Friday, 5/8/20 – Friday Tough Question

Are these days of purpose?

white space ship and brown planet
Photo by SpaceX

They say a trip to Mars would require about seven months of space travel. On arrival the crew in full ‘Mars-suits’ would leave their travel quarters and descend to the planet’s surface in a specially designed landing capsule. Other capsules would arrive bringing many items needed by the pioneer colony: life support generators, food, solar panels, parts, etc.. Inflatable habitats and two surface ‘Rovers’ would also be sent.

By now most of us have found several weeks of living in a restricted space quite difficult. Imagine making it a lifestyle! Most of us I’m sure have realized we don’t have “the right stuff” for an expedition to become one of the first settlers on Mars. For the most part we would all make lousy Martians.

sky earth galaxy universe

So, if these days are not intended as training for Mars, for what are these days intended? Surely they are days of purpose, for they have come upon the whole planet, planet Earth. The pretty blue one that stands out in this solar system by its color and inhabitants — inhabitants made after the Image of God, the Maker of the entire universe! Yes, surely these days of isolation and lull are intended for something.

sun peaking over clouds

Allow me to propose these days are indeed intended as a training for us to inhabit a new world, a preparation time for a journey far more spectacular that a seven month trip to Mars. In fact, we have been traveling towards a new world all our lives. None of us will be staying here unendingly. Each will arrive at that world for which he or she has used that lifetime to prepare.

It is my prayer that as many as will shall use these days wisely, “redeeming the time” as urged the apostle (Eph. 5:16). “Making the most of every opportunity,” making the most of isolation and lull. Those who prepare well by repentance, and faith, and submission, and obedience will arrive at the best world… Citizens of “a better country, a heavenly one” (Heb. 11:16). They will be not Martians, but Christians.

Prepare well….

Press on…

Got a question? Use the Contact page and send It to me. We’ll search the Word for God’s answer.

Friday, 3/6/20 – Friday Tough Question

Why the walls and gates?

row of concrete column

Here’s the full question:

“In Revelation [Rev. 21:9-18] it says that the new Jerusalem will have walls and gates. What is the purpose of walls and gates? To me walls are for protection; why will the new city need protection?”

You’re right in thinking city walls typically served as a defense against enemy attack. In scripture we read of the walls of Jericho miraculously coming down after the Hebrews obediently marched around them (Joshua 6:2-5). We read how the walls of Jerusalem protected the people against the Assyrian army led by Sennacherib (2 Chronicles 32:1-8). And we have the thrilling story of Nehemiah as he and a ragtag team of faithful few rebuilt the ravaged walls of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 3-4).

But the walls described in Revelation are not for defense. We know this from reading further…

“On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” (Rev. 21:25-27).

abandoned ancient antique arch

Normally the gates of a walled city are closed at night, but in the new Jerusalem there will be no night, no evil, no need to close the gates. No locks, no keys, no security systems or police force! Here we have a city where free and open travel is always possible. One reason for the new Jerusalem having gates may be to portray to us this truth that they will always be open.

These walls speak to us of God’s strength and protection. They tell us that we will be surrounded with God’s might and security. It is beautiful wall, a costly wall, and a wall commemorating and uniting both old and new covenants of God with mankind (see Rev. 21:12–14). The enormity of the walls display the greatness of the Lord and reminder us this city is only for the redeemed of the Lord. The unredeemed cannot gain access (v15-21). The gems of the walls portray the riches of the Lord. (v18-20). The names of the 12 tribes and 12 apostles represent the foundational faithful of the two covenants.

man wearing gray and red armour standing on the streets

In Matthew 16:18 Jesus declares that against God’s Kingdom “the gates of hell” — all the opposing or resisting might the devil has to offer — “will not prevail” – will not be able to defeat or withstand the purposes and judgment of God. In Christ we are on the winning team! The eternal city will be our ultimate home! Let us remember our true citizenship and so live as its ambassadors while we yet remain in this dying world.

Press on…

Got a question? Use the Contact page and send It to me. We’ll search the Word for God’s answer.