God gives us hints of Heaven, foretellings of future glory, throughout His Word. There's the Year of Jubilee in the Old Testament Law. There are the dreams of the prophets, like Amos' "let justice roll down like water, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream." There's the consistent Old Testament image of The Day of the Lord. There are the many parables of Jesus that foretell a day of Judgment, when wrongs are made right. There is His prayer, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven," or His favorite saying, "The first will be last and the last, first."
But then, on rare occasions, the Lord peels back the curtain and gives us tantalizing tours of the glittering city of gold. In Ezekiel 40-48, Isaiah 60-66, Revelation 21-22, and a much shorter vision in Hebrews 12:22-24. Some see these stories as an impossible dream. They long for these things to be reality, but have no real hope or assurance. Others see Heaven as a consolation prize. They are thankful to have their afterlife secure, but their real focus is on attaining success in the here and now. And then there are those who long for their future home. For them, Heaven isn't just a future hope, it is a present obsession. They live such outstanding lives, Hebrews 11 says of them, "The world was not worthy of them," and "God is not ashamed to be called their God." This Sunday, we'll take our own tour of the New Jerusalem, and explore what it all means for our future. But we'll also ask which of those three categories each of us fits into. Let it someday be said of you and I, "God was not ashamed to be called their God."