Today marks a wonderful day. Twelve months ago you probably never dreamed you would make it, and yet, here you stand, having read the entire Bible! This is the last day of the Devotional. There could not be a better subject to end on that that found in Revelation 21-22. Today we look at the point of the whole thing.
In order to prepare for reading this passage, it would be helpful to take a few moments and read these passages first.
Read Ezekiel 37:23-28
Now read Revelation 21:1-22:5
What similarities do you see between this passage and the Old Testament prophecies?
How is the New Jerusalem described? If you could sum it up in one phrase, what is the point of the images used to describe the New Jerusalem?
Food for thought:
Much debate exists about the interpretation of the images found in our passage today. Some people believe that these images should be read literally. They believe that there will actually be a 1500 mile tall city erected over the Mediterranean Sea. Others believe that these images are completely metaphorical and do not pertain at all to any specific, literal place in the future, but represent the pure nature of God Himself at work in His people. Others take a middle ground and admit to the metaphorical nature of the language in this passage, so do not hold to a literal description of a place, but do hold to a metaphorical description of a yet unrealized future state of existence.
There are not enough pages in this devotional to adequately discuss and debate all these differing views. I challenge you to study them on your own. Regardless of your perspective on this passage, there are some incredibly encouraging observations that can be made about the Kingdom of God.
God is in love with His Kingdom like a groom loves his bride.
God’s Kingdom is one where the subjects of the Kingdom interact with the King.
There are no tears, death, mourning, crying, or pain in God’s Kingdom.
There is unity in the Kingdom of God (it’s gates are the tribes of Israel, its foundation is the apostles: Jews and Gentiles living together)
The Kingdom of God is the perfection of God’s presence. (Notice how the measurements are that of a cube. The Holy of Holies in the tabernacle was a cube. This is the representation of the perfection of God. Being in the Kingdom of God is being in the “Holy of Holies”)
There is no war in the Kingdom. (The gates never shut)
The Kingdom of God is pure truth.
The river of Life runs through the center of the city, its inhabitants will live forever.
The Big Finish
Read Genesis 3:21-24. What was the consequence of sin?
Read Revelation 22:1-5. What is freely accessible in the Kingdom of God?
Here is the HOPE that you have. Jesus is the King, the Lion that became the Lamb. He came so that we may have life abundantly and may enter the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is an already, but not yet kind of thing. We have access to the tree of Life right now. In Jesus Christ the fullness of the Kingdom has been realized and is present within us through the Holy Spirit. We don’t have to pine away our time until we die to experience the Kingdom. It is alive within us right now. Yet, we also know that its fullness has not yet been realized. We have only begun to plunge the depths of what it means to be in the Kingdom of God, the presence of the Almighty.
My prayer is that you, having completed the reading of the entire Bible will remember these few, simple truths:
God loves you more than you can ever imagine.
God is in control of all things, at all times, even when things seem desperate.
Through Jesus Christ you have access to the riches of the Kingdom of God.
Your life has been given to you for the purpose of bringing honor and glory to your Heavenly Father.
Through the power of the Holy Spirit you can live a life of meaning and power.
If you will die each day to yourself and be filled with the presence and the glory of God, then you will overflow in love and purpose to the world around you.