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The New Jerusalem. Zech. 8


The New Jerusalem

Text:  Zechariah 8

Zechariah wanted to lift the hearts of the downcast people of Jerusalem, struggling to rebuild the city after their return from exile.  They had become discouraged, so Zechariah has a vision of what the New Jerusalem would be like.  As we know, this wasn’t in any way perfectly fulfilled in Zechariah’s day, – but as we shall see in this study, Zechariah’s prophecy points us to the NEW JERUSALEM of the church, God’s people of every age, gathered home in the new heaven and earth, around the throne of God.  See:-

1. The Description of the New Jerusalem!

 Now let’s firstly see the description that the Bible gives us of this heavenly city with its heavenly people:-

  1. It is a DEEPLY TREASURED city!  In fact the prophet tells us here that God is ZEALOUS for His city and His people! Zech. 8:1-2  His love for them allows for nothing else to come between them and Him!
  2. It is A WELL ESTABLISHED city!  Look at its description in verse 3; It is established and immovable, because God is dwelling in the midst of it, and God cannot be moved!  It is like a mountain!  He is immutable, unchangeable, immortal, eternal, constant…  Because God is in the midst, it is a city of truth!
  3. It is a SAFE and SECURE CITY!  V4-5   Even the vulnerable people of this earth shall be safe there!  Old people can sit unmolested in the streets, and little children can play without fear and without threat.  Zech. 8:6  In Revelation, we are told that heaven’s gates are never closed! There is complete safety!
  4. It has an ETERNAL CONTINUITY! V7-8.  Now here we see something about the New Jerusalem which is not always apparent to the average reader, but which we, as Reformed Christians will be aware of…  It is an appearance of that very important phrase, which we now know to be the Covenant Formula (The Covenant of Grace)  Zech. 8:8  “ they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousnessn   Jeremiah 31:31-33  

Such are some of the things that we know about heaven – the New Jerusalem! It is true that Jesus taught far more about Hell than about Heaven, for people must be warned!  But for the believer, what a glorious prospect awaits!   


2. The Dynamics of the New Jerusalem!

Now the next lesson that the prophet must teach, is that if there is a glorious heaven ahead of us, then that though will influence the way we live our present lives!  We will live in the light of coming glory!  What a difference that will make:-

  1. We will WORK HARD for the King! V9-10 Lots of people work hard and get great rewards.  But our work shall be done for a different master and with a different purpose!  We will work for Christ and will work to bring glory to His Name!  Zechariah urges the people to continue with the great task of building the church!  
  2. We will EXPERIENCE the King’s blessing!  V11-13   In heaven we shall know the true meaning of prosperity, and we shall possess all things!  We will be a blessing to our fellow citizens and to the Lord Himself!  The trials of this earthly world shall pale into insignificance when we get to heaven and experience the blessing there.
  3. We will REJOICE in the King’s forgiveness! V14-15  Here Zechariah refers to the punishment that God enacts upon unrepentant sinners, those who reject His wonderful offer of saving mercy in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.   God’s own redeemed people will never know that wrath, for Christ has taken it upon Himself for them at the Cross.  So Zechariah can tell the people to have no fear, for the Lord is determined to do us good and not to harm us!
  4. We will OBEY the King’s Word! V16-17  Now, we find a direct ethical command in relation to our lives, lived in the light of eternity:  Zech. 8:16-17


3. The Desirability of the New Jerusalem!

Having described the City of God and having taught something of how our citizenship of the New Jerusalem will impact our present lives, Zechariah now shows how wonderfully attractive that city is!  See:-

  1. The Joy of its Worship!  V18.  All of the mournful fasts of which we spoke in our last study will be turned into feasts of great joy and gladness in the New Jerusalem!  There will be joy and gladness in heaven, and we have a foretaste of that in our lives and in our worship right now!  Whilst we ought always to approach the Lord with great solemnity and reverence, it should be with great gladness and happiness and joy!  
  2. The Attractiveness of its Prayer!  V19-22.  People will come into this city, and will seek the face of the Lord and will pray!  
  3. The Grip on its Saviour!  V23.  Consider this verse very carefully!  This is mightily important!  Zech. 8:23   Here is the very key to the inheritance of this heavenly city!   All must submit to the Saviour who was a Jew!  Men of all nations, all kindreds have done just that.  They have laid hold of the garment of the Saviour, the One of whom it could truly be said, ‘God is with Thee.’  They rest their hopes upon Him who has fully fulfilled this prophecy!  They come to Christ, and He saves them and blesses them and takes them with Him to His heavenly Home, where they dwell with Him in the New Jerusalem!   

© BobMcEvoy July 2019

From → Bible Study

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