Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I 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 the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:1-4, ESV)
As we come to the final chapters of John’s revelation we realize that this is what “it” is all about. This is the end. It’s the end of Revelation. It’s the end of the Bible. And, in the end, this is what the Christian experience is all about.
All of our trials and tribulations are finished. God’s plan for our lives and the planet as a whole culminates in a a brand new heaven and a brand new earth. The city of God is brought to light (literally) in Godly perfection being filled with the very presence of God in which there is no pain or suffering, no hunger or thirst, and the faithful receive their heritage as sons and daughters of God (21: 6-7). The city of God will enlighten the entire world and the nations will glorify it and come to it at all times because its 12 gates will never close.
I don’t pretend to fully understand what this city of God will look like. It may look like a translucent, glowing cube just as it is described in Chapter 21. Or, its dimensions may be presented to demonstrate symbolic perfection. We shall see. As in the previous chapters, speculation concerning such specifics serves merely to distract from Christ‘s message.
The message is consistent throughout Revelation and the Bible: Faith is the operative word above all else. Faith in God and faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ:
Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates.(Revelation 22:14, ESV)
When we place our lives in the hands of Jesus Christ, we are spiritually washed in His blood shed on the cross. This seems paradoxical since this washing makes one spiritually clean. Believers come to the great white throne to be judged and are seen through this spiritual blood and judged to be pure and allowed into the city of God. But those who maintain their faith through the tribulations of the end times don’t even go before the throne since they are already the heavenly priesthood of God and Christ (c.f. 20: 6). There is a purpose to everything and God is in control. Believers, stay the course and hold steadfast to your faith. In the words of our Lord and our Savior and our God:
“Behold, I am coming soon. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book…. Surely I am coming soon” (Revelation 22:7, 20, ESV)
I hope this series has been as enlightening and edifying for you as it has been for me. There is a lot to ponder. Please feel free to comment and ask questions below and in each of the previous posts in this series through Revelation. I have no illusions that this has been a comprehensive study.
For instance, in light of what has been learned and presented, what is the role of the Church and her faithful at this time? Why?
- Revelation 19 & 20: The Rider on the White Horse (christophercrandolph.wordpress.com)
- Revelation 12 – 13: The Woman and the Dragon and the Two Beasts (christophercrandolph.wordpress.com)
- Revelation Chapter 14: Repent for the End is Near! (christophercrandolph.wordpress.com)
- Revelation 6: The First Six Seals (christophercrandolph.wordpress.com)
- Revelation 2: Testing the Faithful (christophercrandolph.wordpress.com)
- Revelation 3: Hope in Jesus (christophercrandolph.wordpress.com)
- Revelation 7: Hope Comes Before the Storm (christophercrandolph.wordpress.com)
- Revelation 4 and 5: An Image of Father and Son (christophercrandolph.wordpress.com)
- Revelation 15 & 16: Seven Angels with Seven Plagues (christophercrandolph.wordpress.com)
- Revelation 17 & 18: Babylon the Great Prostitute (christophercrandolph.wordpress.com)