Looking For A City
When Abram was living in Haran, the Lord called him and told him to leave. Genesis 12:1 “Now the Lord had said to Abram: ‘Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you.’” The Lord later changed his name to Abraham. Then we are told in Hebrews 11:8-10 “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” Abraham was a man of great faith. He had never seen the place to which he was going. He walked by faith and obeyed God. When he got to the Promised Land, he traveled about in the land as a foreigner. God promised to give the land to his descendants, but Abraham did not possess the land during his lifetime. He accepted the fact that he would not possess the land and instead “he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” Abraham lived his life in faith and trust in God because he knew that ultimately he would be given the privilege to enter the heavenly city.
The writer continues in Hebrews 11:13-16 “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.” I encourage you to be like these people of faith. In this life you do not receive all the promises given by God. But you should be able to see them afar off and be assured that God will give you what He has promised. Accept the fact that you are just a stranger and a pilgrim on this earth and that you seek a heavenly homeland. God has prepared a heavenly city for you.
John gave a description of the heavenly city in the book of the Revelation. Revelation 21:1-4 “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.’”
The city has a great and high wall with twelve foundations and twelve gates, each gate of pearl. The street of the city is pure gold. The city is a cube in that the height and length and depth are all the same: 12 thousand furlongs which is 1500 miles or 2414 Kilometers. John continues in Revelation 21:22-22:5 “But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.”
If you have a house or an apartment where you and your family live, you might call it your home. It is easy for you and me to become content and feel at home here. Our minds might be fixed on making our life comfortable and how we can enjoy the things of this world. But consider the exhortation written by the apostle Paul in Philippians 3:17-21 “Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame — who set their mind on earthly things. For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.” Do not consider your country, your city, your house to be your permanent home. Do not have your mind set on earthly things. Instead, appreciate that your citizenship is in heaven; that is where your home really is. You are just a stranger and a pilgrim here. Live your life in faith that all around you is temporary and you are seeking a permanent, heavenly home.