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Mar 15

Session 2 Recap: Anyabwile, “Contentment Consummated: The New Heaven and New Earth”

2014 | by Scott Pilgreen | Category: Clarus 14

Editor’s Note: Scott Pilgreen is a lay leader and biblical counselor at Desert Springs Church in Albuquerque, NM. This post is a summary of Thabiti Anyabwile’s message from Friday evening at Clarus, March 14, “Contentment Consummated: The New Heaven and New Earth,” from Revelation 21:1-22:6.

•••••

Pastor Thabiti Anyabwile led us in singing a rousing rendition of The Jefferson’s theme song. If you’re not familiar with this 70’s sitcom, the premise was all about ‘moving on up’ in the world. For the Jeffersons, that meant living in luxury and achieving the American dream. And yet, George Jefferson was always agitated, angry, discontent. George was never content even though he had his ‘piece of the pie’. He had everything, but it amounted to nothing. We can relate.

Pastor Thabiti masterfully taught us that discontentment is always, at least in part, a function of shortsightedness. Discontentment is also a failure to lift our gaze from this world and to fix our eyes on the world to come. Pastor Thabiti then showed us five things from Revelation 21:1 – 22:6 that are true of the world to come.

1) Heaven Is a World Full of God’s Promises. (Rev. 21:1-5)
Just as a bride and groom look forward to their wedding day as a day when they will be joined for the rest of their lives, we look forward to our eternal union with God in Christ. One day, we will be joined with Christ and God the Father will officiate the ceremony. All of our struggles throughout history, from Genesis 3 to Revelation 21, will be wiped away. The old things have passed away, and behold the new has come!

2) Heaven Is a World Full of God’s People. (Rev. 21:6-14)
In this section of Scripture, John was invited to see the bride, and he saw her in her perfection because of Christ’s work. Heaven will be full of God’s people, and what joy to be known, loved and received by God as our Father! If you are in Christ, you will not miss out on heaven and you will not lose heaven. God sends his invitation to come!

3) Heaven Is a World Full of God’s Glory. (Rev. 21:15-21)
In this passage, we see that we will, in fact, share in God’s glory. The Apostle Paul tells us in Philippians 1:6 that God began a good work in us and will complete it. How does he do this? Remember the marriage relationship in Ephesians 5. Jesus is taking His bride and loving her sacrificially – he is washing her with the Word, so that he can present her as holy and without blemish. How kind of the Lord to place is beauty on his people!

4) Heaven Is a World Full of God’s Presence. (Rev. 21:22-27)
In heaven, there is no need for the sun because there is no darkness. God’s glory shines bright and chases the darkness away forever. In heaven, God’s children will always be in his presence and in the Lamb. Those struggling with doubt, assurance of salvation, or discontentment in this life will never struggle again because of God’s presence. How wonderful it will be to never again have a heart that faints before God.

5) Heaven Is a World Full of God’s Pleasure. (Rev. 22:1-5)
Heaven is a place that is full of pleasure in God. What is the pleasure that we will experience in God? We will see His face (Revelation 22:4)! Moses longed to see God’s face but couldn’t without being consumed. Psalm 17 tells us that David also longed to see God’s face. These men were not looking for fame or success or any other worldly thing, but their deepest desire was to behold the face of God. The pleasure of heaven will be to see the face of God forever. Look to Christ and His coming!