We’re going to rewind human history – not quite to the beginning – but back to someone who was given a fantastic promise:
By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and set out for a place that he was going to receive as an inheritance. He went out, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he stayed as a foreigner in the land of promise, living in tents as did Isaac and Jacob, coheirs of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God
And then the author describes the mindset of Abraham and his family:
Hebrews 11:13-14, 16
These all died in faith, although they had not received the things that were promised. But they saw them from a distance, greeted them, and confessed that they were foreigners and temporary residents on the earth.
Now those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a homeland…But they now desire a better place – a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.
That desire for a homeland isn’t unique to Abraham’s family. All Christians have felt it. Deep down, we recognize that there is more to this life…that God has something planned, a future place for us to live.
A little later, the author of Hebrews confirms our inklings:
For we do not have an enduring city here [presently on Earth]; instead, we seek the one to come.
What is this city? What is it like?
In order to view the city Abraham was looking forward to, the city whose architect and builder is God, we must now hit fast-forward on human history.
Past the Rapture of believers, past the Tribulation, past Christ’s second coming, past Christ’s 1000 year reign, and after the Great White Throne Judgment…
God gave the apostle John a preview of our home in eternity future. John discussed what he saw and heard in the last two chapters of the final book of the Bible, Revelation.
Today’s Christians are typically hesitant to read Revelation. We’re hampered by our own thoughts of “It probably won’t make any sense” or “The discussion of judgments and punishments on people makes me uncomfortable” or “Only mentally unstable people and crazy preachers discuss what’s in that book”…and yet, God saw fit to include this prophecy. His always fulfills his prophecies…even if the people he gave them to didn’t fully understand what they were hearing or if it takes a couple thousand years for the prophecy to be fulfilled.
In previous posts, we’ve seen that numerous Old Testament and New Testament writers – and even Jesus himself – discussed eternity future. We’ve looked at a small selection of passages which confirm our longings for that time, and there are plenty more that we could have looked at.
God desires for us to see what eternity future will be like, so let’s not be afraid to look at it, even if we don’t fully grasp every detail. We can read Revelation and walk away knowing one thing, with absolute certainty:
He is not overtaken by the evil in our world. His command of the universe is not diminished. And the believers from all ages are magnificently included in His eternal plans…
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. I also saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband.
Finally…the place that every believer in history has desired, it has arrived. Everything new, everything different. The Creator has re-created…and if He called the first creation “good”, I don’t know if we have an adequate word on this planet to describe the beauty of the new heaven and the new earth.
Pause for just a moment and think about the Holy City...prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Guys, was there ever a time when your wife was more stunningly beautiful than the day of your wedding? Ladies, remember how much attention to every detail and how much assistance was given, in order that you would be the most prepared, most lovely bride ever to walk down the aisle…and how much your mere reflection radiated beauty? Combine those observations, and we get a sliver of a sample of how spectacular the Holy City will be.
And that place is our home.