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"They shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them." "The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, saith the Lord." Isa. 65: 21, 25.
The whole earth will be as the Eden paradise planted by God in the beginning. And from week to week and from month to month the saved will gather to worship before the glorious throne in the holy city.
"As the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before Me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before Me, saith the Lord." Isa. 66:22, 23.
The Glories of the Saints' Eternal Home
As the first two chapters of the Bible tell of earth's original perfection, so the last two chapters constitute one psalm of ecstasy over the indescribable glories of the earth made new, with its city of light, the walls of jasper, the gates of pearl, the river of life flowing from the throne of the Lamb, clear as crystal, with the widespreading tree of life on either side of the river. And supreme above all, Jesus Himself, "the King in His beauty," without whom there would be no glory even in that city foursquare; "for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof."
"Oh, heaven without my Saviour
"He gilds earth's darkest valleys
With light and joy and peace;
Where sin and death shall cease?"
Next to the loveliness and grace of Christ our Saviour, the glories of this world to come have inspired the sweetest hymns of hope for longing hearts. How often has the spirit been lifted above earth's trials as we have sung,
"O that home of the soul! in my visions and dreams
Till I fancy but thinly the veil intervenes
"That unchangeable home is for you and for me,
The King of all kingdoms forever is He,
And He holdeth our crowns in His hands.
"O how sweet it will be in that beautiful land,
With songs on our lips and with harps in our hands,
"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.”
Through the ages, the children of the promise have been journeying toward the city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God, and they have confessed themselves pilgrims and strangers in this present world. As they have followed the way of righteousness, oftentimes a thorny path, it has been with the shining city ever before their vision. As they have fallen in death, it has been with closing eyes fixed upon "that day" when Christ shall come to take His people to the New Jerusalem preparing above.
"The Lamb there in His beauty
Without a veil is seen.
It were a well-spent journey
Though seven deaths lay between."
Now earth's course is nearly run. It is but a little way to the holy city, where the water of life flows clear as crystal from the midst of the throne. The water of life is really there;
for the Lord showed it to the prophet John in vision, that he might tell us that he saw it. "I John saw the holy city," he says, "and he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal." Rev. 21: 2; 22: 1.
Christ invites every one to share the eternal inheritance, giving assurance of His power to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by Him. He is knocking at the door of every heart, asking admittance, in order that He may take away all sin, and prepare the soul for the heavenly home. And the glories of the holy city invite us to come:
"The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." Rev. 22:17.
"He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus."