ML-8 - Soldiers of Christ, Arise!
Please feel free to download audio and video for personal listening or teaching. Please do not alter any content. All material is copyrighted and intended to be used in its entirety and is free for distribution under these terms. To save, simply click the button and the download will begin.
In Revelation 21:2 the Bible says, “Then I, John, saw that New Jerusalem
that holy city coming down out of heaven from God.”
What is that new city going to be like? Are you going to view that holy
city coming down out of heaven from God? Stay tuned as we think about
what it is going to take to view that holy city.
More than anything in the world, Christians desire to go to heaven.
Paul said in Philippians 1:21, “For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
The attitude of Paul should be the attitude of every child of God in striving
to go to heaven. Yet, sadly sometimes it's not. Sadly we let other things get
in the way of really viewing that holy city that is ultimately seen in the
beautiful picture of heaven.
Today we want to think about, what it’s going to take for each one of
us to make it to that beautiful place called heaven. What do I need to do to
make sure I view God's holy city coming down out of heaven?
There are indeed some requirements that are necessary to view that
heavenly city, and the first of those is: I must make sure that I live for Christ
day unto day, week unto week, year unto year for that holy city to be mine.
Think about Jesus words in Mark 13:35. Jesus said, “What I say unto you I
say unto all, Watch and be ready.” I've got to make sure that I stay ready,
that I stay watchful, that I do the things that I'm supposed to do every day
as a Christian, so that I can inherit that beautiful place called heaven.
The Scriptures teach us in Matthew 25 that we've got to be busy and
working in the kingdom. In fact in Matthew 20:1 Jesus said that the
kingdom is a vineyard. When you think about a vineyard, what is a
vineyard? A vineyard is simply a place of work, where spiritual fruit or fruit
is produced. And spiritually speaking, the church is a vineyard in that we
produce spiritual fruit unto God, and we work diligently in His cause.
As we think about giving God our all every day, you can't find a more
powerful example than the examples we see in the New Testament. Great
men like Paul; they crucified themselves. They followed Christ every day,
Galatians 2:20. The greatest example is that of Jesus, who said, “You've
got to deny yourself, take up your cross daily, and follow me.” I've got to
strive every day to walk in that newness of life, Romans 6:4, so that I can
be faithful unto God each and every day.
To view that holy city not only must I make it my aim to live for Jesus
every day, I’ve got to stay busy in the kingdom. There's a certain amount of
joy that comes from staying busy. And no doubt, staying busy keeps us out
of trouble. The Bible says in Mark 10:45 that, “The Son of Man came not to
be served but to serve.” Jesus came to this earth to serve, and often He
would say to us go and do likewise. As a child of God, I've got to work the
works of God while it's day. Now is the opportunity. Now is the time. I need
to stay busy in the kingdom of Almighty God. Proverbs 16:3 the Bible tells
us there that as we think about the right things, we can keep our mind
where it ought to be in serving God. Our heart and our mind need to be
focused on the right things, so that we don't let Satan enter in into our life
and our action.
Another requirement to entering and viewing that holy city is: I want to
make sure that I worship God every opportunity available and never ever
forsake the assembly of the saints. Do you remember the words of
Hebrews 10:25? The Bible says, “Not forsaking the assembly of the saints
as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much more as
you see the Day approaching.” God expects me, He expects you, He
encourages us to worship Him at every opportunity available. We want to
give our best to God. We want to come before Him with singing and with
praises unto Him. As the Scripture clearly teaches us, we want to worship
God in spirit and in truth on every opportunity available.
Another requirement that is so important for the child of God is, we
want to make sure is to grow and study as a Christian. The Bible says,
“Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior,” 2 Peter 3:18.
The Scripture teaches us, ‘as newborn babes desire the pure milk of the
word that you may grow thereby.’ We find great examples of people in the
Bible who took opportunities to grow.
One of those is the scribe Ezra. In Ezra chapter 7 verse 10 the Bible
says, “Ezra had is prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord to do it
and to teach it statutes and judgments in all Israel.” What made Ezra, the
scribe, such a great servant of God? He made it his aim to grow, to study,
and to encourage others to do the same thing. This is why Jesus would say
in Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after
Do we realize the spiritual value in growing and studying the Bible?
