Touchstones Markers for Measuring Discipleship
Redemption is the Ultimate Stone
The final touchstone of genuine discipleship is redemption and reward. The aspiration of faith and the transforming power of the Holy Spirit guarantee that God will accomplish His Eternal purpose through those who follow Christ and invest their lives to advance his kingdom.
In Revelation 2:17, the apostle John wrote that those who overcome will be given a white stone on which will be written a new name that no one knows but him who receives it. White stones were used in several different contexts in the ancient world. They signified acquittal by a jury whereas a black on signified condemnation. They were used as tickets of admission to public festivals. Both uses may signify that those in Christ are fully acquitted and welcomed to the messianic feast. The new name may be a hidden or private name reflecting the new character of the one who has overcome. Whatever the significance, it is clear that the stone with a new name conveys both assurance and full blessing for those who receive it.
The book of Revelation concludes with another reference to our ultimate touchstone. “I also saw the Holy City, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband. …The foundations of the city wall were adorned with every kind of precious stone” (Revelation 21:2, 19).
The 12 foundation stones supporting the wall of the city, on which were written the names of the apostles, were visible to all. They were gloriously adorned with beautiful jewels. The stones are indicative of beauty and majesty beyond earthly description. Verse 3 and 4 tell us that this city is where God will dwell among us and where we will be His people eternally.
As we contemplate the ultimate outcome of all things we are called to invest our earthly resources in the endless pursuit of establishing missional communities that reflect and foster God’s eternal purpose.