New Church Life NCL May/June 2018 - Page 17

      Revelation and many of us accept that it was He who has told us what that book means as described in Apocalypse Revealed. The dramatic conclusion of that prophecy is, “the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” (Revelation 21:2) This is a prophecy of a re-established church in heaven and earth. All of the Book of Revelation leads to the Lord’s establishment of the New Church. This congregation has the Apocalypse Revealed and many other volumes of the Heavenly Doctrine available to it. With the Lord’s help we have the opportunity to see in light so many things that have been hidden in the clouds of misunderstanding. We have the opportunity to better understand the God who created the world and us and guides us with perfect love and wisdom each moment. We have the opportunity to better understand the Old and New Testaments and in so many places recognize how they can be seen as parables of spiritual rebirth. We have the opportunity to better understand why we are born in this natural world, live for a time and then will spend eternity in heaven or hell and why we will have chosen that eternal home by our choices. We have the opportunity to understand how our minds work. Why we are neither inherently evil or good but are in freedom to choose if we seek the Lord’s help and do our part. We have the opportunity to understand why we were created male or female and why the Lord loves the marriage that can exist between husband and wife. If based on turning to the Lord and trying to live a good and useful life this marriage can last to eternity in heaven. What wonderful gifts we can recognize in all that we have available to us from the Lord. In response, what are we, as a group of people who are trying to help the establishment of the New Church congregation supposed to do? If we were to reflect on the life and values of this congregation over the period of more than a hundred years, in the Lord’s eyes, what are the essential qualities of its role? Thinking of the imagery of the Book of Revelation, we could ask: “When is the group of people who make up that congregation helping to fulfill the promised descent of the holy city, New Jerusalem?” The church is not the church An important part of the Lord’s life in the world was to reveal to us a way of life that we could not otherwise have known. He said, “For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.” 193