When we say study the Bible, and it is not just for factual purposes alone,
studying the Bible has the ability and the power to keep us on the straight
and narrow. Do you remember Psalm 119:10-12? The Scripture says,
“Your word I've hidden in my heart.” Why? “That I might not sin against
you.” The Bible has power. There's no doubt the word of God is living and
powerful, Hebrews 4:12. It has the power to help keep sin in check and out
of our life and out of our mind like we ought to. And so that's why Paul
would say, “Study to show yourself approved unto God.” This is why
Christians are encouraged to, “Give heed to God and to the word of His
grace, which is able to build us up and give us an inheritance among all
those who are sanctified,” Acts 20:32.
Part of viewing that holy city means I've got to study. I've got to
prepare. I've got a do my best to grow as a Christian while I'm here.
Now think practically about your own life. Are we really growing like we
ought to? Are you studying your Bible like you ought to study your Bible?
Are we really praying? And are we really looking for opportunities to do
good as we ought to, or sometimes do we kind of grow stagnant? Do we
kind of get stuck in a rut? Have we at times even lost our first love,
Revelation 2:4? If so, let's be encouraged to view that holy city. Let's grow
and study like we should.
There's another principle necessary to view that holy city and it is
this: I've got to be willing every day to trust God 100%. One of my favorite
passages in the Scripture is found in the book of Hebrews. It's Hebrews
13:5-6. Notice what the writer says beginning in Hebrews 13:5 the Scripture
records, “Let your conduct be without covetousness, be content with such
things as you have for He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor
forsake you.’ So we may boldly say, ‘The Lord is my helper. I will not fear.
What can man do to me?’”
In giving the great commission Jesus said, “Lo I'm with you always
even to the end of the age.” The Lord has said, “I'll never leave you nor
forsake you.” This is why we can say God's my helper; I will not fear. What
can men do to me? If God is for us who can be against us?” If I trust God, if
I take Him at His word, if I do what He says, if I follow His teaching and if I
live life with a view toward that holy city in trusting God, how wonderful
that'll be! “Trust in the Lord with all your heart,” that's the encouragement
Solomon gives us in Proverbs 3:5.
In viewing that holy city, there's another thing that I've got to strive to
do every day of my life. I want to spread the good news about that place.
Heaven is such a wonderful place. It’s a place with so many things that
won't be there that are there today that are here today. The sin, the sorrow,
the heart ache, the crying all that won't exist in heaven. If we really believe
heaven's going to be like that, if we really believe God's going to be there,
Christ is going to be there, it's a place of joy and happiness, don't you want
to tell others about that place? This is why, “we proclaim the praises of Him
who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light,” 1 Peter 2:9. This is
why according to Acts 8:4; Christians went everywhere preaching the word.
This is why even when they were beaten for speaking in the name of
Jesus, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus daily in the temple
and from house to house, Acts 5:42. This is why Christ went about doing
good. Luke 19:10, “He came to seek and the save the lost.” He
commanded us, ‘Go into all nations teaching them about God's plan of
salvation and baptizing them in the name of the Father the Son and the
Holy Spirit.’ Let's think about ourselves and our life and really see are we
staying on the road to get to heaven?
We also need to be reminded that on that journey toward that holy
city, that heavenly city, there are going to be some roadblocks that from
time to time try to get in the way that we're going to have to remove. Let's
think about some of those roadblocks that Christians may have to face on
that journey to the heavenly city.
The first is the block of temptation. The roadblock of temptation is
going to strive to get in the way of every one of us. The Scripture teaches in
Romans 6:23 that, “The wages of sin is death.” Sin is going to strive to get
a block in my life and a block in the way of your life on that beautiful journey
to heaven. You find that throughout various people in the New Testament.
Balaam is a prime example. Balaam, for the love of greed and money, let it
get in the way of him going to heaven. Jude proclaims that he let money
and greed keep him from being what God wanted him to be, Jude verses 7-
9. You've got people like Judas. Judas sold the Lord out for 30 pieces of
silver. Satan found a way into his heart; kept him off the road to that holy
city. Paul said of Demas, “Demas has forsaken me having loved this
present world,” in the book of 2 Timothy Paul said that about Demas.
“Hymenaeus, and Alexander,” Paul said, “Have shipwrecked the faith,” 1
Timothy 1:18-20. What about Simon the sorcerer? Who when he saw the
Holy Spirit could be passed down, he tried to offer them money for that gift?
Friend realize that there are going to be temptations in my life and is
and yours. And I've got a do everything I can to remove those roadblocks
out of the way, so that I can go to heaven. You see the way of the
transgressor, the way of sin, it's the hardest way ever, Proverbs 13:15. It is
not a way you want to walk down. We want to make sure that we put God
and His teachings above all else.
