Sunday School Material 11-13-16: New Jerusalem

(Rev. 21:9-14, 22-27; 11/13/16)

Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that God has a New Jerusalem planned for those whose names are in the Lamb’s book of life. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to make sure that our names are in the book.

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Revelation 21:9-14

I. Holy City From the Outside. One of the angles is carrying John on a tour in our Sunday School material. They are viewing the New Jerusalem. The 12 gates have the name of the 12 tribes, and the 12 foundations have the name of the 12 Apostles.

Applications –

- Plagues. Notice in vs. 9 that there are some bowls filled with plagues. There are too many who think of God as One who only gives unconditionally love and encouragement with no threat of punishment or wrath.

However, our Sunday School material teaches that there are plaques for those who don’t obey. Let’s work on making sure that we are living obedient lives.

At the core of this application are the issues of accepting Jesus as our savior and living lives focused on loving God and others, as we love ourselves.

- God of the Old and New Testament. Notice in vss. 13-14 that the Old Testament and New Testament are represented, in the New Jerusalem. It would be a mistake to think that God started His work in the New Testament, after the resurrection.

God has loved people from the beginning of time and has been working to get us back in relationship with Him. We should not dismiss the Jews as simply no longer loved by God.

Love holds on for a long time and moves in mysterious ways. Let’s be careful about restricting God’s love to only those we are familiar with.

Revelation 21:22-27

II. Holy City From the Inside. There is no Temple, sun, or moon in the New Jerusalem in our Sunday School material. God is so present that neither of the above are needed for worship or light. The New Jerusalem is only for those whose names area in the Lamb’s book of life.

Applications –

- No Temple in glory. Notice in vs. 22 that there is no Temple. There are too many people who put too much value in the current church houses.

On one hand, the church house should look like the people respect the house as the church house. The church house should look better than our houses or at least as good as our houses.

But on the other hand, in glory, we shall be so close to God that we don’t need a building in which to meet God. Being in fellowship with God is more important than the building.

Let’s work on our fellowship with God, more than fretting over buildings. Fellowship with God calls for obeying His word.

- God loves the world. Notice in vs. 24 that there will be many nations. There are too many who behave as if God is only concerned with America.

When in reality God loves the entire world. Blacks, Whites, nor Hispanics have a monopoly on God. God is calling for every knee to bow and every tongue to confess.

Let’s live like God loves the world, instead of just our small piece of the world. This application should move us to support what some call “foreign missions,” in its various forms (e.g., evangelism, schools, water, medicine, orphanages, etc.).

- The Lamb’s book of life. Notice in vs. 27 of our Sunday School material that only those whose names are in the Lamb’s book of life shall enter the gates. Let’s make sure that our names are in the book.

The way we get our names in the book is to make sure that we have asked and are trusting God to save us because of Jesus’ substitute death for our sins. Without Christ, our sins will keep us out of the New Jerusalem.

Conclusion: Let’s make sure that our names are in the book. God has much for those who obey Him. 

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