You can also watch the live stream on our social media pages:
- Nursery available downstairs in Room 22. Ask an usher for help finding your way.
- Want to give online? Simply go to www.betheljackson.org and click Give
- Want to connect with others in a small group context? Check out our Online Groups!
- Interested in starting an online group to help people stay connected and growing? Please contact Patrick@betheljackson.org
- Please share the Facebook Live event on your personal page. You can get there by clicking here.
- If someone you know doesn't have a computer or the internet, you can check out our new feature called TeleSermon. Simply call the church phone number 517-787-8612 and listen to the prompts. You can then listen to the most recent sermons right on your phone... regardless if it's smart or not!😂*Sigh*... we crack ourselves up... So spread the word! You never know who might be helped by this great new feature!
Is Your Name in the Book? (Rev. 21:22-27)
Bethel Church | Jackson, Michigan | Ken Pierpont, Lead Pastor | June 13, 2021 AM
Introduction: Post-moderns have rejected the idea of a meta-narrative, which is their narrative. You don’t live without a story that makes sense of things, you change stories. The Big Story: The Bible is the most amazing Book ever written in the history of the world. The 66 books of the Bible were written over a period of more than 1500 years by about 40 different human authors. These men came from a wide range of historical eras, geographical settings, political and cultural perspectives, levels of literacy, occupations, family backgrounds and human personalities. Various parts of the Bible were written in three different languages on three continents.
This remarkable book contains more than 500 stories and involves nearly 3,000 characters... yet beautifully interwoven from cover to cover through all of the Bible's various stories is one Big Story, an over-arching meta-narrative. This Big Story has an attention-grabbing, clear and intriguing plot, a strong and interesting central character, many diverse and colorful supporting characters, numerous mysteries that are unveiled along the way, and a dramatic and climactic ending. It's a story that begins wonderfully, then goes terribly wrong, and ultimately ends in unimaginable glory. The story is not a myth or fantasy, it is truth. It is reality. It involves each of us. One way of looking at life is to say this; The most important thing any of us can do is find our place in the story of God and never loose it.
No one can consider themselves truly educated or informed who does not know the basic plot-line of the Bible. People who carefully study the Bible recognize in it a satisfactory answer for the nagging universal human need all of us feel. To really understand the Bible demands an overview. This month we have been enjoying a study of the last two chapters of this amazing book, the climax of the Big Story. In our text today an angel is showing John the Holy City—the Lamb’s Wife…
Jerusalem Destroyed | Jerusalem Divided | Jerusalem Descending!
Notice five things you don’t want to miss about
The New Jerusalem and The Ultimate Universe
1. There Will Be No Temple in the New Jerusalem. (22)
The garden was the first temple where God manifested his glory and walked there among men. Then he manifested his glory in the Tabernacle and then, later the Temple of Solomon. Jesus replaced the Temple of Israel with the Church in the New Testament, but in the Eternal State, in the Ultimate Universe God the whole place is a Temple where the glory of God continually manifests itself. G.K. Beale has written a scholarly book called the Temple and the Mission of the Church. In the book he explains why the symbolism of Revelation 21 and 22 is drawn from the very beginning of creation and is continually woven throughout the big story of the Bible and comes to a climactic, powerful, eternal consummation here. This eternal state, eternal and ultimate kingdom, ultimate universe is above everything else the place where God eternally dwells with men. (ill) Wailing Wall. Should I pray? When we were in Israel one of the most conflicting times for me was to watch Jews and Christians alike at the remains of the Temple in Jerusalem. Everything in me was saying; “It's wonderful to see the historic sight of the Temple and be so close to were Jesus is going to return on the mountain east of the Temple-mount, but now the church is the Temple of God... WE are the Temple of God. Not each of us individually, but all of us together, when we gather in covenant obedience. This is where God especially manifests himself. There will be no Temple because the whole thing is a temple—This was God's original design for the earth from the garden.
We, the church are the Temple of God in this age.
1 Cor. 3:16-17 16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple (NIV).
Eph. 2:19-22 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
2. There Will Be No Sun or Moon in the New Jerusalem. (23)
His glory is the eternal light of the place. (ill) Olympic torch went out and they lit it with a Zippo lighter and went on. The great God-light glory of heaven will never dim.
