"All That Glitters is Not Gold"
Shep Johnson
Sunday, August 28, 2016

The 2016 Summer Olympics are now over and the United States has come away as the clear winner with 46 Gold medals, 37 Silver medals, and 38 Bronze medals for a total of 121 Olympic medals.  That is an amazing record.  But did you know that an Olympic Gold medal is not really gold?  While each gold medal weighs 531 grams, it contains only 6 grams of actual gold.  With the cost of the Olympics estimated to be $4.6 billion, it seems that spending the $17.6 million needed to produce the required total of 812 gold medals for the Olympic games would have been a small price to pay.  But as the saying goes, “All that glitters is not gold.” 

  Isn’t it good to know that God is willing and able to produce what He promises?  The Bible describes the New Jerusalem as an amazing city in which those redeemed by the blood of the Lamb will live forever in the presence of Almighty God.

  Revelation 21:16-27 (NASB95) says that, “The city is laid out as a square, and its length is as great as the width; and he measured the city with the rod, fifteen hundred miles; its length and width and height are equal.  And he measured its wall, seventy-two yards, according to human measurements, which are also angelic measurements.  The material of the wall was jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass.”

  “The foundation stones of the city wall were adorned with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation stone was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald;
the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprase; the eleventh, jacinth; the twelfth, amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was a single pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.”

  “I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.”

  “The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it.  In the daytime (for there will be no night there) its gates will never be closed; and they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it; and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life.”

  What is God trying to say in this passage about the New Jerusalem where the righteous will live?

1) It is a massive city; fifteen hundred miles long, fifteen hundred miles wide, and fifteen hundred miles high.  There will be plenty of room for all the redeemed.

2) It is a safe city.  Its wall is a symbol of the protection the King of Kings affords to those who live within.  There will never be a reason to fear or doubt again.

3) It is a beautiful city.  Nothing on this present earth can compare with the beauty of the New Jerusalem.  Its beauty is truly beyond words.

4) It is a clean and pure city.  Sin will not taint the city of God.  No one and nothing unclean will ever enter it.

5) It is a bright city.  The New Jerusalem will shine with the abiding presence and glory of God Himself.

6) It is occupied by those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.  The New Jerusalem is occupied by those who have been cleansed by the perfect shed blood of Jesus Christ.

7) God will be there.  We have spent our lives here on earth worshiping and serving a God we cannot see with our physical eyes.  His glory is too great.  It would be like trying to stare directly into the noonday sun.  But in the New Jerusalem with new and glorified eyesight we will see our Lord high and lifted up and face to face.

  None of us is ever likely to win an Olympic Gold medal, which is not really gold to begin with. But one day all of us who follow Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior will walk down streets of gold that are gold indeed.

Bro. Shep