But then there's another block roadblock that we've got to be careful
about and that is the roadblock of worldliness. At times worldliness tries to
get into our life and to really keep us from staying faithful unto the Lord.
We've got to realize that worldliness can do a lot of harm to the cause of
God and the cause of Christ. Do you remember people in the Bible who let
the world get in the way?
God told Lot and his family to flee the city of Sodom and Gomorrah.
In fact God told them, “When you leave don't even look back.” And yet
these words are ever etched in eternity, Luke 17:32, “Remember Lot's
wife.” What did Lot's wife do? She had to have that one last look. That one
last glimpse of the former life, turning back to, she turned to a pillar of salt.
Worldliness cost her a great deal. You think of people like Ananias and
Sapphira, who although they, while they had it that was theirs, the Bible
tells us they could of done what they wanted to with it. Yet out of greed and
worldliness, they tried to lie to God and lie to the Holy Spirit. Both of them
dropped dead on the spot for doing that. Probably the greatest example of
all is that of Solomon. He was given wisdom by God, from on high, the
wisest man to ever live upon the earth. And yet, Solomon let his wives, let
worldliness, let pleasure tempt him into doing things that were contrary to
the will of God. In fact in 1 Kings 11, he's even building places of worship to
false gods and his wives are tempting him to do ungodly things. His heart
departed from God, partly because of worldliness and things of this world.
This is why John would say, “Do not love the world or the things that are in
the world for all that is in the world lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the
pride of life. It's not of the Father, it's of the evil one the world and all that's
in it is passing away. He who does the will of God, that's the one who will
Do you remember Jesus words in Matthew 6? As Jesus spoke about
the danger of trying to live both for God and in the world, Jesus taught it
was an impossibility. For in Matthew 6:24 Jesus said, “You cannot serve
God and earthly treasures or mammon.” You can't have the best of both.
You can't say, ‘I will be 100% a Christian, and I'm going to live it up in this
old world and have everything the world offers and just live a worldly
materialistic life.’ Can't do that! It's either God or the world. We may be in
the world, but we're not of the world.
Now there's another item that we want to mention that sometimes
becomes a roadblock for Christians, and this is one that I think Satan uses
by way of discouragement to really keep us from being what we ought to
be. Sometimes just plain old apathy keeps us from really viewing that holy
city as we ought to. Having the attitude that you know, ‘I don't care; it
doesn't really matter, it is not amount anything anyway.’ Just a general
apathetic attitude toward God and Christianity, is something that Christians
have to work on.
We want to make sure that we stay passionate about God and His
cause. Do you remember an example of apathy in the Bible? I want you to
think about Revelation 3. The church in Laodicea, they're going to be
remembered for all time for having this attitude. The Bible says they were
neither hot nor cold. Jesus said, “Because you're not hot nor cold, I'm going
to vomit you out of my mouth, because you're lukewarm.” Can you imagine
being so apathetic and lukewarm that you make Jesus sick to His
stomach? That's the way the church in Laodicea was. They weren't hot;
they weren't cold. They weren't useful in any way. So Jesus said that's the
attitude that makes me want to vomit. When we think about things that
often block the way to viewing that holy city, apathy can do a lot of harm to
the cause of Christ and the Christian.
Well then let's think about, what is it that's going to motivate us? What
incentives, what kind of encouragements and motivations does the child of
God have to going to that holy city?
We mention this first, and I hope this motivates each and every one
of us; the beauty of that holy city ought to motivate each one of us to go to
that place. I want you to listen to the description in Revelation 21:1-4 the
Bible says, “Now I saw,” John says, “now I saw a new heaven and a new
earth for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, also there
was no more sea then I, John, saw the holy city new Jerusalem coming
down out of heaven from God prepared as a bride adorned for her
husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold the
tabernacle of God is with men. He will dwell with them.’ They shall be His
people God Himself will be with them and be their God and God will wipe
away every tear from their eyes there should be no more death, nor sorrow,
nor crying there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed
away.” Look at that beautiful city, that beautiful dwelling coming down from
God; God dwelling in the middle of it. It is a place where all these things are
there for Christians, and all the things that don't exist. Don't you want to go
to a place like that?
Sometimes it is those absences, for lack of a better word, that make
us want to go to that beautiful place. What's not going to be in heaven? No
more death! Don't you want to go to a place where you never have to think
about death again? The sorrow that death brings, the heart ache of hearing
the loss of someone you love, heaven won't have any death. Death will be
defeated on the other side, in heaven. But not only death, there'll be no
more sorrow. Because of the fact that death has been done away with,
because sin will not exist, sorrow won't exist. Can you imagine living in a
place where you don't have to have that emotion of sadness and sorrow
and the heart ache that comes from sin and death and trials and
temptation? What a wonderful place heaven's going to be!
