We look for the permanent city
You see, we don’t have a permanent city here but look for the one that’s coming. Heb 13:14 AAT
The theme, look for the city to come begins in Hebrews 11 and continues through Revelation 22. There we see the city is the new Jerusalem to be located in the new heaven and new earth God has prepared for us (Heb 11:16; Rev 21-22) and has reserved for us in heaven (1 Pe 1:1-12). The permanent city is in the kingdom of God. “… we have received a kingdom that can’t be shaken (Heb 12:25-29). It is our inheritance (Mt 25:31-46). Looking forward to living in the kingdom that is coming sustains our faith and inspires us to live for God in our walk in Christ Jesus, our Father’s Son.
Abraham was looking for the city
As we read of the faith exhibited by Abraham in the faith chapter of the Bible, we see him look. “He was looking for the city with foundations, the one God built and made.” By faith Sara bore child of Abraham even though she was past child bearing age.
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to leave home and go to a place he would get as his own, and he left without knowing where he was going. By faith he lived as a stranger in the promised land, as though it belonged to someone else, and lived in tents with Isaac and Jacob, who had the same promise he had. He was looking for the city with foundations, the one God built and made. By faith Sarah, even though when she was too old, got the strength to have a child be cause she believed she could trust Him who had promised. And so, although he was as good as dead, one man had many descendants, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore that nobody can count. Heb 11:8-12
Those few verses of God’s Word summarize several main points of the Abrahamic covenant and cover many years of of the ups and downs of life. Abraham’s faith inspired him to persevere and looking forward sustained it in the face of uncertainty, living as a stranger in the land and having no son. But God promised Abraham: “I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Gen 12:2-3 NKJV). Abram was 75 when God gave him that promise (Gen 12:4). About 10 years later, God came to Abraham in a vision and blessed him. Abraham was concerned because he was childless. God promised, “one who will come from your own body shall be your heir” (Gen 15:4 NKJV). When Abraham was 99, God sent 3 visitors. One spoke. “I will certainly come back to you,” He said, “at about the time it takes to have a child, and then you wife Sarah will have a son” (Gen 18:10). A year later, when Abraham was 100, Sara bore Isaac (Gen 21:5). The descendants of Abraham will be honored in the city, New Jerusalem. The names of the 12 tribes will be on the 12 gates of the city (Rev 21:12).
As recorded in Genesis 22, God proved Abraham. He obeyed God’s command to sacrifice Isaac right up to putting a knife at Isaac’s throat. When he proved he would, God’s angel told him not to and instead sacrifice the ram God provided. Character of Abraham overview.
By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered Isaac. Yes, this man who received the promises and was told: Isaac’s children will be called your descendants was sacrificing his only son, thinking” God can even raise him from the dead. And in a way he did get him back from the dead. Heb 11:17-19
Then God again affirmed the Abrahamic Covenant adding,”In your Descendant all the people on earth will be blessed, because you did what I told you” (Gen 22:18). This God affirmed to Isaac (Gen 26:4-5).
Paul tells us that Descendant is Christ.
My fellow Christians, let me use an example from daily life. Once a will is ratified, even if it’s only a man’s will, nobody sets it aside or adds to it. Now the promises were made to Abraham and his Descendant. He doesn’t say: “and by the descendants,” in the plural, but in the singular: “and by your Descendant,” which is Christ. Now, I say this: First God confirmed His covenant; and the Law, which came 430 years later, doesn’t set aside and cancel its promise. If we get the inheritance by the Law, we don’t get it by a promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise. Gal 3:15-18
Paul also tells us we are Abraham’s real descendants.
You see then, that those who believe are Abraham’s real descendants. The Bible foresaw that God would make the nations righteous by faith, long ago He told Abraham the good news: Through you all nations will be blessed. So those who believe are blessed with Abraham, who believed. Gal 3:7-9
The ancients of faith were looking for the city
God’s people of old were commended for being sure of the things hoped for and being convinced of the things not seen. (Heb 11:1-2). Then, recounts their faith in action. Theirs was the look far ahead.
All these died in faith without getting what was promised. But they saw it far ahead and welcomed it, and they confessed they were strangers who had no permanent home on earth. Those who talk that way show they’re looking for a country of their own. If their hearts had been in the country they left, Instead, they were longing for a better country—I mean heaven. That is why God is not ashamed to be God, because He has prepared a city for them. Heb 11:13-16
We look for the city
The high priest brings the blood of animals into the holy place for sin, but the bodies of those animals are burned outside the camp. And so Jesus suffered outside the gate to make the people holy by His own blood. Then let us go out to join Him outside the camp and bear the abuse He suffered. You see, we don’t have a permanent city here but look for the one that’s coming. Through Jesus let us always bring the fruit of our lips, praising His name. And don’t forget to do good and to share; such sacrifices please God. Heb 13:11-16 AAT
More references to the city: Rev 3:12; Rev 21:2; Rev 21:10-16; Rev 21:18-19;Rev 21:21-23; Rev 22:14; Rev 22:18-19