Some cities claim to be a location where East meets West or where North meets South. A few of them also claim to be a place where the past meets the present, and even where the future can be anticipated. I am in such a city at the moment, but I cannot check on its claims because I cannot speak the local language.
Whatever the validity of the claims of this city, it is the case that those features are found in the city of God, the church. In a very wonderful way, people from east and west and north and south gather together. Of course, they cannot all yet speak the same language, but that day is coming. Meanwhile they all can read the same Book (the Bible), speak to the same God simultaneously and share his blessings.
Yesterday we visited a large palace which was built as a residence for the former rulers of the empire who used to govern from this city. The palace is full of exhibits in lavish rooms that indicate the splendour in which they used to live and the pleasures they enjoyed. Large gardens, precisely laid out, point to the interest they once had in beauty and art. Sadly none of them are here, because they all died and left their power and interests behind them. In contrast, the King of the heavenly city went through death as its conqueror, and having risen again ascended to the place of permanent universal power.
The splendour of this palace also points to the selfishness of its former residents. One is not surprised that revolutions occurred in countries where such selfish opulence was engaged in. They ruled for their own benefits and now their wealth is only an exhibit for tourists to gaze at and wonder why one family was so self-focused. How different is the King of the heavenly city! He will share all his wealth with his people in the new heavens and new earth, and meanwhile and for as long as they are on earth he provides for them out of his limitless storehouse of constant grace.