A Tour of New Jerusalem

Comparing the visions of Revelation to Dorothy visiting Oz opens the door to a renewed sense of wonder and amazement at what God has done for us through his Son. The tour through New Jerusalem helps us “visualize” the things that are at the very heart of God. I love how John’s final vision is full of the reminder that God gives life (not death) abundant food (not starvation) thirst quenching water without cost, and healing for all the nations. This is what God has always been about and in the End we will see a new Beginning – the garden of Eden fully restored.

By the way, Katie Thompson wins the Inquisitive Bible Reader award today. While I was reading the list of jewels that are part of the New Jerusalem she thought that they sounded familiar. She had been reading in Exodus recently so she turned back to re-read the description of the High Priest’s breastplate. It is not coincidence that John uses some of the very jewels that the High Priest wore over his heart as he ministered before the Lord in the Most Holy Place. Revelation is full of surprises like that for the discerning reader.

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Byron FikePreaching Minister

Byron has been the preaching minister at Clear Lake since 1999. He and his wife have three grown children, who have also devoted their lives to serving the Lord. In his personal time, Byron likes to read books, watch movies, and play with his little dog Willie. He also is an avid follower of Alabama football, having grown up in Tuscaloosa during the glory days of Bear Bryant.

Comments

4 Responses to “A Tour of New Jerusalem”

  1. avatar Jeremy says:

    Honestly Byron, this was one of your more eloquent sermons. You’re transitions were seamless and your excitement was infectious. I particularly enjoyed closing my eyes and picturing the New Jerusalem. I got lost the words and pictures that were coming to my mind.
    Personally, I think it is the first sermone that I have ever heard preached on the Jerusalem, especially in the frame of that is where we are going to be one day.
    As the sermone went on, I keep thinking about how seeing what is to come would affect how I should live now. It really struck me and began to crack some of my harden heart. Knowing that one day I will not struggle with what I am struggling with now. One day I will have a restored family. One day I will live, not to eat, not to drink, not to sleep, but simply to LIVE, to truly LIVE. It is hard to put into words, but it was a very powerful, moving experience.
    It was like I was feeling the Holy Spirit begin to move again inside of me. To work on me and in me once again.
    It was nothing earth shattering, but it was movement, a gentle push, a nudge if you will. It was voice gently whispering to me, “I am not done with you yet. And when all this craziness is over, there is something greater still. Hold hold. Keep the faith. Fight the good fight. Your greatest weakness will be my greatest strength. Keep following. Keep struggling. I will be waiting for you.”
    I kind of feel like Bob in the movie “What About Bob.” Baby steps. Whatever the case maybe, the New Jerusalem sounds a lot better than sitting on clouds all day singing Kum Ba Yah. That’s just one man’s opinion though.
    Another note on the sermone, I think it was great that you took a moment to explain how to get in the Book of Life. That was good.

  2. avatar Tommytwotoez says:

    I have to agree with Jeremy on this as well, your excitement was extremely infectious.
    Once again, I can took back in my earlier years in the church and remember sermons based on this topic, but I cannot remember having a preacher MOVE me by it, until yesterday!
    Your analogies with the “older” movies (yes, way older movies!) fitted perfectly with Johns picture of what we all have to look forward to, all the more keeping us motivated.
    Back to the “older sermons” I mentioned, it seems like a lot of preachers avoid this topic, I’m sure because it’s one of the hardest to teach and one of the hardest to fully understand; but I find your method one of the best, because it is the truth. The message is what we should be getting here and that is what I took away with me from your sermon.
    PS: I love the way John included the “living water” reference in Rev. and in the Book of John!

  3. avatar Norman says:

    Words are very poor containers for thoughts, concepts or visions. I applaud your use of visuals and applications drawn from daily experience (naming of the dollars).
    In describing his vision of the end John struggled with a great handicap; the same handicap confronting Moses as he described the beginning. The reality is too expansive for human language. Since we were not there and have not yet been there, we have no definitions for the authors’ experiences. Simile, metaphor and hyperbole cannot covey the things the author was seeing. “A cubicle city with a wall half the length of earth’s equator”? “Twelve gates in the wall, each made from a single pearl”? Massive and extravagant,yes,but are the descriptions adequate? We’ll see.
    Katie caught items from John’s Jewish frame of reference. In today’s society we might prefer the paving material. We’ll see….

  4. avatar tom W says:

    I also thought this was a very fine sermon. I got a new perspective on Christianity as a way of life. I felt that the book of Revelation changed for me, from being a confusing book to being a vision of our life now in Christ, and not as you said a book about “end times” any more than the other books of the new testament, as is most often thought.
    It refocused me on Christs teaching that the time is now. As Paul said “to live is Christ and to die is gain”. Above all things you strike me as an evangelist, that is someone whose mission is to teach Christ. I thank God he put you here for us.

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