End of the Rat Race

Scripture: Matthew 5:5, Revelation 21:1-27, Psalm16:11
How would you like to live in the perfect environment, a place without crime, perfect weather, and complete safety? The Bible teaches that heaven is such a place. Someday that holy city will move from heaven to our earth. Its a city that is beyond our wildest imaginations.
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Have you noticed, friends, how much griping there is these days? You hear it on every side, on the streets, in the stores, in the homes, newspapers, magazines, radio, TV. People are griping about the weather, the pressures, the high prices, the increase of crime, riots, high taxes and many other things. And it seems that with most, perhaps all of these things, there is a legitimate gripe. The crime rate is terrible. Prices are high and going higher. Taxes are appalling, and the weather is never satisfactory.

How would you like to escape from all of this? How would you like to live in a perfect climate, not too cold, not too hot, no droughts, no floods, no cyclones, no hurricanes. How would you like to live where there is no crime, absolutely none? You would not have to lock your house or car. Your wife and daughter would be safe anywhere. How would you like to live where there are no taxes, no house payments, no rent? How would you like to live where there is no immorality, no social diseases, where young people are contented, happy and well behaved? How would you like that? Would you be willing to change your residence? I'll bet you would. Who wouldn't?

Well, there is such a place, and I'm amazed that more people are not getting ready to live there under those ideal circumstances. The place is called heaven, and you certainly do have to make preparation to live there. Such a wonderful ideal place would call for a special kind of citizen. It is not that the preparation is too hard or impossible. The problem is that so many people just don't realize the vital necessity of getting ready to make the move.

The fact is that God is pretty particular about the people He admits into heaven. Yet, if you want to go there, the Lord Himself will help you to get ready for that wonderful dwelling place. The preparation is really a matter of character, a matter of the transformation of life, of habits. New and better habits replace old and evil ones, and altogether the change is wholly desirable. It is a change that most people would really prefer to have made in their lives anyway. And God will do it for you, if you will consent. All you have to do is to be willing and to turn your life over to Him. He'll do it. He wants to do it because He knows that you can't move into this wonderful place, Heaven, unless you do.

Now, let's ask and answer the questions that multitudes have asked about Heaven. What will be the future of the redeemed, what will be their occupation, what will they be doing a million, two million years from now? I'm sure the Bible has not told us all we want to know about this, but it has not left us altogether in ignorance either. Let me ask and answer this question: "Where will the redeemed be? Where will they spend eternity?" Matthew 5:5 says, "Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth." These are the words of Christ, and I conclude that He knows what He is talking about. The meek will be here on this planet, but not under these conditions. First, the Lord, in person, will live with the saints on this earth forever. I'll read it to you. "I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God." Yes, that is what He is going to do. He is going to spend eternity on this earth with the redeemed. In fact, He is going to move His capitol city from where it now is in Paradise to this earth. Alright, I will read that to you, too. "And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." Revelation 21:2. And in the tenth verse we are told almost the same thing: "And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God."

Think of it, friends, this will be the time when God moves the New Jerusalem, His capitol city, from where it is now in Paradise, to this earth. Yes, that is right. God is going to transfer His capitol city to this planet, and the headquarters of His universal government will be right here.

That is what God says about it. This city is wonderful beyond our wildest imagination. It is 375 miles square. It is a perfect square, and its circumference is 1500 miles. It would take the states of West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, and parts of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina for it to rest upon. The architect and builder of this marvelous space city is none other than God Himself. It is God's own city, the capitol of the Universe. Since God is a great Ruler, we would expect Him to have a great capitol, and He has it.

It is surrounded by a wall 216 feet in height, and the wall is made of solid jasper with the radiance and beauty beyond description. Think of it! A wall nearly 20 stories high and of solid jasper. And further, "The city has twelve gates ... on the east three gates; and on the north three gates; on the west three gates and on the south three gates. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was one pearl." Revelation 21:12, 13, 21. Three gates are on each side of the city, and each gate is of solid pearl. If the gates are in proportion to the wall and the rest of the city, then each gate would be about one mile wide.

