Mount Zion Infinitely Better Than Mount Sinai (Hebrews Sermon 66 of 74)
May 27, 2012 | Andrew Davis
The Law of God, New Covenant, Old Covenant
How Well Do You Know Your Fellow Worshippers?
You come here every week for corporate worship, and I just want to know how well you know your fellow worshippers. Are you even aware that they exist? I know some of you may be tempted right now to sneak a furtive look around at some others, looking at their faces, reminding yourself who they might be. I don't think it's going to do you any good. The outward appearance can be so deceiving. Clothing, facial expressions, accents, what kind of Bible they are carrying with them, what kind of jewelry they wear, what their tastes are, these things will probably have you barking up the wrong tree. Because frankly, I think that the worshippers, the fellow worshippers I have in mind that I want to point you to right now, can only be seen by faith, because we are surrounded by this great cloud of witnesses, and every week that we come to worship, we're worshipping with them, with thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly with the spirits of righteous men made perfect. We are joined in fellowship with people we can't see. With Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who are still alive because God is not the God of the dead, but of the living and they are worshipping God, David is worshipping God now in the presence of almighty God. And we are joined with them in mystical fellowship and corporate worship every single week. Are you even aware that they exist?
And it seems like one of my callings in life as a preacher, a teacher of the Word, is to strengthen your faith, so that you can see into the invisible realms that surround us every moment and to be aware of what's really there but cannot be discerned by the five senses. And this is a perfect text to do it when it comes to the issue of worship. For it says here that you have not come to a mountain that can be touched. But we're coming to the heavenly Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem. You've come to a whole different kind of experience, and it's my desire this morning as a result of studying Hebrews 12:18-24, that you'll have a strong sense of this mystical fellowship that we have, with those that have gone before... Let's say a woman, a believer who lived in the 13th century, who trusted in Jesus and who did good works and put sin to death, and died maybe in the bubonic plague or something like that, and now she's around the throne and worshipping. This great cloud of witnesses. And that we're in fellowship with them, even now, even though we can't see them.
And so, in this text, we are brought to contemplate two different mountains. Mount Zion, and Mount Sinai. Mount Sinai represents the Old Covenant, and Mount Zion represents the New Covenant and our heavenly future. My desire, as I preach through this, is that you will have a strengthened faith, that you will understand the glorious movement that God has brought us through, out of wrath into glory, that we are free forever from the wrath of God and from the law of God, as it can condemn our souls, and that we have been brought over into life forever, and we have a glorious future of corporate worship with an innumerable congregation of saints, the church of the firstborn who are saved by the shed blood of Christ and with myriads of angels.
The Supremacy of Christ In the Book of Hebrews
Now what's the context of this text that you just heard read? Well, the whole book of Hebrews was written to Jewish people who lived in the first century a little after the time of Christ and who had heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As Jewish people, they'd heard it and they came to believe and they came to make an outward profession concerning Jesus as their Messiah and that they were going to be Christians, and they assembled together in Christian churches to worship as Jewish people but they were under tremendous pressure from their Jewish family and friends and relatives and authority figures, to forsake Christ, to turn their backs on Jesus and the New Covenant and go back to the old, familiar ways of Old Covenant Judaism, of synagogue worship, and of animal sacrifice because the temple was still being used at that time.
And so the author to the Book of Hebrews is writing to beg them, to plead with them, not to do this, to not turn away from Christ, but to continue running this Christian race with endurance right to the end, even though it costs them everything to stay close to Christ. So the author's strategy throughout the Book of Hebrews has been to show the absolute supremacy of Jesus Christ, through everything in the Old Covenant, the supremacy of Christ. "In the past, God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways. But in these last days, He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom He made the universe, the Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word, and after He had provided purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven."
That's how he begins the book. The supremacy, the greatness of Jesus Christ, He's greater than all the prophets, He's greater than all the angels. He's greater than Moses, who's just a servant in God's house, and Jesus a Son over God's house. He's greater than Abraham, He's greater than Aaron, and the Aaronic priesthood. Greater in every way. And so also, this superior Mediator worked a final, once for all, sacrifice. He shed His blood on the cross so that our guilty consciences could be cleansed. Something that could never be with the blood of bulls and goats, that could never have cleansed our conscience. We could never have been free from a guilty conscience by those endless animal sacrifices, but Jesus had offered for all time, one sacrifice for sins. Having done that, sat down at the right hand of God.
So Jesus is the superior Mediator, who brings in, therefore, a superior covenant, a better covenant, the New Covenant, by which our sins are forgiven. And so, quoting Jeremiah, the author, tells us the components of this New Covenant, "I will forgive their sins, and remember their wickedness no more…" and "I will write my laws in their minds and put them on their hearts. And I will be their God and they will be My people." Those three glorious aspects, complete forgiveness of sins, a total transformation of the heart so that God's laws are written on our hearts, and a perfect fellowship an at-oneness with God so that we are atoned, we are in fellowship with God, reconciled to Him. That's the New Covenant. None of those things came by the blood of bulls and goats. But instead, this is the glorious New Covenant. And that results in a superior life, a life of faith, a life of aliens and strangers, moving through this world, looking for a city that is to come, whose architect and builder is God, looking ahead to something that cannot be found now in this world.
We're living by faith, not by sight, walking by faith and not by sight. We understand this world by faith, and Hebrews 11, just moving through making great sacrifices, winning great victories for God, doing His will, living for His glory, a better life, a life of faith, even if it involves great suffering, wandering around in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground, destitute, persecuted and mistreated, those of whom the world was not worthy, even if it... That kind of life, it's a superior life. It's a life of faith, a life of forgiveness, a life of assurance, a life of fruitfulness. And so the superior mediator, Jesus, brings a superior covenant, resulting in a superior life. And so in Hebrews 12, the author is giving us this call to endurance. You need to run this race with perseverance right to the end.
I. Mt. Sinai Described: The Terrors of the Old Covenant
And so that brings us to this statement. And so we can see how it fits. This is the climax of his appeal, Why in the world would you want to go back to the Mountain of Death, why go backward to the Mountain of Death? All it could do is kill you. Mount Sinai could not bring you life. The law could not bring you life. But you have now come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, to the city of the living God. So how could you go backward? Do you see the context now, what the author's saying? And so he brings us in our minds, he brings the Jews of the first century, in their minds, back to Mount Sinai, saying, You've not come there but we know what it is. We're thinking about what happened at that time. Mount Sinai in its context, God is bringing the Jewish people out of Egypt, out of bondage. They had been there for 400 years, and He was bringing them out with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. By 10 plagues, dreadful plagues, He judged the gods and the people of Egypt.
And He brought them out after the 10th dreadful plague on the firstborn, in which the angel of death went through and only spared the firstborn of the Jews, because the blood of the lamb, of the sacrifice lamb, had been painted on the door. And he saw that and moved over, the clear implication they deserved to die. They were brought out and they went in haste and they were expelled really almost from the land of Egypt and they were brought to the Red Sea, and then God hardened Pharaoh's heart once more, and he pursued them and thought to exterminate them, out of wrath and pride, but God had a judgment, a final judgment for him. God opened up a way through the Red Sea and the people passed through as on dry ground, but when the Egyptians tried to do so they were drowned, all the water came crashing down on their heads. On the other side of the Red Sea, the Jewish nation was sustained by manna from heaven, bread from heaven, and water from a rock, and they were being brought to the mountain where God had given Moses his commission, back to the mountain of God, back to Mount Sinai, where he had seen the burning bush. And He said, This is the sign that you'll know that it's I who is calling you to do this. It's when you bring that nation and they're here to worship me.
