Foretastes of Glory—Life Application for November 13, 2016

November 6, 2016 No Comments »
Foretastes of Glory—Life Application for November 13, 2016

By David Faust

faustFanny Crosby was blind, but God gifted her with the spiritual insight to compose 8,000 hymns. A friend asked Fanny to suggest lyrics for a tune she had written, and the result was the beloved hymn that begins, “Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! O what a foretaste of glory divine!”

In Revelation 21 God gives us several foretastes of glory. John stretched the limits of language as he described Heaven’s wonders. An angel showed him “the bride, the wife of the Lamb” (v. 9), evoking the beautiful pageantry of a wedding. John’s description of the Holy City stirs our anticipation about the qualities we will discover in God’s New Jerusalem.

Security

The heavenly city is bordered by “a great, high wall with twelve gates” with an angel guard posted at each gate (v. 12). The gates never need to be shut (v. 25), for there’s no reason for us to be afraid. Heaven is a place of absolute security where nothing can harm God’s beloved.

Space

Our eternal dwelling place will be secure, but not confining. Heaven isn’t a prison; it’s a paradise. It’s spacious and expansive—in human terms pictured like an enormous cube measuring 12,000 stadia (about 1,400 miles) on every side. The goal here probably isn’t to impress us with Heaven’s dimensions but with its perfection. The way to Heaven is a narrow road; but once we arrive, there will be plenty of elbow room for all.

Splendor

John’s glimpse of Heaven is like visiting God’s jewelry store. No blacktop—the streets glitter with gold. No concrete blocks—the foundations are decorated with sapphires, emeralds, rubies, turquoise, and other precious stones. “The kings of the earth will bring their splendor” into the city (v. 24) and “the glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it” (v. 26).

Professor Lewis Foster observed, “The people of God include individuals from all nations. One need not lose his national heritage nor his individuality to enter the city of God.” Perhaps the blessings we enjoy on earth that spring from ethnic diversity—the appeal of different cultures with unique music, humor, artistry, and wit—will all be part of Heaven’s splendor. There will be so much to do, so many glorious ways to worship God, that the sun will never go down; indeed, the sun and moon won’t even be needed in that city, “for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp” (v. 23).

Sinlessness

Are you tired of the callousness, violence, deception, hostility, and other evils that surround us on earth—and that we recognize in our own hearts? None of this will exist in Heaven. “Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful” (v. 27).

Salvation

We sinners don’t deserve to go to this unspoiled, beautiful place; but the Holy City is reserved for those forgiven and saved by grace whose “names are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (v. 27). We gain access to Heaven because of Christ’s perfect sacrifice, not our own merits. We humbly say, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1). And each foretaste of Heaven makes us hungrier to go there.

David Faust serves as the Associate Minister at East 91st Street Christian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Based on International Sunday School Lesson, © 2013, by the Lesson Committee. Scripture quotations are from the New International Version ©2011, unless otherwise indicated.

As you apply today’s Scripture study to everyday life, read Engage Your Faith by David Faust and the correlating Evaluation Questions.

Daily Readings

Nov. 7

M.

Genesis 1:28–2:3

The First Heaven and Earth

Nov. 8

T.

Ezekiel 43:1-9

The Glory of God Will Return

Nov. 9

W.

Revelation 3:10-12

Dwellers in the New Jerusalem

Nov. 10

T.

Revelation 21:1-4

Missing from the Holy City

Nov. 11

F.

Revelation 21:5-8

City of the Alpha and Omega

Nov. 12

S.

Revelation 21:15-21

The Architectural Splendor of the New Jerusalem

Nov. 13

S.

Revelation 21:9-14, 22-27

Vision of the New Jerusalem

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