Moses literally glowed from the presence of God and we will too, some day.
Daniel 12 And many of those ho sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life and some to everlasting contempt. Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.
Matthew 13:43 The righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father...”
Psalm 104 says God clothes himself in light.
Matthew 17 Jesus showed his glory to a few of his disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration. This was powerfully significant and symbolic.
Paul had an encounter with God on the Road to Damascus. God spoke to him and blinded him with a light greater than the light of the sun.
This language is clearly drawn from Isaiah 60 The sun shall no longer be your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you; but the Lord will be to you an everlasting light, and your God your glory. Your sun shall no longer do down, nor shall your moon withdraw itself; for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and the days of your mourning shall be ended. Also your people will be righteous. They will inherit the land forever.
When Christ was born Gentile Kings came to his light in a symbolic pre-figuring of this amazing eternal reality.
3. There Will Be No Rivals to The Glory of Christ There. (24, 26)
We will travel (I believe like angels) to and from The New Jerusalem… I believe we will have homes on the New Earth and we will have Dwelling places in the New Jerusalem. I believe we will have Gatherings in the New Jerusalem—my favorite theory. (No tent’s collapsing in the rain)
Let's refresh our memory. Who was this written to: Seven Churches of Asia Minor, who were under the oppression of Domitian. (They were feeling the oppression of earthly kings who demanded honor and glory…) There will be distinct national jurisdictions, but people of all origins will join together to worship the Lamb. All the nations and national leaders who threatened the followers of the Lamb will submit to him and those who believe will be with him and worship him and come to Him.
The glory of the nations will submit to this glory. It has always interested me to notice the language of worship attached to sports figures and people popular in entertainment or academia or business. We have our heroes and we laud them and give them glory. We say things like hail to the victors valiant. Hail to the Conquering Heroes. (ill) Journals of Jim Elliot once attended a great college football game. It was one of the most exciting games in college football history, a rivalry game between two great teams attended my multitudes. After the game he went back to his room, picked up his journal and wrote:
“O Jesus, Master and Center and End of all,
how long before that Glory is thine which has so long waited Thee?
Now there is no thought of Thee among men;
then there shall be thought for nothing else.
Now other men are praised;
then none shall care for any other’s merits.
Hasten, hasten, Glory of Heaven, take Thy crown, subdue Thy Kingdom, enthrall Thy creatures.”
4. There Will Be No Closed Gates and No Night There. (25)
5. There Will Be No Sin or Sinners in the New Jerusalem. (27)
Book of Life... A divine journal records the names of all of those whom God has chosen to save and who, therefore, are to possess eternal life. (Phil. 4:3; 3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 20:12, 15; 21:27; 22:19; Daniel 12:1; Luke 10:20). City officials would sometimes remove names from the rolls. People would be stripped of their citizenship and this would have devastating, social and financial consequences on them. God promised once a name is recorded in the Book of Life, that it would never be removed. All the NT references to the Book of Life are found in Revelation except one in Philippians. Sincere and thoughtful Christians will long debate over the idea of predestination in the Bible. Two of the references to the Book of Life in Revelation state that the names are written in it before the foundation of the world. If it were not for the Slain Lamb you and I could never hope to be there.
Heaven is going to be a Holy Place where Holy People worship a Holy God. Based on your life is there any evidence that you will be among them?
And one day we who know the Lord will follow our Great Captain through the crack…. In the worlds…. C. S. Lewis; “All your life an unattainable ecstasy has hovered just beyond the grasp of your consciousness. The day is coming when you will wake to find beyond all hope, that you have attainted it, or else, that it was within your reach and you have lost it forever.” Alcorn: “You were made for a person and a place. Jesus is the person and Heaven is the place.” Will you be there with Him forever? (ill) Holly: “Is my name in the book?”
A place of staggering beauty, rest, holiness, the presence of God… and
—No temple—universal worship with no distractions.
—No sun and moon—universal light with no darkness, fear, ignorance or misunderstanding.
—No rivals to the glory of Christ—Glory without rivals.
—No gates or night… No danger… a safe place
—No sin or sinners… No defilement… a holy pace
Is Your Name in the Book
Those you love?