new heaven and earth. There will be a new, holy city. A time will come when people and God will live together. A special unity will be there. No more division, no more pain, no more sorrow. God will wipe away every tear, and true life, as he intended it will begin.

Some people believe we will live on, and inherit a new earth. Maybe so. Some people believe this ending means we will go and dwell in heaven, where God is. Maybe so. Whether it is either place, we will be reunited, seeing, and experiencing God face to face.

The heaven and the earth will be made anew, refreshed, they will be recreated. The old ones will have gone away. The new city, sent direct from God will be all squeaky clean and as elaborately prepared as a bride, getting ready for her wedding. Fancy. Every detail perfect. God's presence will live, dwell, be encamped among men. Unity. All the bad things that we know now will just be gone.

Don't miss it.

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