Christians who diligently focus on worship, study, encouragement, and ministry are doing the right thing. But Paul eagerly looked forward to his crowns and to the rewards awaiting him. He often encouraged his brethren with news of the future rewards and glory. "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the Crown of Righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing." (2 Timothy 4:7-8). We are made a promise, "Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded." (2 Chronicles 15:7) It is right and also good to look forward to what the Lord has prepared for us, including rewards, for they are also His handiwork.
In 2000, miners accidentally broke through to a heretofore unknown chamber. It contained the most magnificent crystals ever seen anywhere on earth, absolutely stunning the geologists. Some of the crystals had grown to be 60 feet high. The place is called the Cave of Crystals and it is in Naica, Mexico. Because the chamber is exceedingly hot and humid and humans are overcome with the bad air within minutes, and also to preserve the display, the cave is closed to visitors except under strict circumstances. "This year, BBC Two sent Professor Iain Stewart into the cave, and he "got a rare glimpse of the subterranean spectacle while filming for the new BBC series "How the Earth Made Us." If you ignore the show title and focus on the cave, you will be blessed. The trailer is only 1:20 minutes.
Now, Christian, capture the wonder and amazement of the beauty of these magnificent and translucent crystals and translate that to a tiny window of the beauty of the gems and crystals that are awaiting us in New Jerusalem!
The New Jerusalem
"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 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 21:1-2)
"The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl." (v. 18-19)
"The great street of the city was of pure gold, like transparent glass." (v. 21)
"I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp." (v. 22-23)
Will YOU be there? You will be if you ask Him forgiveness of your sins and make Him the Lord and Savior of your life. Understand that sin cannot enter into the heavenly realms and that you, if you have sin in you, will be excluded from this glory. But if you repent of it and ask Him to forgive, you will be walking the street of gold with all the other forgiven sinners in eternity.
Christian, the Crystal Cave at Naica is not what awaits. What He is preparing for us is even better. Can our eyes take it in? Can our hearts remain beating or explode with joy at His grace and generosity? When you feel tired, when satan whispers 'it's not worth it' or 'why bother', think on New Jerusalem's beauty that the Lord took care to make for us, and persevere.