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Shall We Gather at the River?

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Robert Lowery sit exhausted on a hot 1864 afternoon. As his mind wondered, he began thinking of ’s description of heaven. He later said that the words came to him in the form of a question and the saints answer to that question.
That Question is not only the theme of today’s Homecoming but also the question we must ask answer before we leave here today.
Question: Shall We gather at the river?
Shall we gather at the river,
Where bright angel feet have trod,
With its crystal tide forever
Flowing by the throne of God?
Shall we gather at the river,
Answer: Yes, we'll gather at the river,
Where bright angel feet have trod,
The beautiful, the beautiful river;
With its crystal tide forever
Gather with the saints at the river
Flowing by the throne of God?That flows by the throne of God.
That flows by the throne of God.
Why are we not excited about gathering with the saints at the river? It is because we do not have a biblical perspective of heaven. We would rather rely on Hollywood to paint us a picture, than dig into God’s word and rely on the Holy Spirit to draw us into the reality of truth.
gives us a picture of paradise regained, of the garden of Eden remade. But the new heaven and earth is more than something old and broken that is remodeled. The new heaven and earth is Paradise completed the way God purposed and planned. The Garden of Eden Adam and Eve corrupted with sin was not completed. God built it but we were created to enjoy and put the finishing touches on it that would make it home.
The new heaven and earth is Paradise completed the way God purposed and planned.
Think of creation this way. God has the eternal master plan for his creation. We have not seen the complete design, yet we start revising the plans. RockCreek the plan called for cooper but the plumbers used Quest pipe. so I came in one morning and they were spray painting the plastic pipe with cooper colored paint.
The Heaven and Earth are not two plans we have to choose between, but one plan in its completion. Heaven invades Earth with God presence, fulfilling God’s promises.
Leviticus 26:12 NASB95
‘I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people.
Leviticus 27:12 NASB95
‘The priest shall value it as either good or bad; as you, the priest, value it, so it shall be.
Leviticus 27:12
Jeremiah 31:33 NASB95
“But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
2 Corinthians 6:6 NASB95
in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love,
2 Corinthians
2 Corinthians 6:16 NASB95
Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them; And I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
We must understand the context to understand how great heaven will be. John gives us what filmmakers call an “establishing shot.” It is like watching Blue Bloods and the show is interrupted by a commercial. After the commercial, we return to Blue Bloods with an establishing shot of NYC. Then the camera zooms in on a building, and then on the action inside the building.
John is carried away for the fourth time in 21:9. He sees the New Jerusalem as a Holy City. Then, in 21:22, John sees the Holy City is also the temple of God’s presence. Now we come to 22:1–5 and zoom in closer to see the Holy Temple City is also a Garden City planted and maintained by God and his vise-agents.
Shall We Gather at the River? we must RSVP.

We Recognize the presence of God, as the source of all life.

The river gives life. The tree provides life and healing of the nations.
As we prepare to gather at the river, we should look to God to provide life in the here and now. how often do we look for life apart from God. God provides us with friends, family, jobs, food, shelter, and other necessities and non-essentials for our happiness. How often do we begin depending on God’s provisions, instead of the provider for our happiness and wellbeing. Often we will trust our bad habits or even a sinful habit more than we trust God.
Tell about being lost with Daddy and he sent me to see which way the creek was running, so we could find our way home.
The river of life reminds us that God is the spring head of eternal life. We must purpose to always follow the source of the flow to appreciate life the way God intended us to enjoy Him. We are surrounded everyday by the life giving nourishment of God. Don’t take it for granted or look away to idols.
John 14:6 NASB95
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
John 4:13–14 NASB95
Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”
John 14:6

We Must Realize Our Blessings, that Result from Living in God’s Presence.

Two blessings are Related the Absence of Anything outside of God’s presence.

The pain and suffering sins Curse
The uncertainty and violence of night time.

Four Blessings We Will Experience in God’s Eternal Presence

1. We will see His face.

1 John 3:2 NASB95
Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.
1 John
1 Corinthians 13:12 NASB95
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.

2. We will belong to Him. We will imitate His character and live safety in his presence

3. We will worship Him, in service: λατρευω carries the idea of worship through service and service through worship. Keep and till or worship and obey.

4. We will reign with Him forever.

Numbers 6:24–26 NASB95
The Lord bless you, and keep you; The Lord make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace.’
numbers 6:24
God Invites us this morning to gather at the river of life giving water.
Question: Shall We gather at the river?
Shall we gather at the river,
Where bright angel feet have trod,
With its crystal tide forever
Flowing by the throne of God?
Answer: Yes, we'll gather at the river,
The beautiful, the beautiful river;
Gather with the saints at the river
That flows by the throne of God.

How should we RSVP?

Obey the word of God (): reread revelation 21:9–22:5 this week and write something new you realize about heaven. Let the Word of God live in our daily lives.
Intentionally worship God and be true the triune God (). The Bible forbids the worship of anything other that the triune God.
Exodus 20:1–6 NASB95
Then God spoke all these words, saying, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before Me. “You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. “You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
Don’t forsake the corporate worship every week, with other believers.
Hebrews 10:23–25 NASB95
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
Proclaim the Word of God (). Jesus is coming quickly (20).
Matthew 24:14 NASB95
“This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.
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