Thursday, December 15, 2016

Revelation 21:22-27

Revelation 21:22-27
And I did not see a temple in it, for the Lord the God the Almighty and the lamb is its temple.  And the city has no need of sun or moon in order that they should cause it to shine.  For the glory of God illuminated it and the lamb is its lamp.  And the nations walk around through its light and the kings of the earth bring their glory into it.  And its gateways should surely not be shut of the day, for there will not be night there.  And they will bring the glory and honor of the nations into it.  And every profane thing and the one who makes something detestable and lies should surely not go into it – except the ones who have been written in book of life of the lamb.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

There is no need for a temple in the city.  God is His own temple.  This takes us back to the imagery from yesterday.  Remember that one of the symbolic points from yesterday is that Jerusalem is a square so that we are reminded of worship elements such as the altars of sacrifice and the Holy of Holies.  This truly fits in with the message from today.  There is no need for a temple because the city itself is the worship space!  There is no need for sacrifices because God Himself is the ultimate sacrifice.

What is this passage truly telling us about the temple of the Lord?  What is this passage teaching us about where those who are in Christ can and should worship?

Second Thought:

Furthermore, the city has no need for a light.  The gates will never be shut because it will never be night.  God will be its light.  As we continue on in the symbolic theme of this chapter, we can see that this point also makes sense.  Jesus is the light of the world.  He already had that designation when He came the first time.  Jesus is the truth of God.  In the world to come, when the current existence has been eliminated and we are in a new heaven and earth, we will only need the truth of God.  In fact, this makes another great symbolic point.  The only light our life needs, the only truth our world needs, is Christ.  He is sufficient.

Is Christ all that you need?  How is this truth able to be seen by others as they look into your life?

Third Thought:

Finally, we see that the nations will come and go.  At first, it sounds like this passage could be speaking about universal salvation.  After all, wouldn’t the nations mean all people?  It doesn’t actually.  Remember that at this point the nations have been judged.  Those who are not in Christ are no longer on the scene.  Those who remain are in Christ.  Therefore, what does this passage mean?  This passage is a huge passage for diversity.  People from every nation are welcome to dwell with God.  In the end, when only those who are in Christ remain, there will be people from all nations, all races, all colors.  John is trying to tell us that God is welcoming to all people who are willing to accept Him and His ways.

How do you experience God’s acceptance of people of all nationalities?  Do you have difficulty imitating this openness?  What does this teach us about the nature of God?

Passage for Tomorrow: Revelation 22:1-5
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