In our previous lesson, we talked about Abraham obeying God. God had told him to leave his family who was surrounded by people that worshipped idols. God told Abraham that He would show him where to go, and so Abraham packed up and moved by faith.
When Abraham came to the city of Bethel, in a country that was called Canaan, God told him that one day He would give that land to Abraham's "seed." That word "seed" means his children, or his children's children, or his great, great grandchildren...and on and on. This made Abraham so happy, the greatest blessing he could have received is knowing that his seed would be blessed. After hearing this good news, Abraham built an altar (this altar was probably a pile of rocks carefully put together in order to mark this special place where God talked to him so that he and his children could always remember this promise), and the Bible says he "called upon the Lord" there.
Not a lot of time had passed before Abraham had to move because there was no food in the land. He wandered around it seemed, back and forth, his whole life. He didn't ever possess the land, his sons didn't, and even his grandchildren didn't. You might wonder how Abraham was able to keep trusting that God would fulfil His promise.
Well, Abraham's seed did eventually live in that city, years after he died. And it is still an important place to many people to this day (especially a city called Jerusalem). It is in the same country where Jesus was born and where He died on the cross. However, In the book of Hebrews, the Bible talks about the city "whose builder and maker is God." The Bible also explains it as a city that is "not built with hands." This city is the city promised to all who are born again (put their faith in Jesus like Abraham did and become "children of God" or "Abraham's seed").
Can anyone tell me what this city is that I'm talking about? It is Heaven! The Bible talks about a city that everyone who is saved will live in one day. That city is called "New Jerusalem." If it is a city that God built, can you imagine how wonderful it must be? As long as we are on this earth, we will have to endure bad things; but never forget that all God's children (seed of Abraham) have a home in Heaven where one day all will be made perfect! While we are on Earth, we are just travelers passing through until we get to our eternal home in that same city that Abraham was looking for!
Let's consider a few things about Heaven:
1. Does God want His people to be happy or sad?
When Jesus came, He had compassion on many. He wanted to heal people from their sickness and pain. So in this perfect city that God has built, do you think He will allow any sickness or pain?
Revelation 21:4 "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away."
2. You know how God made some foods that you really like (even if there are some others that you don't like)? How much do you think you will enjoy the food that is in Heaven? The Bible gives us some clues that we might eat and drink in Heaven:
Jesus said before He died, "Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God."
3. We also like looking at beautiful things. What are some of the prettiest things we can see? Don't you think that in that perfect city there will be even more beautiful things than that?
The streets are made of gold and the gates are pearl:
Revelation 21:21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.
The foundation of the city is made out of precious stones:
Revelation 21:19 And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;
20 The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.
I don't even know what most of those stones look like, and I sure can't imagine how glorious Heaven will be, but the most important thing is that Jesus will be there! So much more could be imagined about Heaven, but everything about that city will just have to be accepted by faith, like Abraham did. By faith I know that I will be able to live there, and it will be great! I hope that you will be there too. If you don't know if you have ever become part of "Abraham's seed," I hope you will let us show you how. Let's pray.