Have you ever thought about God’s Eternal City called the New Jerusalem in the Bible? It is a city unlike any other city that has ever existed or will ever exist. No one can fully comprehend what it is like even though we have much of it described in the Book of Revelation. In the Bible we see glimpses of this eternal state where God sits with His heavenly council and where His angels and heavenly beings and the spirits of just men made perfect all live. (Psalm 82:1) (Hebrews 12:22-24) It is that place where God’s only unique and eternal Son sits on the same throne at God’s right hand being God the Son and co-equal with Him and one with Him in all of His divine attributes.
If you have been spiritually reborn from above and made new deep down on the inside of your spirit, and you have been made a new spiritual creation in the Messiah, then you are already a member of this heavenly city even though at present you are living in your physical body on earth. However, if you die your body will be dead but your inner soul more alive than ever before. You will be temporarily absent from your body but present with the Lord. (2 Corinthians 5:8) However, after the 1,000 year millennial reign of the Messiah, in which you will take part has finished, the New Jerusalem will come down out of heaven to earth and there will be a new heaven and earth, the previous ones having passed away.
The apostle John saw this city eternal city revealed to Him by the Lord Jesus and this vision in itself was a great comfort to John and to his companions in their suffering and tribulation for the word of God and for their testimony to the Messiah. Now when the Lord Jesus comes back, as believers we will all receive our glorified bodies and co-reign with Him on earth. (Revelation 2:26-29) (Revelation 5:10) However, this is not our ultimate destiny. In the Book of Revelation this eternal city is described is some detail in Chapters 21-22. However, I would like us to focus on Chapter 21:1-4 which describes what will happen to us after the Millennium has finished and Satan and the unsaved have all been thrown into the Lake of Fire. (Revelation 20:10, 11-15) And so John writes…
(Revelation 21:1-4) 1 “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. 2 And I saw the Holy City, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, 4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”
Now let’s briefly look at these verses…
(Vs 1) “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.”
In the Book of Isaiah we see a description of the New Heaven and earth foreshadowed by the Millennium. (Isaiah 65:17-25) During this thousand year period the earth will be renewed and life on earth will be extended and the blessing of the Messianic kingdom extended to all who live and are born during this time. (Isaiah 65:21-24). (Isaiah 2:1-5) (Micah 4:1-8) People will still die but live to a very old age. (Isaiah 65: 20) Men and animals will live together and animals will not kill each other. (Isaiah 65:25) Conditions in the world will not be perfect but everything will be under the authority of the Messiah and His people. The world will be free from Satan’s clutches as he will have been imprisoned in the earth (Revelation 20:1-3)
Now John tells us that the old heaven and earth, even though renewed in the Millennium, will pass away and that the Messiah will make everything completely new and perfect in every way. (Revelation 21:5) It will be the new, perfect and eternal creation. John also writes that the sea will be no more. In other words in the New Heavens and the earth there will be no separation of nations, no divisions of any kind but all will be one family in the Messiah. (John 10:16) Of course the unsaved will not be in this city but outside of it. They will neither be able to enjoy its splendour or majesty, but will weep and grind their teeth in torment. Why will this be so? Because they will see what they could have had and what they should have had and what God Himself wanted them to have, but who chose to live without Him on earth and now find themselves without Him for all of eternity. (Isaiah 66:24) (Revelation 21:8) Now let’s read on…
(Vs.2) “And I saw the Holy City, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.”
Those who are part of the New Jerusalem will be Holy people, separated from all unrighteousness and sin. When one, through repentance and faith is reborn again spiritually by the Holy Spirit, the blood of Jesus justifies them and cleanses them from all sin and its power over their life. (Romans 3:21-26) (Ephesians 1:7) (1 John 1:7-9) However, the sinful nature remains but rendered powerless by walking under the control of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 8:1-4, 9, 12-14) (Galatians 5:16-18; 6:7-10) At the rapture and resurrection we will be saved from the very presence of sin and the sinful nature when we receive our immortal, glorified and sinless bodies. (1 Corinthians 15:50-52) We will not have the old nature patched up but a brand new nature completely free from all sin and the same as the Lord Jesus has Himself. (1 John 3:2) (Philippians 3:21)
As John writes in his first letter; “Beloved, we are now children of God, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that when Christ appears, we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as Christ is pure.” (1 John 3:2-3) If we want to be a part of the New Jerusalem then we must be living lives that are clean and given over completely to the will of God. We must be allowing the blessed Holy Spirit to divest our lives of everything that would spiritually defile us. A faithful bride keeps herself clean, dressed and ready for her husband. The Bride of the Messiah will be adorned with the garments of His salvation and righteousness.
