“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” Revelation 21:1, 2.
Now John is shown the most glorious sight ever seen by human eye; the Holy City, New Jerusalem, which will one day be your home if you choose to be faithful to Jesus. When you think about heaven, think about how wonderful it will be to live there.
It says in Hebrews 11:10 that Abraham looked for a city, whose Builder and Maker is God. There are some very nice cities on earth. Some have been carefully planned and laid out well, and they are a pleasure to visit or live in, but most cities of earth are large, crowded, dirty, and full of wickedness. In fact the evil in cities is growing so much that no Christian, who can possibly live away from the cities, should be in them today. But a city that God builds would be a wonderful place.
“And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” Revelation 21:3.
The most exciting thing about Heaven is that Jesus is there with us forever. When you were a child, you remember that the happiest times for you would be when your Mom or Dad would come and play with you and spend time with you. You might have had lots of toys and things to do, but nothing was as much fun as when Mom or Dad did it with you.
It will be like that in Heaven; everything will be so much more wonderful and fun because Jesus will be with us doing things with us. He will answer all our questions and teach us wonderful things that we can’t even imagine now.
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” Revelation 21:4
Satan, his evil angels, sin and sinners will then be forever gone. After the wicked are all destroyed, along with the devil and his nasty angels, all suffering and pain, death and fear will be gone from the whole universe. And it will never come back any more. Rebellion and death will never again raise its ugly head in God’s universe.
“And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” Revelation 21:5-7.
The Holy City will come down to earth, and after the fires that purify the earth, Jesus, our Creator, will create it all new for us. We will be able to watch it happen. And then what a celebration of joy and peace will come on that first Sabbath in the New Earth. What music! What beauty! What wonderful friends we will have.
There will be animals and birds to enjoy, and the redeemed will be able to run and never get tired, and also to fly. They will be able to travel through space and see things we can’t even imagine. They will travel with Jesus and the angels and meet people on other planets, who have been watching the sad history of this sin-sick world, and are so happy to see people redeemed from it. They will all be our friends. Do you know that the people in other planets will want to hear about how Jesus saved you? Yes; this will be the wonderful story we will tell over and over again.
“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” Revelation 21:8.
This is a big part of the reason that the New Earth will be so happy; all ugliness and cruelty and those who loved doing such things, will be forever gone.
“And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;” Revelation 21:9-11.
The angels will delight in showing the beauties of God’s kingdom to the redeemed from this world.
“And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal. And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel. Revelation 21:12-17
This is the ‘City Four-Square’. Our minds cannot grasp the breathtaking glory of the scene, but it does us good to think on it often.
“In the Land of Fadeless Day,
Lies the City Four-square,
It shall never pass away,
And there is no night there.
God shall wipe away all tears,
There’s no pain, nor Death, nor fears,
And they count not time by years—
For there is no night there.”
“And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.” Revelation 21:18-21.
When you figure out the colors of the precious stones mentioned here, you see that together they will form an intricate rainbow pattern; the city will appear to float on a rainbow of color.
“And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.” Revelation 21:22-26.
Did you know that everything that is truly good and wonderful on this earth will be found in heaven? Yes, indeed. All the wonderful heroes of the faith will be there, and all the kind and noble people who ever lived, will be there. Everything that is right and good to do, will also be done in heaven.
There are so many funny ideas about what heaven is like, that some children have thought they would not want to go to such a place. They have been told that all you do is sit around on a cloud and play a harp all day. Or some have thought that everybody just sits around on hard chairs and looks very solemn, and you have to be quiet.
But this is not true at all; heaven will be the happiest place that you can ever imagine. But there would be people who would not want to go to heaven, because the only things that they like to do are sad, bad things and things that are harmful and wicked. Unless they allow Jesus to give them a new heart, that loves the kind of things God loves, they would not be happy in heaven. That is why they will not be there.
“And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” Revelation 21:27.
If a person wants to smoke dirty cigarettes, or drink harmful alcohol, or take drugs that hurt his body and brain; or if he wants to do things that hurt or destroy other people or animals, they can never be allowed in heaven. They would be miserable there, and they would also ruin the place. The New Jerusalem will never have dirty words or obscene jokes written on its walls.
Some people, if they were there, the first thing they would try to do is make rules to spoil everyone’s happiness; and then they would make a plan to keep all the gold and jewels for themselves and not share with others. First thing you know they would make people have to pay to have fruit from the Tree of Life, and guards would be placed around the River of Life, and only certain people could go there.
This will not ever happen; heaven is a place of joy and freedom such as us poor creatures down here cannot even imagine. Never again will fear or oppression raise its ugly head. As the years of eternity roll, we will have more and more joy and happiness, and as we learn more and more about our kind Heavenly Father and our Saviour, we will have more and more love in our hearts. ‘Tis love that makes us happy’. All who will be part of that eternal kingdom will have characters like Jesus’ own lovely character.
Even our very best times here on earth, are always shadowed by the threat that ‘something could happen’. Happy times often turn into disaster. Here we never know when tragedy could strike, tearing a loved one from our family, or bringing suffering, want or loss. These fears will never more trouble us in that City so bright, where the Lamb is the Light.