Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | May 12, 2023

God’s Seventh Intervention, the New Heaven and the New Earth

Describing the Indescribable

Just imagine you are visiting a small, isolated village where the people still lived in mud huts and knew absolutely nothing about modern technology. You were going to try and describe a major modern city to someone who had never traveled more the 25 miles from their mud and stick home. Where do you start, how do you start, this individual has no words in their vocabulary that could communicate the thoughts and ideas you would be trying to explain.

I suspect the leap that would be required in that situation is minuscule by comparison with the challenge we face in moving from the world today to eternity in the new heaven and the new earth.

It should not be surprising so little information is given in the Bible about life in eternity. The Bible does provide some glimpses into what we can expect. Much of that is found in the Book of Revelation chapters 21 and 22.

The New Heaven and the New Earth

In Revelation 21:1-5 it is written:

21 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, 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 heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”

God, in his infinite power, is capable of doing anything that pleases him! I have noted, in the Bible, that God has a respect for his creation which has been repeatedly demonstrated by his efforts to redeem his fallen creation; even to the point of sending his son to die on the cross that fallen man might be redeemed.

In Romans 8:18-22 it is written:

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.”

Those verses say to me that creation will be subjected to the refiners fire that will purge the bondage of corruption and deliver it into the glorious liberty of the children of God. I’m of the opinion that the verses in 2 Peter 3:10-13 refer to a refiners fire which will purify God’s creation and deliver it from the bondage of corruption.

I am deeply touched by the loving concern expressed for God’s creation in Romans 8:19-22! Mankind is purified by the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s creation is purified by the refiners fire! Those are my feelings on the matter.

The New Jerusalem

In Revelation 21:9-27, we have a description of the New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven: (New Living Translation NLT)

Then one of the seven angels who held the seven bowls containing the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come with me! I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”

10 So he took me in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and he showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. 11 It shone with the glory of God and sparkled like a precious stone—like jasper as clear as crystal. 12 The city wall was broad and high, with twelve gates guarded by twelve angels. And the names of the twelve tribes of Israel were written on the gates. 13 There were three gates on each side—east, north, south, and west. 14 The wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were written the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

15 The angel who talked to me held in his hand a gold measuring stick to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. 16 When he measured it, he found it was a square, as wide as it was long. In fact, its length and width and height were each 1,400 miles. 17 Then he measured the walls and found them to be 216 feet thick (according to the human standard used by the angel).

18 The wall was made of jasper, and the city was pure gold, as clear as glass. 19 The wall of the city was built on foundation stones inlaid with twelve precious stones: the first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst.

21 The twelve gates were made of pearls—each gate from a single pearl! And the main street was pure gold, as clear as glass.

22 I saw no temple in the city, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 And the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light. 24 The nations will walk in its light, and the kings of the world will enter the city in all their glory. 25 Its gates will never be closed at the end of day because there is no night there. 26 And all the nations will bring their glory and honor into the city. 27 Nothing evil will be allowed to enter, nor anyone who practices shameful idolatry and dishonesty—but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.”

All Christians, caught up when the church is removed from earth, are likely to have been occupying the New Jerusalem for over 1,007 years while the city was suspended in orbit over the earth. Christian’s resurrected bodies would have no problem commuting to earth as desired.

It was likely visible from earth as a massive structure floating far above. The Bible does not specify whether the New Jerusalem is in the shape of a cube, or a pyramid; my guess is it will be in the shape of a cube. One reason for that conclusion is the Holy of Holies was a perfect cube, 15 feet in every direction. Some translations say the length and width and height were each 1,500 miles; that dimension has more personal appeal to me; 15 feet for the Holy of Holies and 15 hundred miles for the New Jerusalem!

In Revelation 22:1-6 more is revealed:

22 Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations.

No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him. And they will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads. And there will be no night there—no need for lamps or sun—for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever.

Then the angel said to me, “Everything you have heard and seen is trustworthy and true. The Lord God, who inspires his prophets, has sent his angel to tell his servants what will happen soon.”

The information provided in the Bible is overwhelming to my mind; I delight in meditating on it and the amazing wonders that await us.

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