Longing for the Eschatological City

The author of Hebrews writes about Abraham and how he looked forward to the city, “whose designer ad builder is God” (Heb 10:10). Furthermore, he notes how Abraham desired this better country, this heavenly country; a city that God was preparing for his people (Heb 10:16). The truth is if attentive and aware of what takes place in our cities, there will be a holy discontent that things are not right. The presence of injustice, poverty, homelessness, broken homes, violence, murder, greed, child negligence, immorality, and all sorts of improper sexuality will ignite a flame in one’s heart—“something is wrong.” The Bible expressively explains that something is wrong. Sin has left this world and its cities and civilizations in disarray, damaged, and distorted. In other words, the cities and civilizations of this world are broken, of which we (believers) are included. However, God promises that there is another city, another civilization. This city, designed by God, is perfect, undefiled, without blemish; it is a city where death, disease, pain, mourning, or crying ceases to exist (Rev 21:4). It is proper and right for believers to have this holy discontent with this world (cities and civilization) and a longing for the one to come. However, a lack of longing for this [eschatological] city means one or two things. First, it can mean that believers are so shortsighted on their own worries, concerns, and pains of life they are paralyzed from looking ahead. Second, if there is a lack of desire and longing for the city of God, there may be an unholy love for this city and world.

In longing for this eschatological city, believers reflect and foreshadow, in their lives, and especially in the corporate fellowships (churches), the reality of this soon coming city.

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