Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea (Revelation 21:1)
In about AD 90, perhaps 95, John the apostle was sent to an island called Patmos. He was the last living apostle. He was sent as punishment to live in isolation because of his witness for Christ. It was while he was there that he was given a vision and he wrote down the book of Revelation, perhaps the most controversial book in scripture. But from all of this, as many opinions and books we might have read on this topic there are at least 3 things that everyone seems to agree on:
- Heaven is a perfect place.
This is the way that John describes heaven. He begins by telling us that there are some things we will not see in heaven and it is these very things that will not be there that make it a perfect place. There will be no more sea. There will be no more separation. There will be no more tears.
- Heaven is also a physical place. Too many times when we talk about spiritual things we think in the spiritual realm…..in terms of spiritual things; things we cannot see and as a result it just doesn’t seem real. But note that heaven is a physical place.
- It is a prepared place and it is a promised place. (vs. 22-27).
Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people.
In recent time friends, we have seen hatred rear its ugly head in this nation. There have been church, synagogue, and mosque shootings, recent shootings in Jersey city, stabbings in Monsey New York shootings and violent attacks focused on Jews, It seems that we are a nation where anything and everything of a violent and hate-filled nature rears their divisive and hate-filled heads so frequently that these events seem to be accepted as the norm.
As a nation we are better than this. Some of our leaders in the political realm do not act like leaders at alI, but rather as partisan political actors who have long sacrificed their souls on the altar of political expediency. Hence the question becomes where is the voice of honesty humility and courage which is willing to speak truth to the powers that be, that heaven is not pleased with these turn of events? Who do these leaders represent? Where should we ask, is the voice crying in the wilderness a la John the Baptist, saying “prepare the way of the Lord?’ Where is the prophetic voice of the church which unfailingly utters “Thus says the Lord? Regarding the blatant disregard for the rule of law in many quarters?
Friends, it seems to me that heaven is in a perpetual state of mourning because the blood of our brothers, sisters, neighbors, as well as people who we don’t like, incessantly cries out to her from the ground (See Genesis 4:10)
Members and friends of the Ebenezer Wesleyan Methodist Church of Brooklyn, New York, if we have hope in this world, we are of people most miserable. That is to say, only what God offers in Jesus the Christ guarantees to us any real permanence and satisfaction. This world as we know it, will not be like this forever. The threat of war and destruction is real, especially in recent times. In fact, this world is not our home. We are sojourners. We are looking for a city whose “builder and Maker is God”. Jesus our Savior said “I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go, I will come again to receive you unto myself, that where I am there you may be also” This place we know as heaven, a physical place, a perfect, a prepared place and a promised place.
May God who is faithful keep you in the hollow of his hands. May each and everyone of us keep the faith. Be kind to one another. Be genuine in your faith. Be always about the Lord’s business. His Second Advent is at hand.
Repent of your sins. Accept the Lord Jesus as your Savior and Lord of your life and you will be guaranteed a place in heaven.
Thank God for your support of the ministry of Ebenezer in 2019. I am calling you to let us put our hearts together, our hands to the wheel and pool our resources to build up our church spiritually, physically, emotionally numerically and of course, financially.
Have a prosperous, healthy happy and blessed 2020.
Yours In Christ
Rev Edward L Jenkins, Snr
Your Pastor and friend.