Part 2 : The Holy City
“I Saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Then I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God.” Revelation 21:1-2
Heaven is where God dwells but a new heaven is also the place that is promised after the universe will be shattered and a transformation of what we know will take place. From this will emerge a glorious new world. A new heaven and a new Holy City called New Jerusalem. This holy city will be the capital of this new heaven and earth and is the eternal home of God’s faithful people.
But where is this heaven? Is it in the northern skies as exaltation does not come from east, wet, or south according to Psalm 75:6. But where it is located is unknown. The heavenly Jerusalem is where the patriarchs or faith looked forward to entering when they died. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were not able to enter the Promised Land on earth. Yet God had prepared a city for them (Hebrews 11:10-16)
Where will this heavenly city be during the transitional times after the earth is destroyed? It is uncertain but during the tribulation period (before the millennial age) the heavenly Jerusalem will become visible to earth dwellers. It is like a satellite city above the earth as John describes in Rev 21:2. And it is as described in Hebrews 12 is developed in three stages 1) heavenly Jerusalem where the spirits of the dead now live 2) the satellite city from which certain believers commute to earth during the millennial age and 3) the settled city, which will ultimately rest upon “a new earth”.
The holy city as described by John rests upon 12 jeweled foundations and sparkling like diamonds in the sunlight and it is huge square of 12 furlongs each (Rev 21:15-16). This holy city is heaven with plenty of room for all who believe. Those who believe are now citizens of the heavenly Jerusalem and someday they will enter the New Jerusalem!
The New Jerusalem is described by John in Revelation as something beyond words, magnificent and glorious and yet it will be a long time in the making after the world as we know it ceases to exist. But what do you think of when you hear about this New Jerusalem? How would you describe this city? Is it where you want to go and be for all of eternity? Why?
Wonderful God of grace we thank you for the promise of the New Jerusalem a city where your believer and children of faith will one day live. We thank you for this promise of where eternity will be spent and shared and we rejoice with those who are already with you. Help us to keep hope in the knowing of your Son Jesus and through your creative plan we praise you for this gift in faith. Speak to our hearts as we wonder, as we pray and as we share our fears and concerns about this New Jerusalem. Enable us to hear this story with love and hope. Amen.
RESOURCE: Richard DeHaan. Heaven: An Eternal Place of Hope, blessing and encouragement. Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Publishers 2014.ch.2