Jubilee (Part 3)
Thus far we've given some attention to Jubilee in the past and present. Under the Old Testament law, the Israelites were required to keep the year of Jubilee every fifty years, with its special requirements of personal liberty, restitution of property, and "the simple life." Today, though we are not under the Mosaic regime, we ought to be full of jubilee (i.e., rejoicing). Trusting in God and living a simple, faithful life for Him is very liberating indeed.

This third point is fairly simple: Heaven is the ultimate jubilee because it is perfect and everlasting joy! Mankind, in his original state, enjoyed full fellowship with God. For the faithful, heaven restores that condition! The true Promised Land will then be ours; what has been lost will be restored in its fullness. We won't enjoy a mere shadow of paradise--as the Garden of Eden and land of Canaan were--but the ultimate abode of God--heaven itself!

Read with me in Revelation 21:1-7 and allow me, if you will, to interject some expressions of rejoicing at appropriate places as John describes this wonderful abode of God:

"Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, 'Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. [Rejoice children of God, for that's jubilee!] And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; [Rejoice, for that's jubilee!] there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. [Rejoice children of God, for that's jubilee!] There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.' [Rejoice, for that's jubilee!] Then He who sat on the throne said, 'Behold, I make all things new.' And He said to me, 'Write, for these words are true and faithful.' And He said to me, 'It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. [Rejoice children of God, for that's jubilee!] He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son." [Rejoice, for that's jubilee!]

It doesn't get any better than that! But friends, don't ignore the very next verse - "But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death" (Rev. 21:8). Tragically, not everyone will enjoy God's ultimate jubilee! In fact, we know from what we are told elsewhere in the Scriptures that very few will get to bask in God's love for eternity (cf. Matt. 7:13,14). It all boils down to this: If we obey God, we will be blessed; if we disobey, we will be cursed (cf. Deut. 28)! The one who obeys God is one who loves God (cf. John 14:15; I John 5:3). And one who loves God is one who possesses a living faith (cf. James 2:14ff)! Those who possess a living faith will have access to God's saving grace (cf. Rom. 5:1,2; Eph. 2:8)!

Dear listeners, God has not instructed us to observe the Sabbath day, Sabbath year, or year of Jubilee as the Israelites did. However, it is good for us to have some rest from our labors. It is good to trust the Lord to provide for us. It is good to have jubilation or rejoicing now no matter what our circumstances! And it is good to have a blessed hope of the ultimate jubilee to come--a heavenly home around the very throne of God! The ultimate jubilee of Almighty God approaches; are you ready?