Light the Way in the Darkness, pt. 6

Part 5 here

A Possible Future World

Imagine if you would a world without war, hunger, or needless death. The clashing nations have put down their weapons, dismantled their missiles, melted their firearms, raised their hands in worship, and regrown the lost Garden to cover the Earth. Animal life now thrives, greenery flourishes in the sun, and the oceans shine a celestial blue once more. The entire planet rejoices because the sons of God have finally been revealed, and all Creation is joining them “in glorious freedom from death and decay.” (See Romans 8:21). The Light of the World, who is Christ, has revealed the Light of the World, who is the Church. We have become the New Jerusalem predicted in the book of Revelation:

“And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”” (Revelation‬ ‭21:2-4‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

New Jerusalem Descends to Earth

Later in the chapter, John the Revelator writes:

“So he took me in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and he showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. It shone with the glory of God and sparkled like a precious stone—like jasper as clear as crystal.”
‭‭Revelation‬ ‭21:10-11‬ ‭NLT‬‬

What a City on a Hill!

“I saw no temple in the city, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. And the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light. The nations will walk in its light, and the kings of the world will enter the city in all their glory. Its gates will never be closed at the end of day because there is no night there. And all the nations will bring their glory and honor into the city.” (Revelation‬ ‭21:22-26‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

And the City holds the source of the healing for those nations, one key to that future I described.

“Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations.”(Revelation‬ ‭22:1-2‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

No Fluffy Cloud Heaven?

Maybe, but let’s consider this. In the book of Daniel, we read of a dream the king of Babylon had of a grand statue made of different metals. Daniel interpreted for the king that each metal portion prefigured a coming kingdom, which later scholars identified fully:

  • Golden head – Babylonian Empire
  • Silver chest and arms – Medo-Persian Empire
  • Bronze belly and legs – Greek Empire
  • Iron legs – Roman Empire at its height
  • Iron and clay feet – Weakened Rome

And finally there was a rock like a meteor:

“As you watched, a rock was cut from a mountain, but not by human hands. It struck the feet of iron and clay, smashing them to bits. The whole statue was crushed into small pieces of iron, clay, bronze, silver, and gold. Then the wind blew them away without a trace, like chaff on a threshing floor. But the rock that knocked the statue down became a great mountain that covered the whole earth.” (Daniel‬ ‭2:34-35‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

This rock is the final Kingdom. What Kingdom is this, though? What Kingdom smashed Rome?

During the reigns of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed or conquered. It will crush all these kingdoms into nothingness, and it will stand forever. That is the meaning of the rock cut from the mountain, though not by human hands, that crushed to pieces the statue of iron, bronze, clay, silver, and gold. The great God was showing the king what will happen in the future. The dream is true, and its meaning is certain.””(Daniel‬ ‭2:44-45‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

That rock becomes a worldwide mountain. Remember that mountains were divine symbols of power. And I believe the rock that smashed Rome is the Kingdom of God, which grew from the first century Church till the City on a Hill it is now. And it will continue growing as a mountain till God’s reign covers the planet:

“But the rock that knocked the statue down became a great mountain that covered the whole earth.” (Daniel‬ ‭2:35‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

I believe this rock and New Jersualem are the same thing: Christ’s Church. It is a very real thing from which should spread healing to humanity and creation from the millennia of evil imposed on it by satan and his followers. And whereas that fallen creature will fall again into a lake of eternally burning flame, along with his followers who will not be allowed into the City, the goodness of God is destined to spread throughout the cosmos.

“Nothing evil will be allowed to enter [New Jerusalem], nor anyone who practices shameful idolatry and dishonesty—but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.” (Revelation‬ ‭21:27‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

“And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire.” (Revelation‬ ‭20:15‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

At last, God’s will shall be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. And the City on a Hill he set up accomplishes this by toppling the World’s systems, whether idol or philosophy. We weren’t meant to be an empty-worded religion, but a powerful driver of change to carry out God’s commands on Earth.

“Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome.” (1 John‬ ‭5:3‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

And what is God’s basic command for us?

“And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their fellow believers.” (1 John‬ ‭4:21‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

Part 7 is us, O Sleeper, awakening to change the world.

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