Today is our 58th anniversary of homecoming. It’s this day that people come back to their home church. There is coming a day and we don’t quite know when it’s going to happen. It’s been promised to us for quite some time. We want to look at the final homecoming. John the Revelator speaks to us about the final homecoming.
1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone.
We’ve been taking a look at Revelation over the past few weeks. In Revelation 4 and 5, John writes about the worship and describes the throne as being behind a glassy sea. Now the sea was also gone. When we go to the final homecoming the separation is finally gone.
2 And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
3 I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them.
Look at the wonderful things that will happen.
4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”
5 And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” 6 And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. 7 All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children…9 Then one of the seven angels who held the seven bowls containing the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come with me! I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”
10 So he took me in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and he showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. 11 It shone with the glory of God and sparkled like a precious stone—like jasper as clear as crystal.
Listen to the dimensions of this city.
12 The city wall was broad and high, with twelve gates guarded by twelve angels. And the names of the twelve tribes of Israel were written on the gates. 13 There were three gates on each side—east, north, south, and west. 14 The wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were written the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
15 The angel who talked to me held in his hand a gold measuring stick to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. 16 When he measured it, he found it was a square, as wide as it was long. In fact, its length and width and height were each 1,400 miles.
Think about that. 1400 miles cubed. Anyone who has driven that kind of mileage can relate to that distance.
17 Then he measured the walls and found them to be 216 feet thick (according to the human standard used by the angel).
18 The wall was made of jasper, and the city was pure gold, as clear as glass.
Think about that. The wall was made of jasper and the city was made of gold. What are the most valuable things to us? What are some of our most precious metals? The most valuable asset on the earth is going to be foundation stones. Is that going to be a wonderful city or what?
19 The wall of the city was built on foundation stones inlaid with twelve precious stones: the first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst.
All those beautiful stones and those were the foundations of the city and look at what the gates were made of.
21 The twelve gates were made of pearls—each gate from a single pearl! And the main street was pure gold, as clear as glass.
This is some city that God is creating. Think about this, God only worked on the earth for seven days; he’s been working on heaven for two thousand years. Heaven’s going to be a wonderful place.
Heaven is a wonderful place
Full of mercy and grace
I want to see my Savior’s face,
Cause heaven is a wonderful place. I want to go there.
As if all that wasn’t enough, there’s more.
22 I saw no temple in the city, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 And the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light. 24 The nations will walk in its light, and the kings of the world will enter the city in all their glory. 25 Its gates will never be closed at the end of day because there is no night there. 26 And all the nations will bring their glory and honor into the city. 27 Nothing evil will be allowed to enter, nor anyone who practices shameful idolatry and dishonesty—
What is the ticket to heaven?
but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
That is the ticket to heaven. That’s how we can get there.
1 Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations.
3 No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him. 4 And they will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads. 5 And there will be no night there—no need for lamps or sun—for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever.
6 Then the angel said to me, “Everything you have heard and seen is trustworthy and true. The Lord God, who inspires his prophets, has sent his angel to tell his servants what will happen soon.”
7 “Look, I am coming soon! …
20 He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!” Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!
So this morning we celebrate homecoming, we celebrate the chance to come and celebrate our church were we have been doing ministry for 58 years. And yet there is a more important homecoming to follow; one that will make eternal significance. I want to make sure anyone who is here has the key to heaven.
The key to heaven is having your name written in the Lamb’s book of Life. It doesn’t matter if your name is written on the roll of Preston Wesleyan Church. That doesn’t matter at all. The question is, “Is your name written in the Lamb’s book of Life?”
How do we do that? Paul and Silas were in jail, thrown in there for throwing out demons. They were singing in the middle of the night, when an earthquake happened. The jailer ran in and was about to kill himself. Paul and Silas said, “Don’t do that. We haven’t escaped.” This so impressed the jailer he stuck around and heard what else Paul and Silas had to say. The jailer finally asked, “How do I get saved?” They replied, “Anyone who believes in the Lord will be saved.”
Not just a head knowledge, but to get it into the heart, where it changes us. We don’t have to clean up our act first, but we need to come to Jesus. We come to Jesus just as we are. He will clean us up. You come and you will be able to celebrate at that final homecoming.