So I thought this an interesting sign. In other words, when it's all said and done, you'll know I did it. In the meantime, I'll give you some lesser signs to get you going. But when you see the nation at the bottom of Mount Sinai you'll know I did it. By the way, the same thing is going to happen with us in heaven. When we get to heaven, we'll know He did it. When we are around His throne and seeing Him face-to-face, we will know God did it. And to God be the glory. So they came to Mount Sinai. And it was a different kind of experience with God at that point. A terrifying one. God revealed Himself in terror and judgment, the aroma of judgment, of wrath, of lightning strikes and earthquakes. The terror and the fear of God. That was what He had in mind for the people at that point. And we're brought right there in the text.
It says, "You have not come to a mountain that can be touched." It was a physical mountain, it had rocks, it had elevation, you could climb it. It was an actual mountain that could be touched, and it was burning with fire that day when God came down and descended. It says in Exodus 19:18, Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the Lord descended on it in fire and "the smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, and the whole mountain trembled violently." The text speaks of darkness, gloom and storm. Exodus 20:21, it says, "The people remained at a distance while Moses approached the thick darkness, where God was." There's this, this thick and dreadful darkness that descends down. Deuteronomy 4:11, "You came near and stood at the foot of the mountain while it blazed with fire to the very heavens with black clouds and deep darkness." So you have fire and darkness. It's mysterious, but there it is, there's a sense of that awesome power of God. 2 Samuel 22, "He parted the heavens and came down, dark clouds were under His feet, He mounted the cherubim and flew, He soared on the wings of the wind, He made darkness His canopy around Him. The dark rain clouds of the sky."
And this is strange, the fuller revelation of God, actually it says in 1 John 1:5, "God is light, and in Him, there's no darkness at all," it says, "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not comprehended it." It says in 1 Timothy 6, that God dwells in unapproachable light. Well, I think that's how I put it together. He communicates the unapproachable-ness by the darkness at Mount Sinai, "You can't come close to me. If I don't reveal Myself to you, I'll only be darkness to you, you won't understand Me. You are alienated from Me in your sin." And so the darkness really is a form of judgment. God communicating, "You don't know me. And you will not know Me unless I reveal myself to you." And so one of the plagues was a plague of darkness that came over Egypt, a thick darkness, a darkness that could be felt.
So also in Revelation 16, the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast. And his kingdom was plunged into darkness. It's the judgment of God and it's really just a foretaste of hell, it's a foretaste of hell, of the judgment of God on the damned in hell. Mount Sinai was meant to be a foretaste of judgment and wrath and hell. That's what it was meant to be, without the people being sent there, so they could know what it's like to be under the condemnation and the wrath of God. And so it says in Matthew 8:12, Jesus, speaking these words, "The subjects of the kingdom will be cast outside into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." So it's judgment, and the book of Hebrews adds gloom and storm. So there's a sense of a tempest like a hurricane or a tornado, some kind of a whirlwind. It's all very terrifying, the terrifying power of God against our sinful human race. That's what's being pictured at Mount Sinai.
And it mentions a trumpet blast. Exodus 19:16, "On the morning of the third day, there was thunder and lightning with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast, and everyone in the camp trembled." God was clearly going for one thing, I want everyone to be afraid. Everything He was doing there was to make all the people afraid of Him. Exodus 19:19, "And as the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder Moses spoke and God answered him in thunder." So the trumpet blast was not just one time, signaling everyone to come, it was just a continual thing that just got louder and louder, and it just made the people more and more afraid.
