The Person You'll Be In Heaven -- Part 3
Most of us have at least one bad habit we'd like to change. Some of us have more than one. When the Apostle John was writing his Gospel, he came to this conclusion:
This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. (John 3:19-20)
We all do it. We all hide because of our sin. I understand this firsthand. I hide. I want to be a better person than I am, and I thought that by the time I was my age I'd be further along than I am. I hide because I know my imperfection, and I'm afraid that if you knew it too you'd reject me.
But there is a day coming when there will be no more hiding, no more darkness. John says it this way:
The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. (Revelation 21:23)
There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. (Revelation 22:5)
No more darkness means no more hiding. And there will be no more need to hide because God will have perfected your character. When he says he's going to make everything new, he means everything: earth, sky, trees, flowers, creation, you, your mouth. Have you ever wanted a new mouth? Your heart, your thoughts. Everything gets made new.
You won't need to hide anymore. Everything about you will be fully known and fully loved and fully accepted.
The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls. The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia in length, and as wide and high as it is long. The angel measured the wall using human measurement, and it was 144 cubits thick. (Revelation 21:15-17)
Why all the measuring? John wants you to see that God knows every square inch of his new community -- and his new community is really his people -- not just a patch of space somewhere. You are his community, and he knows everything about you, and he delights in you.
In heaven, you will be treasured.
The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass. (Revelation 21:18-21)
This isn't describing a location. This is the angel showing John the Bride of the Lamb. That means these precious gems don't describe the place you'll live; they describe the person you'll be.
Most of these stones are mentioned in the Old Testament when God tells the priests to make a breastplate to wear when making difficult decisions. All of these stones were attached to a vest (see Exodus 28). When the priest made a difficult decision, he would do so while wearing a vest with precious gems and stones representing the people of God. The people of God would be close to his heart while he was deciding what to do.
If you've ever felt insignificant or doubted your worth, know that God's great treasure in heaven is not rocks or minerals. It is his community, his bride, his people. It is not precious stones. It is his precious sons and daughters.
In heaven, no one will ever have to tell you that you matter to God. You'll know.