Faithlife Sermons

The Glorious City

The Book of Revelation  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction

Last week, we looked at the subject of What Will Eternity Be Like…In verses 1-8, John gives us a glimpse of the glory of eternal life! In short, it’s Heaven!
You could have outlined it like this…We saw that Heaven is:
A Physical Place
A Permanent Place
A Prepared Place
A People Place
A Painless Place
A Pleasant Place
And we ended in verse 8 with the Bible showing us that Heaven is A Prohibited Place...
The beauty of Heaven, we learned, is that it’s the home of Almighty God…It’s the home of the Lord Jesus Christ.
It’s the glorious land where the redeemed of the ages spend eternity. It’s the place where we long to go.
It’s home...
Tonight, we are going to look at the capital city of Heaven, the new Jerusalem, and we are going to see what kind of place it will be...
First of all,

I-The Exhibitor of the New Jerusalem

Revelation 21:9 KJV 1900
9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.
John had seen the vision of the new heaven and the new earth for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.
John also saw the holy city, New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven.
In these verses we are looking at tonight, John gets into greater detail about the holy city.
One of the angels which had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues bids John to come and view the city...
John had seen this messenger before - This angel had poured out his bowl during the Great Tribulation.
This angel was seen before as a messenger of doom—here he’s a messenger of delight!
This angel had a grim task before—here he has a glorious task.
This angel had a hard task before, but now he has a helpful task.
Revelation 21:10 (KJV 1900)
10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain...
This angel carries John away in the spirit…This is the fourth time this has happened to John.
John is carried away to a great and high mountain where he will see the glory of the Lamb’s bride, which brings us to the second thing we see in these verses:

II-The Descent of the New Jerusalem

Revelation 21:10 KJV 1900
10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
John, carried away in the spirit to a high mountain, sees the bride, the Lamb’s wife (identified as “that great city” and as “the holy Jerusalem”), descending from God out of heaven.
John sees this city, whose origin is of God, coming down from the starry heavens to settle on the earth.
The first thing we notice, is that it’s a great city...
This was not a figment of John’s imagination; this was not something that John made up, but something John was shown. The New Jerusalem is a real place where God’s people will reside forever with God.
John MacArthur wrote, “Unwilling to take the language of Scripture at face value, many seek for some hidden meaning behind John’s description. But if the words do not mean what they say, who has the authority to say what they do mean? Abandoning the literal meaning of the text leads only to baseless, groundless, futile speculation. The truth about the heavenly city is more than is described, but not less and not different from what is described.”
The New Jerusalem is also God’s city…the holy Jerusalem, the Bible says...
It will be a holy city for holy saints! It is the city of God. The New Jerusalem will descend down out of heaven from God. It is sent from God because it belongs to God. He prepared the place and He has prepared the people for that place. The Jews were God’s chosen people in the Old Testament and Jerusalem was God’s city on earth, but that city was never a holy and eternal city.
Jerusalem had known corruption and killing; oppression and destruction—the New Jerusalem will know no such things! God’s city is the holy Jerusalem and it descends down from heaven. This city is constructed by the Master Builder with Heavenly materials!
This city is also a glorious city, which we’ll look at in our next point as we see:

III-The Characteristics of the New Jerusalem

(1) It is a glorious city

Revelation 21:11 KJV 1900
11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;
The bride of Christ will share her husband’s glory,
Romans 8:17–18 KJV 1900
17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. 18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

(2) It is a safe city

Revelation 21:12 KJV 1900
12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:
Revelation 21:17 KJV 1900
17 And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.
It has a wall great and high. No evil person can enter.

(3) It is an accessible city

Revelation 21:12–13 KJV 1900
12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: 13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.
It has twelve gates, three on each side of this square city, the names of the twelve tribes of Israel being written on these gates. This means that like Israel of old was camped around the tabernacle, three tribes on each side, even so will redeemed Israel be camped around the New Jerusalem. The saved Gentiles’ access to the city will be through redeemed Israel.

(4) It is a firm city

Revelation 21:14 KJV 1900
14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
The city has twelve foundations, with the names of the twelve apostles written on them. This means that the city, the glorified church, is founded upon the teachings of the twelve apostles,
Ephesians 2:19–22 KJV 1900
19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

(5) It is a perfect city

Revelation 21:15–16 KJV 1900
15 And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. 16 And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.
The length, the breadth, and the height of it are equal. It is the world’s first perfect city.

(6) It is a beautiful city

Revelation 21:18–21 KJV 1900
18 And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. 19 And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; 20 The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. 21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.
Notice five things:
(a) The walls resemble jasper.
(b) The city is pure as gold, clear as glass.
(c) The twelve foundations resemble twelve precious stones.
(d) The twelve gates resemble twelve pearls.
(e) The street of the city is pure as gold, transparent as glass.

(7) It is a city with no temple

Revelation 21:22 KJV 1900
22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.
The bride is the court, God and the Lamb are the temple.

(8) It is a divinely-illuminated city

Revelation 21:23–24 KJV 1900
23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. 24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.
Although the sun and the moon are yet shining, the city has no need of their light for the glory of God and of the Lamb lightens the city. Also, the saved nations walk in the light of this city.

(9) It is a city of worship

Revelation 21:24–26 KJV 1900
24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. 25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. 26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.
Since there is no night there, the gates of the city are always open, open to receive the earth’s kings who come up periodically to worship the great King who abides in this city and to lay their gifts and offerings before Him.

(10) It is a sanctified city

Revelation 21:27 KJV 1900
27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
Nothing untrue or unclean will ever enter the city. An angel guard stands at each gate, 21:12. See 22:15.

(11) It is a health-giving city

Revelation 22:1–2 KJV 1900
1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
A river of the water of life proceeds from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the city’s street. In the midst of the river is the tree of life with its branches hanging over each bank of the river. This tree monthly bears twelve kinds of fruits. Its leaves are for the purpose of giving continuous health to the nations.
The river represents the Spirit of God and the tree represents the Word of God. These two, the Spirit and the Word, keep the nations in perfect health. The variety of the fruit and frequency of the fruit picture God’s full and constant satisfaction of man’s religious and moral hunger.

(12) It is a city without curse

Revelation 22:3–5 KJV 1900
3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: 4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. 5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.
(a) There is no curse—Why? Because all men are saved (God’s name is in their foreheads) and all men serve God (with joyful service).
The curse was inflicted upon the creation to turn men back to God. In the new earth, all redeemable men will have been turned back to God and all faithless men will have been destroyed, so there will be no further need for the curse.
(b) There is only blessing
1). The redeemed have access to God—They see His face. Contrary to the teaching of some, we will someday see God.
2). They have constant light—God continuously gives them light, spiritual as well as natural.
3). They have eternal rule—They reign on and on (forever) over all of God’s creation,
Psalm 8:4–6 KJV 1900
4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that thou visitest him? 5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, And hast crowned him with glory and honour. 6 Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; Thou hast put all things under his feet:

Conclusion

John MacArthur writes, concerning all these wonderful blessings... “But the most glorious reality of all will be that sinful rebels will be made righteous, enjoy intimate fellowship with God and the Lamb, serve Them, and reign with Them forever in sheer joy and incessant praise.”
Are you going to heaven?
Are you sure that heaven is your eternal home?
Will you receive from God eternal provisions?
Do you serve the Lord here and now?
Are you faithful to Him and do you trust in Him?
Is Jesus Christ your personal Lord and Savior?
If God can and will take care of forever in heaven—He is well able to take care of you now on earth!
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