Heaven Part 10: Work in the New Jerusalem

The City of Babylon in the Scriptures represents a false city and a false system of government and a false way of commerce, if you will.  It’s man’s forgery of God’s holy city the New Jerusalem.  

The most important insights into the big picture of work, however, come in the concluding chapters, where the worldly city Babylon is set against God’s city, the New Jerusalem. The introductions of the cities in 17:1 and 21:9 are set in clear parallel:

Revelation 17:1–2 (ESV) 

17 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute who is seated on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality, and with the wine of whose sexual immorality the dwellers on earth have become drunk.” 

Revelation 21:9–10 (ESV) 

Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.” 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, 

Babylon represents the dead-end street of humanity’s attempt to build their culture apart from God. It has every appearance of being the paradise for which humanity has always longed. It is no coincidence that its gold and jewels recall those of the New Jerusalem. 

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Sermon: The Parable of the Sower (Part 1) Matthew 13:1-10

Truth Taught- A man’s reception of God’s Word is determined by the condition of his heart.


In this next section, Matthew introduces the reality that from here on out our Lord’s teaching the crowds is almost consistently done in parables.  

Here’s what parables are not

Parables are not earthly teaching with a heavenly meaning.

Parables are not stories to help us remember what Jesus taught.

Parables are not stories that teach morality.

Their purpose as Jesus will tell us in the next section (Next week, Lord willing) is two-fold.  They reveal truth to some and they conceal truth for others.

Typically, the parable is teaching something about the Kingdom of God.  So, they are a to deliver knowledge to some and hide it from others.  

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Sermon: The Emptiness of Separation from Christ Matthew 12:43–50

Truth Taught- Without repentance people go from bad to worse.


Jesus continues to teach and pass judgment on this generation.  Now He adds the adjective this evil generation.  He has two categories of people in mind here.  He is speaking to the Pharisees who rejected Jesus because they trusted in their own righteousness and their own set of moral standards.  They did not need Jesus, in fact, He was simply trouble for them.  The second group was the people who liked the healings and the handouts but did not ever express an interest in Jesus other than what they could get from Him whether health or wealth.   

What made them an evil generation?  They were only focused on externals.  The Pharisees were focused on their external self-righteousness and the people were focused on their external healing brought about by Jesus.  
We must see today that both of these external things are nothing that will last, it’s the Gospel and repentance matter. 

The self-righteousness of the Pharisees would, in fact, send them to hell.  A moral system without true conversion is a recipe for eternal punishment.  

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Set Your Minds on Heaven Part 8: New Heavens and the New Earth

Colossians 3:1–2 (ESV) 

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 

1.  Scripture’s Theme of the New Heavens and New Earth

This theme of the Heavens and New Earth appears in both Old and New Testaments.

Isaiah 65:17 (ESV) 

17    “For behold, I create new heavens 

and a new earth, 

       and the former things shall not be remembered 

or come into mind. 

God creates a new Heaven and a new Earth so utterly amazing and fascinating by their splendor, so satisfying to the soul and mind that the remembrance of the first earth will not even enter our minds.  
Psalm 102:25–27 (ESV) 

25    Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, 

and the heavens are the work of your hands. 

26    They will perish, but you will remain; 

they will all wear out like a garment. 

       You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away, 

27        but you are the same, and your years have no end. 

The writer of Hebrews quotes from Psalm 102 in Hebrews 1:11-12 to explain the ultimate supremacy of Jesus Christ.  His argument is that even the Heavens and the Earth will pass away but Jesus Christ, God’s Son remains forever.

Then, in John’s final vision he writes,

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Sermon: The Judgment of “This Generation” Matthew 12: 38-42

Truth Taught- The evil heart always finds a reason to reject Jesus


So far in Chapter 12 of Matthew’s Gospel we have watch the Pharisees and their attempts to discredit Jesus in front of the people.  

-He is a Sabbath breaker

They tried to point out that Jesus’ disciples were also Sabbath breakers as they walked through the grain fields and ate some of the heads of grain.  The Pharisees said they are breaking the Sabbath.  Jesus answered by basically saying, have not read about David?

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Sermon: Our Words Expose the True Condition of Our Hearts Matthew 12:33-37

Truth Taught- Our true nature is revealed by what we say.


According to recent research done in the UK, Working men average 2000-3000 words per day, females from 10,000-20000. However, both average about 500-700 words of actual value (i.e. words which have intent to communicate to another person an item of importance to both).

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Disciple Hour: Set Your Minds on Heaven: 6. Our Wealth in Heaven (Part 1)

Colossians 3:1–2 (ESV)

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 

In our earthly life we acquire wealth by….
Reward -working

I.  Reward

I want us to see something at the onset.  When Jesus teaches on rewards in Scripture He never speaks in terms of Christian service but more so in Christian experience.  We are not rewarded for doing but for being.  

            A.  Endurance as a Lifestyle

Instead, He teaches rewards for faithfully enduring struggles.  Endurance is the key to heavenly rewards.  Are you enduring to the end?

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Sermon: Watch, See, Comprehend, and Believe Matthew 12:22-32

Truth Taught- Jesus does something only the Messiah could do and still the lost refuse to believe.


Last time we looked together at the Servant Songs from Isaiah.  We saw in them clear prophecies zeroing in on Jesus as God’s Servant and as the Messiah.  Verse after verse pointed to the identity of Jesus being the fulfillment of the Messiah passages.  Jesus proved it time and time again.  Matthew wants his readers to see that truth.  Many do see it and believe but most don’t.  

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Set Your Minds on Heaven part 5: Death and the Intermediate State

Colossians 3:1–2 (ESV)

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 

A.  A consideration of death and the question of how Christians should view their own death and the death of others. We also must ask what happens to us between the time that we die and the time that Christ returns to give us new resurrection bodies.

   1. Death Is Not a Punishment for Christians. Paul tells us clearly that there is “no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1). All the penalty for our sins has been paid. Therefore, even though we know that Christians die, we should not view the death of Christians as a punishment from God or in any way a result of a penalty due to us for our sins. It is true that the penalty for sin is death, but that penalty no longer applies to us—not in terms of physical death, and not in terms of spiritual death or separation from God. All of that has been paid for by Christ. Therefore there must be another reason than punishment for our sins if we are to understand why Christians die.

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