What’s in a Name?
There are a lot of people in this world, and while I found this article entertaining, I couldn’t stop thinking about how much God loves every one of them. I really don’t care how big of a cube it would take for all 7.3 billion people on earth to fit inside. But I do care how many people know of God’s amazing love for them.
The organization that I work for is called Stadia. A lot of people don’t know what that word means. It’s actually a word found in the Bible. It’s an ancient Greek form of measurement. In Revelation John describes the New Jerusalem as being 12,000 Stadia (1400 miles) in length, width and height.
There are some who try to configure a cube of sorts with those dimensions to explain just how big heaven is going to be. But to truly understand what John meant by 12,000 Stadia we need to understand his context.
John lived in the Near East. And although there was some vague awareness of more distant lands, the world that John knew stretched from Media and Persia (present day western Iran) in the east to Egypt and Asia Minor (present-day Turkey) in the west. It stretched from the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea in the south up to the Black Sea in the north.
If you measure that distance, you would find that the world John lived in was about . . . 1,400 miles across from east to west, and about 1,400 miles from south to north.
So when John, in his vision, saw the New Jerusalem as 12,000 stadia (1,400 miles) long and wide, I think what he meant was that the New Jerusalem fills the whole world and includes all people, all nations, all races of people. The Kingdom of God includes everyone on earth who is willing to be a part of it!
And that is why I choose to do what I do. Because there are a lot of people on this planet and my father’s house has many rooms! #WeWontStop
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Toney and his wife, Stacie, have been in ministry for over 23 years. The majority of his ministry has focused on planting new churches in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. Toney is currently the founding and lead pastor of Discovery Christian Church, a growing congregation in Pittsburgh, PA. Toney also serves on the board of directors for two church planting organizations. Toney and Stacie have two great kids. Their son, Tanner, is a student at Ozark Christian College, and their daughter, Haley, is in high school. Toney’s role with Stadia is to build relationships with churches and planters in the Northeast region and to help Stadia plant more churches that intentionally care for children in the Northeast and around the world.