May 11, 2009
Waiting for the Glorious Appearing
When I was in the 4th grade, we traveled all around the U. S. while my father went to special schools for the navy. It was a tough year on everyone in the family. So, towards the end of all the traveling, mom and dad mentioned that we were going to go to Disneyland on our way through southern California. Wow, were we excited!
For weeks that is all my brother and I could talk about. Everywhere we stopped along the way we asked people if they knew about Disneyland. We would ask, “What is it like? Have you been? What is your favorite ride? What should we do first?”
You know, if kids can get that excited about a theme park, what do you think our excitement level should be about the return of Christ and the prospect of an eternal home with Him? Truth is, we should be jumping up and down over the mere thought of a home in heaven.
In Titus 2:12-13, we are reminded to live self controlled, upright lives as we “…wait for the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ who gave himself for us to redeem us.”
I was pondering that “glorious appearing” a few weeks ago and started down a fun bunny trail. I was observing the description of the New Jerusalem (the city in the new heaven and earth described in Revelation 21). We are told that this city is laid out like a square (actually a cube) as long as it is wide and high. It is said to be 12,000 stadia in length. A stadium is a measurement about the same as 200 feet or about 65 meters.
So I attempted to figure out how many folks will be with us in the New Jerusalem and how much space we will all have. (I told you it was a bunny trail!). I am told that to date, 106,000,000,000 people have lived on the earth. Apparently, it is estimated that 50% die before their 8th birth day due to disease, war etc. and approximately 60,000,000 have died from abortions. If about 10% of the population has placed their faith and trust in Jesus Christ and His redeeming work on the cross, one could guess that about 84,860,000,000 will be with us in heaven.
When you divide the number of people into cubic miles and then do a conversion from cubic miles to cubic feet, it is estimated (by the math teacher in our Junior High, not me!), we will each have about 1769 feet by 1769 feet by 1769 feet of living space in the New Jerusalem (of course, plus all the space throughout the universe!). That is a good sized condo!
My silly calculations do not prove anything substantial about the New Jerusalem, but they did help me to anticipate His glorious appearing. One of these days, the trumpet will sound and the dead in Christ will rise first, and we who are alive and remain will be caught up in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord! (I Thes. 4:17)
So, go ponder that appearing and pass the word along…He could return today!
Warmest regards in Christ,
Sherry L. Worel
Stoneybrooke Christian Schools