10 Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God. – Hebrews 11:10
Abraham responded to the call of God in faith and started on a journey to a distant land not knowing where he was going. He didn’t ask God for a map of the whole journey, he just obeyed day by day. We keep asking God for His will for our life when all we really need to know is what does He want us to do right now. Does that mean that we live haphazard, unprepared lives? No, we can see that Abraham immediately prepared to go on a journey He packed up everything and started in the direction God told him. He prepared his family and himself for the journey without knowing the way or when the journey would end. Like Abraham, we don’t know the path or the amount of time we will be required to travel on the journey. God wants us to be like Abraham, prepare and pack for the journey but trust Him to direct our paths. Trust Him to take us to the Promised Land. Just as Abraham was sometimes disobedient and got off the straight and narrow path so do we. Through all of Abraham’s errors and sufferings, God was faithful and brought him back to the path. He does the same thing for us and more. He is living within each of us giving us directions constantly if we are listening and praying. When we fall, He picks us up, forgives us, loves us and encourages us to go on. We live in tents of flesh here on earth and some day we will shed those tents and take our final segment of the trip that leads to the city “whose architect and builder is God” where we will receive our inheritance along with Jesus. Focus on Jesus and keep our eyes on the prize!
17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. — Romans 8:17 NIV
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
26 But the other woman, Sarah, represents the heavenly Jerusalem. She is the free woman, and she is our mother. – Gal. 4:26 NLT
As we have seen in the earlier verses, the Jewish leaders have been trying to convince the new converts to return to the old Jewish traditions. Paul is making the point here that they need to consider the hardships and severity of the law before they turn back to it. He is using the birth of Issac and Ishmael to demonstrate the difference in natural and spiritual things. Those that return to worldly things (the natural Jerusalem) are still in slavery to those things. But since Issac was born to fulfill a divine promise, there is now a choice that we can make. We can follow the fleshly lineage and remain slaves or we can follow the divine lineage, accept Jesus and become citizens of the Jerusalem which is above.
20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.–Phil. 3:20 (NIV)
But one day, the New Jerusalem will come down to earth and all those that have chosen the divine lineage (Jesus) will be citizens of the New Jerusalem.
I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband—Rev.21:2 (NIV)
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
22 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. 25 See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? — Hebrews 12:22-25 NIV
When God gave the law to Moses at Mt. Sinai, the children of Israel were warned not to touch the mountain or they would die. Mt. Sinai represents the law and the law brings death.
6 He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. — 2 Cor. 3:22-24 NIV
Mt Zion is the heavenly Jerusalem and represents grace and salvation. We not only get to touch it but we are invited to join in the joyful assembly of those whose names are written in heaven. When we come to Mt. Zion, it should remind us of coming to Jesus who shed His blood on the cross for us. With His blood, He has cleansed us and clothed us in His righteousness. He has mediated a new covenant that brings life, not death. The Holy Spirit calls each of us to repent of our sins. If we continually refuse to heed the warning, we run the risk that our consciences will become “seared over”. At that point, the Holy Spirit will have no way to communicate with us and we can no longer hear the call to repentance.
2 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.– 1 Timothy 4:2 NIV
So, while we can still hear the call to repentance, let us run to the mountain of grace, fall on our knees and join in with the church of the firstborn worshiping our Savior and Lord.
1 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness.2 Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King. — Psalm 48:1-2 KJV