And then the text, our text here in Hebrews 12, mentions a voice speaking out of all of that, there's this voice, the voice of God, voice of almighty God, that the human beings heard with their own ears, they heard the voice of the Creator of the universe. Such a voice, speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken. I thought a lot about that. Do you know that it's on this exact same mountain? I had to do some research on this, but I'm convinced it's true. On this exact same mountain, Elijah fled from Jezebel to go find God, you remember? And he goes there and God's going to reveal Himself. You remember this whole thing? He's in the cave there on the mountain of God. And God comes in some way and creates the sound of a great rushing wind, but God's not in the wind. And then there's this fire, but God's not in the fire. He's in the earthquake, He's not in the earthquake. But when there's this kind of quiet, gentle breeze, then Elijah covers his face and goes out and stands in the presence of God and God begins to talk to him, the still, small voice. Well, that's what God was doing with Elijah on that mountain that day, but He wasn't doing that with the people of God on the day of Mount Sinai. He's not doing the still, small voice, He was doing a terrifying voice, a voice that was so loud and authoritative and scary that everyone wanted to never hear it again.
And as a matter of fact, that's how the whole office of prophet came about for the Jewish nation. Moses went up and stood in God's presence and heard God speaking, and God commended the people, it's one of the rare times He ever says good things about the people. He says. Oh, that's good, I'm glad that they fear me. I wish that they would always fear me, but I'm glad that they fear me now. And so Moses would hear God speak, and go down and tell the people. It's the very thing they pleaded, this terrifying voice of God. And it mentions the command, they couldn't bear the command that was spoken, "If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned." This was the command that God had given to put limits around the base of the mountain, a fence, so that no one could break through and go up on the mountain.
And the command was given, "If anyone does... " Be careful that you don't. Be careful you do not go up on the mountain. But if anyone does, they must be stoned or shot with an arrow, don't touch them." It's almost like somebody being electrocuted, you don't touch them because you'll get killed too. Don't touch them but stone them or shoot them with an arrow, even if it's an animal. It's terrifying. And as a matter of fact, God goes back to it again with Moses, He told him to be sure that the people don't break through and come up. If they did, he would kill them.
The Message of the Old Covenant: Don’t Come Closer
Friends, this is the essence of the Old Covenant. Do you see it? The fence. God attracting, attracting us, because we are created for God, we are created and know Him and walk with Him, and have fellowship with Him, God has made us for Himself and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Him. We want to be with God, even if He's being all-terrifying and everything, He knows we want to go up the mountain, not run from it, screaming. So He said, Put the fence and be sure they don't do it. But the Old Covenant says, you may not come any more... Any closer. He said the same thing to Moses, Take off your sandals," and "do not come any closer." Thanks be to God for the New Covenant, amen. I can't stay in the Old Covenant much longer, guys, it's hard to preach because we're told, "No you're going to die, you're going to be killed," and all that, but in Jesus, there is a new and living way, and we're not just invited, we are commanded to draw near to God. Through that new and living way. But this terrifying command, it's all about what the Old Covenant, it was all about death, these commands produced death, the Old Covenant worked death, that's what it brought.
And the site was so terrifying, it says that even Moses, the mediator of that Old Covenant, was trembling with fear. He was terrified. These, that these Jews might put their hope in, even he was terrified. Why? Because he's a human being and a sinner, and he knew that apart from atoning, the atoning work of God, he also would be incinerated by the wrath of God. And so he was trembling with fear. Now, you're not going to find it in the Old Testament account. The author just tells us. But I don't care where it's found in the Bible, if it's in the Bible it's true, amen. And so he was terrified and trembling with fear, Moses. Imagine just saying that, saying the words. "I am trembling with fear." The fear of God. I am afraid that there are some of you here who are unregenerate, you're lost, and you should fear God more than you do.
I had two witnessing opportunities, as I flew to Louisville this past week. There was a man from, who lived in Cary. I'm not going to give you details, but his name was Mike, worked for a high tech company around here. And we soon got into a conversation about spiritual things, wonder how that happened. But at any rate, we were talking about Christ, and he was interested and a bit bemused, I could tell by the look on his face, I think he found me interesting in a kind of an experimental sort of way. And so he was asking me tough questions, and he came from a spiritual background, he said, but he doesn't go to church much, he married Jewish woman, and they don't do much spiritually, but he tries to be spiritual. His religion, his fundamental religion is, whatever you are, be the best that you can be, be the best Baptist you can be, the best Muslim, you can be, the best Hindu. He didn't say this, but I guess the best atheist you can be, and then God will forgive you whatever, it's universalism based on the best you can be, whatever that means.
