THE INHABITANTS OF THE HOLY CITY

Scripture Reading: Revelation 22:1-5

“No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His servants will worship Him. They will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads.” (Revelation 22:3,4)

The inhabitants of the Holy City are those who overcome through the victory of the Lamb — “The one who conquerors will have this heritage, and I will be His God and he will be My son” (21:7). Remember the words of the Apostle Paul — “But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37). It is Christ who gives us this victory!

The inhabitants are those whose names are written in the book of life — “And if anyone’s name was not written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire” (20:15). Those names in the book of life were written before the foundation of the world — “And the dwellers on earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will marvel to see the beast” (17:8).

The inhabitants have the name of God written on their foreheads — “They will see His face and His name will be on their foreheads” (v. 4). Remember His name written on their foreheads is a sign of ownership. They have been sealed by God Himself. They are “a people for God’s own possession” (I Peter 2:9). God made this promise to His people — “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1b).

The inhabitants of the city will do three things. First, they will serve God. We are called to serve God now, but in the new heaven and new earth our service will be greater and more significant. Second, they will see God face to face. In this present order we see Him through the eyes of faith, but the day is coming when we will see Him face to face. Can you imagine what that will be like? “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known” (I Corinthians 13:12). Third, they will reign forever and ever. Let me give you a clue to the possible meaning of our reigning with Christ.

Do you remember what God’s intention for humankind was before He created them” “Let us make man in our image, according to out likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and every living creeping thing that creeps on the earth” (Genesis 1:26). Human beings were made in the image of God to be His vice regents over the created order. In the new heaven and new earth, we again will serve as vice regents under God. Take a moment and read Isaiah 11:6-10 for a description of what the new creation will be like.

In Christ our destiny is sure. We are headed for a glorious future in the new heaven and new earth. We will enjoy worshiping with the saints who have gone before and the myriads and myriads of angels. We will see God face to face. We will be behold His beauty and His glory. And we will reign with Christ forever and ever. When you get down and discouraged on this present earth, remember the spectacular future we have before us. This is why the Apostle Paul wrote, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18).

Lord Jesus, like David, I long to gaze upon Your beauty. Like Moses, I want to see Your glory. The day is coming when I will see You face to face. I look forward to worshiping and serving You throughout eternity. And I look forward to my reign with You in the new heaven and new earth.

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