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Reigning Forever

 heaven

Revelation 22:1-5 – Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.

In the Bible, we see glimpses of heaven. These pictures don’t satisfy all our curiosity but they tell us many important things. God doesn’t give us the full picture because it is not necessary for us to know every little detail. We simply need to know that it is a wonderful place where all believers will enjoy living with God for all eternity. Our sinful mind is not satisfied with that explanation. Our sinful mind wants to ask questions such as: What will we do all day? Won’t we get bored? How can we simply worship God all day? Isn’t eternity too long to do the same thing all the time? Our sinful mind wants to distract us from what is truly important.

God tells us what we need to know about heaven. The things he tells us are amazing. The Apostle Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 15 that we will have new, imperishable, glorious, powerful, spiritual bodies which will be like Jesus’ resurrected body. Jesus reminds us in John 14 that heaven is a house with many rooms. Jesus has gone there to prepare a place for us. Revelation 21 describes heaven as the New Jerusalem. In this holy city, God will live with his people. The city will shine with brilliance like a precious jewel. The wall of the city is made of jasper and the city itself is pure gold. The twelve foundations of the city are made from twelve different precious stones. The street of the city is pure gold. There is no temple in this city because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. When we read the Bible’s description of heaven, we see a place that is magnificent.

The devil doesn’t want us to focus on the magnificence of heaven. The devil wants us to find paradise in this life. He wants us to only have knowledge about Jesus and not a genuine saving faith. Satan wants to rob us of our eternity. Look at all the false teachings that he has put into this World. Look at all the people who don’t understand forgiveness. Many people think that their own good life will earn them their ticket to heaven. Many people focus so much on happiness in this world that they don’t even give eternity a second thought. If we reject the wonderful message of heaven, then we place ourselves under the curse of the law. God’s justice will condemn all those who do not believe in the forgiveness and eternal life found only in Jesus.

When we are blessed with faith in Christ, then we will inherit heaven. In heaven we will see God’s face. This will be amazing. We will see God face to face and we will not be afraid. In the Old Testament, people were terrified when they were in the presence of God. Sinful human beings are terrified before a holy God because it reminds us that they deserve death. In heaven, we will look upon God and we will not be afraid. We won’t fear because we will be righteous through Jesus. In this life our faith tells us that we have been forgiven in Christ. This forgiveness gives us confidence and strength. And yet heaven will be different. As we enter heaven, our sin will be completely taken away. We will be perfect.

It is hard for us to comprehend the joy that we will experience as we live with God. Now on earth we look forward to that day with eager anticipation. Revelation 22:5 tells us, “There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light.” What an interesting picture! There will be no more night. We won’t even need a lamp or the sun. Those things that we are used to will be unnecessary. God himself will give light.

God’s radiance will illuminate heaven. God’s love and grace will be all we need to sustain us. We will be overjoyed every day. No more sadness, no more tears, no more crying, no more pain. The pictures the Bible uses for heaven give us something amazing to look forward to. We wish that we could go there right now. However there is still work to do in this world. If the world ended today, there are many people who would never know the joys of heaven. We share this message so that many more may believe and enter eternal life.  

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