We talked for a long time. But he doesn't believe in this God, the God of Mount Sinai, he's not afraid of God at all. He doesn't think He's going to condemn anyone. And I wonder if I'm speaking to some of you that need to fear God, the wrath of God, and flee the wrath of God, flee to Christ, flee to the cross. This God exists, and if you're not in Christ, you will know the real wrath that this wrath at Sinai merely symbolized. There's a real wrath behind the show. You see what I'm saying? Behind the earthquake, behind the lightning, behind, there's a real wrath to come. And it's called hell. And these laws, the laws that came down, could not save you from it. It only ministered death, it was a yoke that neither we nor our fathers were able to bear. Can't do it, we couldn't live it, it couldn't save us. Jesus says, "Has not Moses given you the law, yet not one of you keeps the law." That's the Judge speaking to the nation. That means the law won't save any of you. All of you are condemned by it.
Paul says in Romans 7, "I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death." Romans 4:15, "The law brings death." That's all. So flee the wrath to come, and embrace the delights of the New Covenant.
II. Mt. Zion Described: The Delights of the New Covenant
What's the author's point? You have not come to that mountain. We've left that behind, we moved on from Mount Sinai, through Jesus, through the finished work of Christ, we left Mount Sinai now. We left the law and its power to condemn us to hell. We've moved on from that. That's the point. Remember that we're done with Sinai and its power to condemn. And instead, we have come to the delights of the New Covenant, look at verses 22 through 24.
"You have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God," these are three names for Mount Zion that he gives us here. Mount Zion, is the heavenly dwelling place of God, of the living God, and he gives us Mount Zion Heavenly Jerusalem, city of the living God. Zion was a name in the Old Testament, for the most part, for Jerusalem. Whenever you see the word Zion, you can just put Jerusalem in there, but occasionally Psalmists would lift the language up to heaven, so Zion then would represent heaven too. And so in Psalm 50, for example, "The Mighty One, God, the Lord, speaks and summons the Earth from the rising of the sun to its setting. Out of Zion, perfect and beauty, God shines forth." So that's heaven, Zion is heaven, God shining forth from there.
And so, as throughout the book of Hebrews, Jerusalem, the City of David, that David conquered, the Jebusite city, where then the Ark of the Covenant came and dwelt, and then Solomon built the temple, and all that as a symbol of God's desire to settle down with His people and not live in a movable tent anymore, but even that was just a symbol. Throughout the book of Hebrews, it's all that these symbols are just types and shadows of a reality that's coming. And the reality is heaven, it's the new Jerusalem, it's the heavenly Zion that's coming. And it's glorious.
Paul uses the same kind of analogy in Galatians 4, talking about two mountains, and Mount Sinai represents the children of the slave woman, who are in bondage and slavery under the law, and then Mount Zion represents the woman, the free woman, and we are children of the free woman, and we're not under law anymore, we're under grace. We're not going to be condemned by the law anymore, we're free, free from sin. And so he's saying to the Galatians, why do you want to live like children of the bondwoman? Why do you want to live in slavery to principles and precepts that could not save you? But we are free. This is the city of the living God. This is the desire of the heart of all true pilgrims. We are just aliens and the strangers here passing through, just moving through. And Abraham, it says in Hebrews 11:10, was "looking forward to a city with foundations whose architect and builder is God."
Hebrews 11:16, "They were longing for a better country, a heavenly one, and therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God for He has prepared a city for them."
Six Descriptions of This Heavenly Mt. Zion
And he gives us descriptions of this heavenly Mount Zion.