In view of that the Bible says, “There'll be no more crying.” Never
having to shed another tear, never having to have that emotion that brings
you to tears, how wonderful heaven's going to be! No more pain! Pain is a
natural part of this life. God, it no doubt exist up to help man in this life as
well to realize and focus on the things are important, but how wonderful it
will be never to feel pain again, never to hurt, never to wake up and your
bones hurt, and your muscles ache, and to feel the sickness that comes at
times. What a wonderful place that's going to be!
Another absence that we know won't be in heaven is sin. There'll be
no more sin, if God's there and He is, Matthew 6:9, “And if God is of pure
eyes and behold evil and cannot look upon it.” Friend I'll assure you sin will
not exist in heaven. Can you imagine living in a place where the temptation,
where the ability to sin, no longer exist? Almost because of the way we
think now, because of the temptation on every hand, it's almost beyond our
even comprehending that today. That's how the Bible describes that
Another incentive to making it to that beautiful place called heaven is
for us to realize who's going to be in heaven, who's going to be the
inhabitants of that city. Of course first we know that God is.
God is going to be in heaven. We pray, “Our Father who is in
heaven.” And God's going to be there and He is truly that which makes
heaven so wonderful. God is love. If God is the source of all love, all light,
all warmth, and happiness, and friend that being God, Him being the
inhabitant of heaven, makes that such a wonderful place. Jesus Himself is
going to be in heaven. Hebrews 1:4 says, “He's at the right hand of the
Father right now.”
Can you imagine being in the presence of God? In the presence of
Jesus, the one who made that great sacrifice, who gave Himself so willingly
so that you can have the hope of heaven, the one by whose blood we're
redeemed, Colossians 1:14? Can't you imagine living with God and Christ
The Bible teaches that Saints of old are going to be there. We're
surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses who are encouraging us to run
the race with endurance. They're around the throne of God, in Revelation 4
and 5. Don't you want to be with the saints of old, loved ones who've gone
on before us? 2 Samuel 12:23 David said of his young son who passed,
“He cannot come to me, I must go to him.” We can be reunited with those
who have been faithful to the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
One of the great incentives to go to that holy city is the duration of it.
How long's that city going to last? That place we know of as heaven, what's
its duration? The Bible teaches it is eternal. Matthew 25:46, the righteous
will go away into everlasting life. Revelation 11:14-15, God's kingdom is
that eternal kingdom that will never ever pass away. This is why we're living
in hope of eternal life, Titus 1:2. We have the assurance that we can live
with God in a place where time won't exist and where there will never be a
passing away of that wonderful place.
We ask you today, are you living your life and are you on the road
that leads to that beautiful city that heavenly that holy city where God
Himself dwells? If not, you can do something about that today. Are you a
child of God? Are you a Christian? Have you obeyed the gospel of our Lord
and Savior Jesus Christ?
Friend if you're not on that road to that beautiful city, we encourage
you to do so today. Will you hear the message of salvation about Christ,
that there is a way, there is a truth, there is a life, and it’s found in Christ?
That you can call His name Jesus; He'll save His people from their sins,
Do you believe that God sent His Son to save the world from sin,
John 3:16? Would you be willing to repent of the things in your life that are
contrary to the will of God, Luke 13:3? Would you confess Christ as Lord
and Savior with your mouth, Romans 10:10? And would you to have every
sin washed away, be baptized in water for the forgiveness of your sins,
Acts 2:38? And would you rise out of those waters to walk in newness of
Friend our hope and our prayer today is that you'll live in such a way
that that holy city can be your city for all eternity.
Study Questions for: “Motivational Lesson 8”
1. What does Jesus tell us to do in Mark 13:35?
2. What did Jesus compare the kingdom to in Matthew 20:1?
3. According to Mark 10:45, what did Jesus come to this Earth to do?
4. According to Hebrews 10:25, what should we not give up?
5. According to 2 Peter 3:18, what should we grow in?
6. What should we hunger and thirst after according to Matthew 5:6?
7. According to Psalm 119:10-12, why should we have the word of the Lord
in our heart?
8. Hebrews 13:5 tells us to be what with the things we have?
9. Who should we trust in according to Proverbs 3:5?
10. According to Luke 19:10, why did Jesus come?