Sunday, February 20, 2022

7 Aspects of How Reality will Function in the New City of God



What will heaven be like? That is the great question. My mind is there much of the time. And what about hell? What would hell be like? These are fascinating questions to me. They are practical rather than mystical or far away. They are directly real to me. And I hope it's real to you. It's the truth about everything. So I think it's wise to consider it.

Let's consider heaven. What will it be like?

1. You will Still be You - Permanent mature Adult Age - no Law of Death


Did you know your bodies have an infinite ability to renew themselves? Isn’t that interesting? Every cell in your body is programmed to replace itself before it dies off, that’s why skin cells flake off and are replaced by new ones. But of course we know that we do grow old and die. That is the current reality, we are under something called the “law of death.” In fact all of creation is subject to the law of death, animals, plants, all of life.

But in heaven the law of death is cancelled. So your body will permanently renew itself, you’ll look at you do or did around age 22-30, I believe. Right when your body is fully grown, that will be your permanent appearance.

You will still be you. Your personality will be in tact. Your soul will be the same. You will have a physical body, but it’s a new one. No pain.

2. Enhanced Senses - Enrapturing Beauty


So we’ll be there, but what about the environment around us? Well, first of all it’s important to understand that paradise is not floating on clouds in the sky. Those are artistic depictions of paradise. But the way the Bible talks about paradise is very physical. But enhanced, almost like what Eden might’ve been like. I can’t really describe it. But I’ll share a quotation from the book “Amazing Visions” Booth wrote:

“I am constrained to say no human eye ever beheld such beauty, no earthly ear ever heard such music, no human heart ever experienced such ecstasy as it was my privilege to see and hear and feel during the first hours I spent in the celestial country. Above me was the loveliest of blue skies. Around me was an atmosphere so balmy that it made my whole physical frame vibrate with pleasure. By the bank of roses, on which I found myself reposing, there flowed the clearest and purest of rivers, which seemed to dance with delight to the murmurings of its own waters. The trees that grew on its banks were covered with the greenest foliage and laden with most delicious fruit, sweet to my taste beyond all earthly sweetness. By lifting my hand I could pluck and eat the fruit to my heart’s delight. In every direction, above and around, the air was not only laden with the richest of odors yielded by the loveliest of flowers but also rendered vocal with sweetest sounds and filled with fairest forms. Floating about me were beautiful beings I felt by instinct were angels and archangels, seraph and seraphim, cherub and cherubim, together with the blood-washed and perfected saints who had come from the world below, sometimes far away and sometimes drawing nearer. The blue sky appeared at times to be full of white-winged, happy, worshiping, joyous beings, while the whole country—apparently of limitless extent—seemed to be filled with a blissful ecstasy that could only be realized by being experienced.”

That sounds pretty great doesn’t it? That’s where I want to be.

Of the city of God, Revelation 21:11-14 says, “11 It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. 12 It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. 13 There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west. 14 The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.”

3. Fellowship, Companionship, Perfect Societal Structure, and Group Worship


So we see ourselves, as ourselves, and the direct environment around us, beautiful beyond imagining. Next we look at the sociology of heaven. What is the civilization in paradise like? Because it is a city, with millions upon millions of people. If I had to guess probably about 1 billion or more at least. Massive population, for perspective, the population of the USA is about 350 million.

In paradise, new heavens, new Earth, city of God, there is one leader, King Jesus Christ. You also have the elders who surround the throne of God. I’m assuming there will be different sections of the city. But there will be peace between all people. Some will be closer to God, others further away, but everyone will be perfectly content with their reward.

It will be a perfect system. No violence, no death, no crime, no poverty. Why? Because everyone in the city will be pure. Which leads into our next point.

4. No more Sin of any Kind - All is Perfect, Holy, Pure, all is Right


No more sin. Revelation 21:27 “Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” No sin can enter the city of God.

The time of sorrow, which is now, will be over.

Revelation 21:4 says, “4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

The curse will be over. We’re under the curse, the fall, right now. But that will be over in paradise. It says in Revelation 22:3-5 “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.”

Everything will be perfect, holy, pure, and good. This is the whole goal of the salvation in Christ, to wash away the penalty for our sin, and through sanctification to make us fit for heaven, to make us ready for heaven, where there will be no more crime, no more lying, no more resentment or anger, or tiredness or mental health issues, or suicidal thoughts or sexual immorality. All that is done for. But you can see why someone who refuses Jesus can’t go there, they would bring their sin with them, and destroy heaven by bringing sin into it.