What will be the difference between living in New York, London or Paris and living in the New Jerusalem? Well, it won't be the same, believe me. To begin with there will be no sin, sickness or death in the New Jerusalem. There will be no cemeteries, and of course no doctors, hospitals or undertakers. All such will be out of business. You know how it is now, your children are exposed to measles, mumps, or scarlet fever, and in due time they come down with those diseases. Now, sickness and disease are contagious, but in that wonderful land health will be contagious. And there will be no deadly scourges as strokes, cancer or coronaries.

You will never hear an ambulance screeching along the streets of gold, and you will never hear a fire siren as the fire engine races to a fire, for there won't be any fires. Did you know that many fires are started by careless cigarette smokers? And there will be no cigarettes or smokers in that pure land. There won't be any tavern killings, for there won't be any taverns. In fact, there won't be any more death. Those things are of the devil, and are a result of sin. But there all the effects of sin are eternally banished.

And another thing about the New Jerusalem that will be different than New York today is that there will be no slums, no skid row, no ghettos. There will be no red light districts, no prostitutes, no call girls, no girlie magazines, and no pornography. This will be one city that is clean from one end to the other. There will be prostitutes, murderers, rapists and robbers there, but they have long ago left their prostitution, their killing, raping and robbing to become followers of the Lord Jesus.

There is Mary Magdalene as a typical example. Mary will certainly be there, but not as a prostitute. She is the one, you remember, out of whom Jesus cast seven devils. After she met Jesus, she left her sinful life, followed the Savior and was first at the tomb on that eventful Sunday morning.

There will be no automobiles racing up and down on the streets of gold. There will be no landing fields for there will be no more jets. There will be no more street cars, railroad trains and no rockets. All right, I guess you have concluded by this time that the way of life in New Jerusalem will be altogether different. And it will be. But delightfully different. Imagine never being sick, never having an ache or pain. Imagine never seeing a crippled man or woman, boy or girl. Imagine never seeing a wheelchair, leg braces or crutches. Imagine never seeing a drunk, and never having to worry about the safety of your children. Imagine, no more drugs, no more alcohol, no more cigarettes, cigars or pipe smoking, and no lung cancer, and no more strokes.

The New Jerusalem will have in it the throne of God and of Christ, and it will be upon this planet, earth, for all eternity to come. A wonderful future stretches out before the redeemed.

But will not the redeemed become bored with the passing of time? No, never. Here is Psalm 16:11: "Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." There will be no more death, pain, tears, sorrow, sickness, hospitals, operations, tragedy, disappointment, trouble, hunger or thirst. "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, no crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." Revelation 21:4. And again: "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." Revelation 22:3. There is a tremendous, amazing future for those who choose to serve and obey God now.

Isaiah 40:31 tell us that we will not get tired. That is going to be something pretty wonderful, isn't it. Remember how you have been so tired that it seemed you could not take another step, and went to bed so tired you could not sleep. Well, it won't be that way in the New Earth. Every saved person will be physically whole in every way. The deaf will hear; the blind, see; the dumb, sing; and the lame will be able to run. Shall I read that to you out of God's book? I think I will do that. "Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert." Isaiah 35:5, 6.

There will be no hatred, neighbors will not fall out. Your wife and daughter will be absolutely safe anywhere, anytime. There will be no police departments, no ambulances with siren sounding. There will be no jealousy, fear, hatred, falsehood, envy, impurity, cynicism, filth, worry and all evil will be forever shut out of God's New Earth kingdom. It is going to be a wonderful place to be. And if we get some happiness out of this life, we are going to get supreme happiness out of the life to come. There will be no more nervous breakdowns. Time will become eternity and the pressures and deadlines of earth will be gone forever.

And the really wonderful part of it is that you and I can participate in it. We can be in the New Jerusalem, and in the New Earth. We have an invitation. And the invitation is given by the God and Master of the universe. And the only thing we have to do is to accept it, and get ready for the move.

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