- Fellowship with the holy angels
"You have come," in verse 22, "to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly." Daniel 7:10 actually gives us the number, 100 million angels. That's a lot of angels. So 100 million. Here it's just, could be translated innumerable, just more than you can count, lots and lots of angels and they're in joyful assembly. That sounds really happy, doesn't it? And that just sounds like they're having a great time worshipping God. They're together in joyful assembly. The assembly is the ecclesia, the joining together, the congregation, the assembly. They're all together, all the angels, and they're worshipping. And their joy is enhanced by being with each other, calling to one another, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord." They just love stirring each other up to worship, the seraphim do, the angels do. And so, also do the redeemed and so there's this huge assembly of worship going on up in heaven.
Wouldn't it be cool to see it right now? We could say like, Elisha, "Lord, open their eyes," and then you'd see it, what's going on.
- The “Church of the Firstborn...”
It speaks of the church of the firstborn whose names are written in heaven. Those are the elect, those are the adopted children of God, but they're all called, all of them, firstborn, all of them. What that means is we're all heirs, we're all getting the inheritance. And so we with Abraham, our father Abraham, we are heirs of the world. The meek will inherit the Earth. We're going to get this stuff, so I don't worry about it now. It's getting destroyed and it's groaning and in bondage to decay, and people are fighting over it, non-Christians are fighting over it and all that. Look, just move through because you are an heir and you're going to get it, you're going to get a better, you're going to get a resurrected earth, the new heavens and the new earth, how sweet would that be? But we are inheritors.
Remember how a few passages ago, Esau despised his birthright as firstborn son, gave it away, it meant nothing to him. Oh, that's not us. Does your status as a firstborn child of God mean anything to you? That you are a heir of the world, heir with Christ. Oh, how valuable is that? And this is the church of the firstborn. There's that word church. This is the assembly of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. Do you remember when Jesus sent out the 72 on mission? And they came back and they had done miracles. And they had driven out demons, and that was really, really exciting to them. Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your Name. Boy, let's do more of that. That was exciting. Jesus rejoices through the Holy Spirit but then He corrects them, He said, "I tell you do not rejoice because the demons are subject to you but I'll tell you what to rejoice in, rejoice that your names are written in heaven." Security, assurance, indelible ink, written in the Lamb's Book of Life, church of the firstborn whose names are written in heaven, security eternity, the election of God.
- To God, the judge of all mankind
You have come not only to that, but to God, the Judge of all mankind. But to you, He is no longer Judge. Now He is Father, He is focus of worship, He is the source of all beauty and life. You've come to be in His presence, and to see His face.
- To the spirits of righteous men made perfect
To the spirits of righteous men made perfect. Those are the redeemed who have died, because it's just their spirits here, their bodies are in the grave. They are absent from the body, and they're present with the Lord. It's in the grave, the worms have had their way with the bodies, and they're waiting for the resurrection of the body, but their spirits are up there in heaven.
And what does it say about their spirits? They are made perfect, instantaneous, that's glorification stage one. As soon as a redeemed brother or sister in Christ, as soon as a man or woman of God dies and they're separated from the mortal body, their spirits, their souls, are instantaneously made perfect. And forever they will love what God loves and hate what God hates. They are conformed to Christ in every way, and their struggle with sin is done forever. And they are up there in Heaven and they are praising, praising God, the spirits of righteous men made perfect. How sweet is it? Brothers and sisters in Christ who are free, they've run their race, they finished it and they're in Heaven and they're waiting for you and they're cheering you on. You have come to that. And how sweet is that?
- To Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant
And you have come to Jesus, the mediator of the New Covenant. How much do you yearn to see Him? How much do you yearn to tell Him thank you? How much do you yearn to tell Him, Thank you for standing under the wrath of God for me, that's what I deserve and you took my wrath for me? And thank you for the New Covenant that gets me here, thank you for being the mediator of a New Covenant.