Isaiah the prophet put it this way when he wrote; “I will rejoice greatly in the Lord, My soul will exult in my God; For He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” (Isaiah 61:10) What husband would want to come for a filthy, un-kept, dirty bride who could not really care about making herself presentable for her spouse? Indeed it is written that “holiness adorns your house O Lord.” (Psalm 93:5) If we belong to God then individually and corporately we are His House and that House must be holy. Now let’s continue…
(Vs.3) “And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them.”
In the Millennium the Lord Jesus will have come back to establish His Messianic kingdom on earth. However, when the New Jerusalem comes down out of heaven to the earth, the two shall become one for all of eternity. God dwelt among His people in the Old Testament in the Tabernacle in the wilderness but in the new heaven and earth He will be seen in all of his glory and splendour and the redeemed will look upon His face and live and bask in the glory of his presence for all of eternity. God’s tabernacle will be the bride of His Son. The Lord Jesus will be fully glorified in his saints. (Revelation 21:9-11, 22-27) (2 Thessalonians 1:10) And so John continues…
(Vs.4) “…and He (God) will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”
In this life we will have sorrows and past memories of things we did and said that grieved the heart of God and that we can never take back. We have memories of loved ones who have died and especially of those who have died without salvation. We have memories of past hurts and situations that have left us emotionally and mentally scarred even though we know who we are in the Messiah being new spiritual creations in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:17) We may have sickness and infirmity and broken relationships that have never been healed. However, John tells us that in the New Jerusalem there will no longer be death, mourning, crying or pain because the first things in this life will have passed away. In other words the very memory of then will be erased! The old order of things will have passed away and everything made completely brand new.
In this world we will have trials, tests, oppression, adversity, difficulties of all kinds, bad memories and trouble and persecution to a greater or lesser degree but these are temporary and in the perspective view of eternity merely light and momentary afflictions even though sometimes they seem to engulf us and persist. As the apostle Paul writes; “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, yet our inner self is being renewed day by day. For our light and temporary affliction is producing for us an eternal glory that far outweighs our troubles. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)
The Bible itself is a tale of two cities. One is the Kingdom of God and the other the kingdom of Satan and we can only belong to one or the other. Unless we are spiritually reborn from above we will never be a part of God’s eternal kingdom fully realised and revealed in the New Jerusalem. (John 3:3) Only after we have been justified by faith and washed from our sins in the blood of Jesus and clothed with the garments of salvation and with His righteousness received by faith, will we be able to pass through the gate to this eternal city.
The pleasures, pursuits, ambitions, possessions and the fame and the fortune in this life are all temporary. As humans we are all like the grass that is here today but gone tomorrow and we can’t take it with us when we die physically. (Job 1:21) As the apostle James writes; “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” (James 4:14b) Only what is said and done related to God’s will and purposes in this life will count for eternity with Him. (Matthew 6:19-21) Everything else that God has not established will be burnt up in God’s purifying fire when the Lord Jesus comes back. (2 Peter 3:10)
At the end of the Book of Revelation the Lord Jesus Himself says; “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.” (Revelation 22:12-15)
If you are reading this email article and yet have never been spiritually reborn from above but you want to be a part of the New Jerusalem, then wait no longer but by faith run to Him whose blood has been shed for your sin, cry out to Him for mercy, pardon and cleansing, be willing to turn from self-will to God’s will for your life and you can be a part of the New Jerusalem. Ask Him to give you His Holy Spirit and He will. (Luke 11:13) So then God’s eternal City will come down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. I hope I will see you all there.