God’s Slaves Serve in New Jerusalem (2)

Revelation 22:3b says, “the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it [New Jerusalem], and His slaves will serve Him.” Looking at our service now gives us insight into how we will serve in New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemThe foundation of our serving is what Jesus Christ accomplished in His death and resurrection. He “released us from our sins by His blood and made us a kingdom, priests to His God and Father” (Rev. 1:5-6).

Hebrews 9:14 also links the blood of Jesus and our serving, “How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Part of Revelation 7:14-15 is “they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Because of this they are before the throne of God and serve Him day and night in His temple.” The washing of our robes, our conduct, is by receiving the forgiveness of sins accomplished by Jesus Christ.

This washing of sins has two stages. One is by our repenting at the initial time of our salvation. The other is throughout our Christian life by our confessing of sins for His cleansing (1 John 1:9). The first brings us before the throne and the second keeps us before the throne so  that we may serve God—both now and in New Jerusalem.

In Romans 1:9 Paul says, “God is my witness, whom I serve in my spirit…” In Philippians 3:3 we “…serve by the Spirit of God…” Serving as priests must be in the Spirit with our human spirit. Without this mingled spirit, whatever we do is not serving God as a priest.

In John 4:24 Jesus says, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truthfulness.” There is no serving God in worship without the mingled spirit.

Our serving now, and in New Jerusalem, is based on redemption and in spirit.

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

No Unrighteousness in New Jerusalem

There is no sin in New Jerusalem. The Bible shows us that sin, death, and the devil are linked. Sin is not in New Jerusalem because there is no death there and there is no devil there. The Bible also ties sin and unrighteousness together (e.g. Rom. 6:13, Heb. 8:12, 1 John 1:9). First John 5:17 states, “all unrighteousness is sin.”

New JerusalemSecond Peter 3:13 says, “according to His [God’s] promise we are expecting new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.” This means there will be no unrighteousness in the new creation, so no unrighteousness in New Jerusalem, the center of the new creation. This is another clear word that sin will not be in New Jerusalem.

In New Jerusalem there is no sin, no death, no devil, and no unrighteousness. In contrast, Jesus Christ is our redeemer, our life, our God, and our righteousness.
• “In whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” Col. 1:14
• “Christ our life” Col. 3:4
• “The Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever” Rom. 9:5
• “The righteousness of God through the faith of Jesus Christ to all who believe” Rom. 3:22

In New Jerusalem the redeeming Lamb is on the throne (Rev. 22:1, 3), the river of life and tree of life supply us eternally (Rev. 22:1-2),  the Lord God will shine upon us (Rev. 22:5), and Jesus Christ the Righteous (1 John 2:1) fills the city with righteousness. Praise Him for the redemption, life, and righteousness in New Jerusalem.

Neither Sin nor Death in New Jerusalem

A reader asked if there will be any sin in New Jerusalem. The simple answer is NO.

Revelation does not say in plain words “there is no sin in New Jerusalem” but the New JerusalemNew Testament revelation shows us this fact. Sin and death are always linked:
John 8:24: unless we believe,
___ we will die in our sins
Romans 5:12: death entered through sin
Romans 6:23: the wages of sin is death
Ephesians 2:1: we were dead in sins
James 1:15: sin brings forth death

Jesus Christ came, died, and rose to take away sin and death. He took away the sin of the world (John 1:29) and now every-one who believes into him has eternal life (John 3:15), a life that in no way involves sin or death, the life of New Jerusalem.

But you might be concerned because you still sin, and many Christians in the past have died. The apostle John, a very mature Christian, recognizes this in 1 John 1:7-10. The fact that he instructs us about confessing our sins shows that this confession is part of our Christian life.  This shows that eternal life has not yet fully matured in us and has not yet saturated our entire being. But it will!

First Corinthians 15:51-57 speaks about this. At the last trumpet the dead in Christ will be raised. Verse 53 declares, “this corruptible must put on incorruption [no more sin], and this mortal must put on immortality [no more death].” These verses refer to the believers in Christ.

After the trumpet and the Lord’s visible return, there will still be corruption in the world (e.g. Rev. 20:8). However, the last judgement, recorded in Revelation 20:11-15, will clear up every problem. “death [the last enemy – 1 Cor. 15:26] and hades were cast into the lake of fire” (20:14). Death, and its companion sin, will be in the lake of fire, but not in New Jerusalem. “Death will be no more” (Rev. 21:4).

New Jerusalem: Incorruptible Inheritance (1)
New Jerusalem: Incorruptible Inheritance (2)
In the Garden of Eden but not in New Jerusalem

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

A Kingdom of Priests, Both Now and In New Jerusalem

Revelation 1:5-6 and 5:9-10 tell us that the redemption of Jesus Christ has made us a kingdom of priests. This status will continue unto eternity in New Jerusalem.

Even in the Old Testament it was God’s intention to have a kingdom of priests. In Exodus 12-14 was the redemption of the Passover, followed by the departure from Egypt. Based on this, God’s word to Israel in Exodus 19 was,

You have seen what I did to the Egyptians and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My personal treasure from among all peoples, for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.

New JerusalemLater, Israel turned away from obeying the Lord’s voice and worshipped a golden calf. As a result of this failure, and due to the positive reaction of the tribe of Levi, the priesthood was restricted to Aaron and his descendants.

This restriction of the priesthood to a small fraction of God’s people was not God’s intention. This temporary restriction was removed by the redemption of Christ.

Today we could turn away from the Lord’s word. This does not take us out of the priesthood but it annuls our function. However, we can confess our sins and be forgiven and cleansed (1 John 1:7, 9). Then we will be back in the light and able to resume participation in the priesthood.

May we confess so that we may live in the light and participate in the priesthood now while awaiting the fuller and unvarying priesthood in New Jerusalem.

___Pray to fellowship with Jesus,
_____In the spirit seek His face;
___Ask and listen in His presence,
_____Waiting in the secret place.____words_music

Photo by Scott Bauer, courtesy of U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.

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