- To the sprinkled blood, which speaks a better word that the blood of Abel
You've come to Jesus and to the sprinkled blood, His sprinkled blood, that speaks a better word than animal sacrifice, the blood of Abel. It's effectual. I don't need to go into all that, the author has already done, he's just reminding you of all that you have.
III. Mt. Zion Already Ours... and Not Yet Ours
Now here's the interesting thing, the "already and not yet" aspect of Hebrews 12, it's really fascinating to me, I've been thinking about this the last four or five days.
In Hebrews 12, We are told at the very beginning. Since we're surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, what are we supposed to do? Lay off, lay aside every sin that entangles, the burdens that are made and we're told to run, to run a race with endurance. And to fix our eyes on Jesus, and as we're running, we have to be willing to shed our blood rather than sin; and if we don't, if we sin rather than shed our blood, the Lord God our Father will discipline us. Whatever it takes to get us through this race, we need to run with endurance, we need to strengthen feeble arms and weak knees, and help each other run this race. And we are, in Hebrews 12:14, we're supposed to be pursuing holiness. We're running, running, running, running, running, but now we get to verse 18 and following, we come, we come to a static image. You have come. It's a done deal. And you haven't come to the mountain that could be touched, you have come to your destination. That is the "already and the not yet" of end time teaching in the Bible. You already have your destination, your name is already written in the Book Of Life, you're already accepted at the throne to worship Him, you're already welcome there to offer your sacrifice, the fruit of lips that confess His name, you are welcome in the assembly of the righteous, by faith in Jesus. You're already there. You have come to the destination of your soul.
So therefore because of that, run with endurance. Verse 18 begins with a therefore or a so, for, okay, for. The NIV cut it out. Oh, I'm sorry. Put it back in, just write it in there, because you're not actually adding a word to Scripture, which you're not supposed to do in Revelation. But they took it out, which you're not supposed to do in Revelation. So keep it there and just say "for." Okay, so I put verse 14, together with verse 18. Pursue holiness, for you have not come to a mountain that can be touched, but you have come to the heavenly Jerusalem. See, because of who you are already in Jesus, run, run with endurance.
So what does this say to us, how do we apply this? Well, outsiders, come to Christ. I see a third mountain here. Do you see it? You've got Mount Sinai with... I've got a little sketch here. Look at this, isn't this cool? Three mountains, I did that right there in the, in the pew. Can you see it? Don't nod, Yes, none of you can see that. Alright. First mountain is Mount Sinai. It's got lightning hitting it, it represents wrath. The third Mountain is Mount Zion, it's got radiant bright, shining beams. It represents glory. What mountain goes in between to get us from Sinai to Zion? Well, Mount Calvary. The mountain where Jesus died, where He shed His blood to get you there. Don't leave here without having knelt at that cross, the blood of Jesus cleansing you. I had one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight application points and it's 12:15 and we have the Lord's Supper. I'm insane, but Ryan, you know what it's like, this is the time more for preaching, we talked about it last week.
Simply put... If I can summarize all these things. Know what you already have in Jesus and live accordingly. Do it at the workplace, do it at home, do it when you come here to worship. When you come here to worship, don't notice the color of the paint or the diagrams of the stained glass or comment on the nature of the music, whether it's your favorite song or not. Whether this was too loud or that was too soft or it's your favorite... Friends, get above all of that. Those are just meant to be helps, go up by faith into the heavenly realms and do corporate worship with this great body that's around us all the time. And one application I'm not going to skip is the Lord's Supper. As we partake in the Lord's Supper ask God to give you faith to see the unseen, that this will not be a bare memorial. If you have never trusted in Christ, and testified to it by water baptism, please don't partake. Bible says you'll be eating and drinking judgment on yourself, don't do that, but while you sit and don't partake, I'm asking partake in Jesus by faith. Trust in Him and believe in Him. The rest of you, as the elements are going by, as you're thinking about, just know that your sins are forgiven, that God has worked in you, and allow this ministry to draw us together in one body around the throne. Close with me in prayer.