The City of God – Gospel in Life

The City of God

Tim Keller |  May 1, 2005

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  • Cities
Hebrews 11:13-16; 13:10-16
RS 181-13

Hebrews 11:13–16; 13:10–16

Believing in God can change our lives dramatically. It’s like being a visitor in a foreign land, knowing you’re from somewhere else. This feeling is key to growing spiritually, and trying to get rid of it may lead to problems. It helps us understand that there are two different ‘cities,’ or ways of living, and one is meant to help the other. We also learn how to become part of the better city.

1. There are two cities

The Bible’s book of Hebrews talks about three spiritual journeys, all with Jesus: into God’s rest, God’s presence, and God’s city. This “city of God” represents a better society, built on fairness, peace, and helping others, not on power or arrogance. It’s a future city that will make our world free from sickness, death, poverty, fighting, prejudice, and sadness.

2. Each city has a conflict with the other

The city of God is both a reality now and a promise for the future. This creates a sort of tension for Christians, who belong to the future city but live in the present one. Because of their unique beliefs and behaviors, Christians often seem like outsiders. They challenge both traditional and individualistic cultures with their commitment to biblical teachings. Instead of trying to fit Christianity into modern culture, it’s important to stick to biblical values and work for the betterment of our current city through love and service to all people.

3. But only one city is for the other

The main idea here is about living as a resident alien – loving and serving a city that may not love you back. It criticizes the usual religious approach of either complete separation or total conformity. Instead, it suggests a different approach that aims to benefit everyone. This challenging but transformative approach can create real change and make a difference in people’s lives.

4. How to become citizens of that city

True citizens of the heavenly city remain engaged and loving towards their current city, even when things get tough. They take a stand that is different yet deeply involved. This is possible because of Jesus, who suffered to make people holy with his blood. This encounter changes us from the inside out. The good news of the gospel frees us to serve our city without fear or selfishness, reflecting Jesus’s love for us and for the city that rejected him. In this way, we can live like the early Christians, belonging to both heaven and earth.



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