In Revelation 21, we see a splendid city in terms of majesty, security, and purity.
It is majestic. Its walls are made of the choicest and firmest of stones. The walls are high and no one can intrude who does not belong there. It is filled with mansions. No slums here. Everyone who dwells here will have the home of their dreams, perfect in every way. There won’t be any home improvement projects because there won’t be any decay here.
The citizens of this city will be citizens forever. There won’t be anyone cast out or punished. This family won’t have issues that divide them. Everyone will be together in peace, safety, and extreme joy. That Christian who loves Jesus and is trapped in legalism will finally be free and won’t be a burden to be around.
And so will you.
There are twelve gates for the twelve tribes of the true Israel. If you belong to God, you are among these. They will come from every nation and tribe. The cultural walls that existed will be gone. There won’t be doctrinal differences to quibble over because we will see God for ourselves. Rather than go to church, we will meet with God face to face.
Fantastic, isn’t it?
Churches should be communities that look like Heaven.
But sometimes they aren’t.
The problem is that churches are full of sinners. There is still some of the old nature hanging on, tempting us. But because of Jesus, we have the power of choice. We can choose to do what delights Him or we can satisfy our flesh. When we do the latter, we have problems.
When we have friction in the church, it’s because we don’t understand how radical grace is.
Grace is the unmerited favor of God to us that comes from Jesus. That means everything we’ve done wrong, everything, no exceptions, is covered by Christ’s blood. One day we will be in Heaven and that reality will be complete. Now we’re in process, all of us. Grace allows us to be okay with that and work toward the ultimate goal of being totally clean in Christ. Grace means we can love each other despite our faults because we’re all in the same boat. You don’t have to fake being good; in Christ, you already are.
Now go make your world more like Heaven.