5. God's Full Presence - Permanent uninterrupted Joy - Infinitely Renewing levels of Happiness


This is probably my single favorite part of heaven, God’s full presence, 24/7. We get hints of God’s presence here in worship times, prayer and fasting times, and so on. But in this life we see what the Bible calls “through a mirror, darkly.” We don’t see the fullness of God. In fact for us on Earth we can’t see God’s face and live. But in paradise we will live before God’s full presence.

What does this mean? Constant awe and joy and peace as we enjoy the love of God. It will pour into us day and night like sunshine. You ever go outside on a bright sunny day and just bask in the constant sunlight. It lasts for hours and hours, and it’s wonderful. We feel warm all over, we smile, and it’s a constant.

Similarly in heaven, we’ll bask in the permanent presence of God. What that will be like exactly… hard to say. Obviously it will feel wonderful.

And of heaven is constantly renewing levels of happiness. As we all know God is infinite. And in the same way, the sorrows of hell are infinite. Everyday for people in hell, will be a new level of pain, sorrow, regret, and misery. It will keep getting worse and worse into eternity. It has no end.

But in the same way in paradise, happiness and joy have no end. They are always new. Always different and special. Just as we walk along the bank of a river on a sunny day, it gives us a sort of joy, differently we climb a steep hill, in a breeze, a different kind of joy, listening to a beautiful song, a different kind of joy and satisfaction, hugging a friend, kissing a lover, all different kinds of happiness and joy, that constantly are new each day, into infinity, infinite levels of happiness, that just seem to keep getting better year by year, through all of time, forever. Isn’t that wonderful? And for those in hell, how terrible indeed.

6. City Layout, Garden of Eden, Tree of Life, Mansions, Throne room of God


Revelation 21:22-23 says, “I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp”

The city itself is the temple of God. The city dimensions indicate that, but we’ll get there in a second. In general, what is the layout of the city? There are various foundations and structures, and gates, and so on. But let’s speculate.

I’m speculating here, but I’m assuming there will be city streets, parks, public structures, worship centers, prayer centers, administrative structures, libraries, trails to walk, areas to fly, video centers to view recordings of past events, the throne room of God at the center of the city, and of course the mansions of the saints, the houses prepared by Jesus for each of the saints coming into paradise. I’m sure we’ll gather at peoples houses and have meals, and fellowship times, praise times, music, entertainment, and Jesus I’m sure will join us himself at these events at people’s mansions.

Revelation 22:1-2 says, “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.”

At the center of the city, we have the throne of God, from the thrown is a waterfall, and a river that leads to the tree of life, where it bears fruit for us to eat.

Revelation 21: 11-21, “It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. 12 It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. 13 There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west. 14 The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

15 The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls. 16 The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia in length, and as wide and high as it is long. 17 The angel measured the wall using human measurement, and it was 144 cubits thick. 18 The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. 19 The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass.”

Massive, cube-shaped city. Astonishing isn’t it? But quite real.

7. Continued Quests, Adventures, and New Levels of Understanding


Lastly, the adventure continues. It doesn’t end in heaven, it’s just beginning! No one knows what God has prepared for those who love Him. No mind can conceive of it. No heart can understand it. But it is truly something very special. It’s not a boring end, but a whole new beginning, and off we launch into an infinite future.

Revelation 22:4-5,12-13 says, “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.

12 “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”

They will reign continuously, forever and ever. The I am who I am says so. The originator of everything. Think about that. God is the “I am” of eternity. Nothing else would exist without the fact he infinitely exists. Try understanding that. No one can. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says no one can truly understand from beginning to end all God has done. Why? Because there is no beginning to it and no end to it. I can’t understand it. Not at all. I don’t even understand why God exists or where God came from, why, because God didn’t come from anywhere, he’s always been, which is fundamentally beyond my ability to comprehend. I can’t understand infinity. No one can. Only God can.

So, in conclusion, the adventure begins there in the New City of God. And so it will continue, but what it will be like, is not something I can describe or comprehend. But I will ask God for hints about that, and God delights in revealing his secrets and mysteries to those who seek Him (Amos 3:7, proverb 25:2, Daniel 2:28). So… my indication to you today is, Ask God about heaven, and eternity, and paradise, and see what unique little mystery he reveals to you. Then come tell me, because I want to know more about it!

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