Support and Resources For Pastors and
Christian Ministry Professionals
Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor
The Twenty-Fourth Sunday
Festival of All Saints
#1: "A Tour of the Holy City"
Revelation 21:9-11, 22-27
Rev. Wayne Dobratz, M.Div.
The captain of an airplane will sometimes point out places of note as you fly
over the city. What would we see "on approach" to the Holy City and
upon entering it?
A wedding celebration is taking place; text, v9; see also Matt 25:10ff; Rev
19:7-9; Rev 21:1-7; Matt 22:11-14
The banquet hall is glorious; text vv22-26; Rev 21:11
A. God Himself and The Lamb are the Temple, v22; John 17:24; John 1:14
B. No artificial light is necessary, v23; Isa 60:19
C. The light shining from God has brought the nations here and they have brought
their best; Zech 2:11
D. There is no danger there; 21:4 & 25
1. The gates are always open--Ps. 24:7-10
2. There is no night there
No one enters without righteousness; v27
A. Repentance is necessary--Lk 13:5-9, 15:7; Acts 2:38-39, 3:19, 17:30-31; Rev
B. One must be "in Christ"--Rom 6:11 & 23, 8:1; 1 Cor 15:22; 2 Cor
5:17 & 19; Gal 2:15-16; Eph 2:10 & 13, 4:32
Word Pictures in the New Testament, Vol 6: General Epistles & Revelation--Robertson, Archibald Thomas Revelation 21:27: There shall in no wise enter into it (ou me˘ eiselthe˘i eis aute˘n). Double negative again with the second aorist active subjunctive of eiserchomai with eis repeated. Like Isa 52:1; Ezek 44:9. Anything unclean (pa˘n koinon). Common use of pa˘n with negative like ouden, and the use of koinos for defiled or profane as in Mark 7:2; Acts 10:14, not just what is common to all (Titus 1:4). Or he that (kai ho). "And he that." Maketh an abomination and a lie (poio˘n bdelugma kai pseudos). Like Babylon (17:4 which see for bdelugma) and 21:8 for those in the lake of fire and brimstone, and 22:15 for "every one loving and doing a lie."
These recurrent glimpses of pagan life on earth and of hell in contrast to heaven in this picture raise the question already mentioned whether John is just running parallel pictures of heaven and hell after the judgment or whether, as Charles says: "The unclean and the abominable and the liars are still on earth, but, though the gates are open day and night, they cannot enter."
apocalyptic writing literalism and chronology cannot be insisted on as in
ordinary books. The series of panoramas continue to the end. But only they which
are written (ei me˘ hoi gegrammenoi). "Except those written."
For "the book of life" see 3:5; 13:8; 20:15; cf Dan 12:1.
and Evening Devotions by Charles H. Spurgeon: "The city hath no
need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it." (Revelation
21:23) Yonder in the better world the inhabitants are independent of all
* They have no need of raiment; their white robes never wear out, neither shall they ever be defiled.
* They need no medicine to heal diseases, for the inhabitant shall not say, "I am sick."
* They need no sleep to recruit their frames--they rest not day nor night, but unweariedly praise him in his temple.
* They need no social relationship to minister comfort, and whatever happiness they may derive from association with their fellows is not essential to their bliss, for their Lords society is enough for their largest desires.
* They need no teachers there; they doubtless commune with one another concerning the things of God, but they do not require this by way of instruction; they shall all be taught of the Lord.
Ours are the alms at the kings gate, but they feast at the table itself. Here we lean upon the friendly arm, but there they lean upon their Beloved and upon him alone. Here we must have the help of our companions, but there they find all they want in Christ Jesus. Here we look to the food which perishes, and to the raiment which decays before the moth, but there they find everything in God. We use the bucket to fetch us water from the well, but there they drink from the fountain head, and put their lips down to the living water.
Here the angels bring us blessings, but we shall want no messengers from heaven then. They shall need no Gabriels there to bring their love-notes from God, for there they shall see him face to face. Oh! what a blessed time shall that be when we shall have mounted above every second cause and shall rest upon the bare arm of God! What a glorious hour when God, and not his creatures; the Lord, and not his works, shall be our daily joy! Our souls shall then have attained the perfection of bliss.
+ + +
Rev. Kelly C. Bedard
1. Less of me means more
2. Less treasure means more Treasure
3. Self-acceptance counters self/stuff-absorption
4. Fed up? Feed (from) Up!
5. "Care-full"ness assures "cared-for"ness
6. Insides out enable an "in" on the outside (world)
7. Cooperation precludes competition
8. Persecution leads to X-ecution
a. The beatitudes
are not a new set of commandments added to those proclaimed on Sinai. Instead of
being normative, they are descriptive, a portrait of the life that is possible
for those who believe in the love and compassion of God. The portrait is
impossible to live up to perfectly, but we are all invited to do our best to use
it as a paradigm for Christian life. Moreover the promise is that those who do
so will be "happy," which is what "blessed" means. The
way to happiness, we are told, is to be found in the service of others. (Andrew
b. ...it is not a
statistical, quantitative perfection which becomes immediately irrelevant for us
mere mortals, but a qualitative perfection: a total commitment, letting God rule
and knowing that there is forgiveness when we fall, as the Lord's prayer
indicates. The beatitudes are good news, but also a hefty challenge. (William
c. If our trust is
expressed as obedience, then we will not worry unduly about food, shelter, and
clothing. If we take care of the things God cares about, God will take care of
the money. God really does care for money--in the most practical, matter-of-fact
sense. (John Purdy)
d. The church is
never an end in itself. Karl Barth says, "When the church becomes an end to
itself, it acts pious and begins to turn sour. Anyone with sensitive nose will
smell that and find it dreadful." (Dennis Anderson)
e. There is someone
who knows you and loves you. There is someone who has spoken definitively into
our darkness. He knows the games we play and blind alleys we prefer.
Nonetheless, for those who want to listen, Jesus wants to speak. (Greg
f. Meekness toward
God is that disposition of spirit in which we accept His dealings with us as
good, and therefore without disputing or resisting. In the OT, the meek are
those wholly relying on God rather than their own strength to defend them
against injustice. Thus, meekness toward evil people means knowing God is
permitting the injuries they inflict, that He is using them to purify His elect,
and that He will deliver His elect in His time. (Is 41:17, Lu 18:1-8) Gentleness
or meekness is the opposite to self-assertiveness and self-interest. It stems
from trust in God's goodness and control over the situation. The gentle person
is not occupied with self at all. This is a work of the Holy Spirit, not of the
human will. (Gal 5:23) (Strong's)
righteousness, in a broad sense: state of those who are as they
ought to be; the condition acceptable to God; integrity, virtue, purity of
life, rightness, correctness of thinking feeling, and acting; in a narrower
sense, justice or the virtue which gives each their due. (Strong's)
h. katharos: pure,
clean, clear; physically; purified by fire; in a similitude, like
a vine cleansed by pruning and so fitted to bear fruit;
in a levitical sense, clean, the use of which is not forbidden, imparts no uncleanness, ethically; free from corrupt desire, from sin and guilt; free from every admixture of what is false, sincere, genuine; blameless, innocent; unstained with the guilt of anything. (Strong's)
consulting and/or reading this text from Eugene Peterson's The Message,
Rev. Kelly Bedard
Ministry Health Sermon
Copyright 2002 Ministry Health, LLC
Go to Main Page
Main Site: http://ministryhealth.net/
FrontPage and Microsoft Internet Explorer are registered trademarks of
This page was revised on: Friday, January 20, 2006 12:10:31 PM