Heaven: How Big is Your View of It?

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In Revelation 21, one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues went to John (the apostle) and said: “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb” (v. 9).  And he carried John away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed him the Holy City—the New Jerusalem [the new Heaven]—coming down out of Heaven from God. 

According to the vision (Revelation is a vision given John from God), the New Jerusalem shone with the glory of God; its radiance was like that of a very precious, rare jewel… like a jasper, clear as crystal.

It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates.  On the gates—three on the east, three on the north, three on the south, and three on the west—were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel.  The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

The angel speaking with John had a measuring rod of gold, to measure the city and its gates and walls.  The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide.

  • The wall was built of jasper, while the city was pure gold, like clear glass.
  • The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel (jasper, sapphire, agate, emerald, onyx, carnelian, chrysolite, beryl, topaz, chrysoprase, jacinth, and amethyst).
  • The twelve gates were pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl.
  • The street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.
  • The city’s lighting is provided by God and the Lamb.

Doesn’t the New Heaven sound just marvelous?  Walls of jasper, foundations of jewels, literal pearly gates, a street of pure gold…

These, sisters, are the awesome things Colossians 3:1-2 urges us to focus on.  It says: “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” 

Paul is here admonishing us to focus on Heaven, on the things God has prepared for us in glory.  However, we won’t do that (at least not wholeheartedly, as we should) if we have only a miniscule view of what’s there.  When our view of Heaven and the things God has prepared for us is smaller than the daily things that plague us, the things that plague us will win our focus every time. 

Therefore, it is important that we, intentionally, meditate on chapters such as Revelation 21, so that we don’t slip into the mentality that “this” is all there is (something that’s subtly emphasized in our culture, and even in our churches), when there is far greater that awaits us on the other side. 

That said, sisters, determine with me today that you will go against the worldliness of today’s culture (which focuses primarily on the here and now) and be intentional about focusing on the things that are eternal. 

I know firsthand how difficult the issues of this life can be, and how easy it is to get sucked into them (even when you fight hard not to), but I also know the excitement and the joy that arises when I think of all that God has prepared specially for me, for all of eternity.  

I don’t know about you, sisters, but, to me, that view is far better the view of the worldly things we find ourselves facing here and now… 

Shift your focus.

P.S. Hebrews 11:13-16—God’s highlight of His faithful ones (which summarizes all of Hebrews 11), is another great passage to meditate on to get our minds set on the eternal rather than the temporal.  It says:

These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.  For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland.  If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return.  But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one.  Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared for them a city.

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