Eternal Life and New Jerusalem (2)

New JerusalemJesus Christ is our eternal life. “The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:23). New Jerusalem is an eternal city, so it is intimately tied with this eternal life.

We receive this life, which is Christ Himself, by believing. Our believing is our response to God’s appointing (Acts 13:48). To be appointed to eternal life also means to be appointed to New Jerusalem.

Titus 1:2 and 3:7 speak of “the hope of eternal life.” On one hand, the eternal life we have already received gives us hope for the future, including hope for New Jerusalem.

On the other hand, we have hope for our future that we will have a greater portion of and greater participation in eternal life. At the time of our salvation we received eternal life. When the Lord returns we will “inherit eternal life” (Matt. 19:29, Mark 10:30)—not a different life but an enriched portion of the same life we initially received, and New Jerusalem will be the richest portion of eternal life.

In John 10:28 the Lord said, “I give to them eternal life, and they shall by no means perish forever, and no one shall snatch them out of My hand.” This is strong security, both for having eternal life and participating in eternal New Jerusalem. But the Lord also said in John 12:28, “He who loves his soul-life loses it; and he who hates his soul-life in this world shall keep it unto eternal life.”

Our future inheritance of greater eternal life depends on our hating/denying/losing our soul life, our self. The Lord tells us to deny the soul live so that we may live Him as our eternal life. Eventually we will all make this transition from the fallen natural life to the divine, eternal life, the life of New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of pdphoto.org.

We Await the Mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto Eternal Life and New Jerusalem

We were sinners but through God’s mercy His salvation came to us. Now we are His people to display and to tell forth His excellencies (1 Peter 2:9-10), both now and in New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemAlthough we have been saved and our salvation is secure, we still need God’s mercy. This is indicated by the opening words to several epistles:
• “To Timothy, genuine child in faith: Grace, mercy, peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.” (1 Timothy 1:2)
• “Grace, mercy, peace will be with us from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.” (2 John 3)
• “Mercy to you and peace and love be multiplied.” (Jude 2)

The epistles of Timothy and 2 John were written to respected Christians known to the apostles. Yet they wished mercy even to these advanced believers. Certainly we too still need mercy.

Jude was written to believers in general, those who are “beloved in God the Father, and kept by Jesus Christ” (v. 1) and also wishes mercy to them. This too includes us.

This mercy is not only related to our being saved from sin, condemnation, and other negative matters. Jude 21 encourages us to “keep yourselves in the love of God, awaiting the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” We have eternal life already; here “unto eternal life” indicates we still need mercy to be brought into the fuller enjoyment of this life in the coming age and the fullest enjoyment of it in New Jerusalem.

Photo by Lance Cheung, courtesy of U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Boast, Rejoice, in Hope of the Glory of God

We had four posts on Christ in us as our hope of glory and on New Jerusalem, the city of glory, as the consummation of our hope. Colossians 1:27 and Revelation 21:10, 11 declare:

Christ in you, the hope of glory

the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God

As a conclusion to the prior posts (one, two, three, four), here are more verses about hope that stood out to me; some were in prior posts, some not. Appreciate:

New Jerusalem God is the God of hope (Romans 15:13)
Christ Jesus is our hope (1 Timothy 1:1)
we were regenerated unto a living hope (1 Peter 1:3)
the hope of righteousness (Galatians 5:5)
hope is laid up for us in the heavens (Colossians 1:5)
the hope of the gospel (Colossians 1:23)
the hope of salvation (1 Thessalonians 5:8)
God loves us and gave us good hope (2 Thessalonians 2:16)
a blessed hope (Titus 2:13)
the hope of eternal life (Titus 3:7)

Reading these verses, saying amen to them, and thanking God for them brings us into Romans 15:4, “through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”

We can also apply Romans 5:2 and 12:12—we “boast because of the hope of the glory of God” and we “rejoice in hope.” Don’t boast or rejoice in your accomplishments or circumstances; they will change. Rather, boast and rejoice that the glory of the unchanging God will be manifested in us and in New Jerusalem.

Photo by Frank Balthis, courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

New Jerusalem, Consummation of Hope (2)

The hope of God’s calling includes New Jerusalem. This hope is not our own wish; we received this hope from God. His word encourages us “to lay hold of the hope set before us” (Hebrews 6:18).

New JerusalemAs unbelievers we were “apart from Christ…having no hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12). With Christ we have God and we have hope.

By believing into Jesus Christ, we were born again. We were regenerated unto a living hope (1 Peter 1:3). This is the hope of eternal life (Titus 1:2). Our hope is firmly rooted in the eternal life, the unchanging life which is God in Christ Jesus. We can never be let down in hoping for New Jerusalem.

This hope is laid up for us in the heavens (Colossians 1:5), from whence New Jerusalem will descend to be on the new earth (Revelation 21:2). This is also a good hope (2 Thessalonians 2:16) and a blessed hope (Titus 2:13).

Between now and New Jerusalem there are many other things of Christ and His salvation for which we hope. Gradually those steps of salvation and our further experience of Christ will come forth on our path unto God’s consummation, which is New Jerusalem.

May “the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope in the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13). This hope is not for outward things in daily living but it is for Christ’s return, our rapture and glorification, and ultimately for living with Him in New Jerusalem.

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