Here is #10, part 3, of the Top 10 Things I Would Like to Say
Their importance is not necessarily rated, but their order has a flow to it. They move from initial contact to ultimate destiny.
- Absolute truth is based upon empirical, changeless evidence. When followed to its logical conclusion, it must stand the closest scrutiny.
- Debating Evolution vs. Creation does no one any good unless a person is willing to consider that the other person may be right.
- Faith comes by hearing; are you ready to listen?
- Why I believe in Jesus.
- We are designed to create, but not by ourselves. The Spirit wants to create with us!
- Every decision we make shifts our direction, vision, and course. How much depends upon the decision, and how long depends upon our own stubbornness.
- Jesus is Jewish.
- We owe quite a debt to Israel.
- Jesus is coming soon! How do we get ready?
- What awaits us in heaven?
18 With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity.
35 For those who find me find life and receive favor from the LORD.
What awaits us in heaven? Part 3
The New Jerusalem-a real city.
We begin with Jesus’ promise that He was going to prepare a place for us. Here is His description:
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. 2 There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.” John 14:1-3
Notice how literal Jesus is, “If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?” What will this place look like? We get a pretty good picture of it from, again, John in Revelation 21:2 and 9-22:5. Now, we are the Church, the Bride of Christ. When paired with what Jesus told His disciples in the upper room, we have the dwelling place of Christ’s Bride, which is the Church–us! I don’t think we need to get any more symbolic than what the text says: The Bride of Christ is where the Bride lives. He is building us a mansion that is beyond comprehension! We will all dwell together in the New Jerusalem with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In fact, we will behold Jesus in all His glory as it was before He left heaven on His mission of grace (see John 17:24).
Here are some dimensions of that city as described in Randy Alcorn’s book, “Heaven,” pages 250-251:
The city’s exact dimensions are measured by an angel and reported to be 12,000 stadia, the equivalent of 1,400 miles or 2,200 kilometers, in length, width, and height (Revelation 21:15-16). Even though these proportions may have symbolic importance, this doesn’t mean they can’t be literal. In fact, Scripture emphasizes that the dimensions are given in “man’s measurement” (Revelation 21:17). If the city really has these dimensions (and there’s no reason it couldn’t), what more could we expect God to say to convince us?
A metropolis of this size in the middle of the United States would stretch from Canada to Mexico and from the Appalachian Mountains to the California border. The New jerusalem is all the square footage anyone could ask for.
Even more astounding is the city’s 1,400-mile height. Some people suggest this is the reach of the city’s tallest towers and spires, rising above buildings of lesser height. If so, they argue that it’s more like a pyramid than a cube.
We don’t need to worry that Heaven will be crowded. The ground level of the city will be nearly two million square miles. This is forty times bigger than England and fifteen thousand times bigger than London. It’s ten times as big as France or Germany and far larger than India. But remember, that’s just the ground level.
Given the dimensions of a 1,400-mile cube, if the city consisted of different levels (we don’t know this), and if each story were a generous twelve feet high, the city could have over 600,000 stories. If they were on different levels, billions of people could occupy the New Jerusalem, with many square miles per person.
If these numbers are figurative, not literal (and that is certainly possible), surely they are still meant to convey that the home of God’s people will be extremely large and roomy.
The cube shape of the New Jerusalem reminds us of the cube shape of the Most Holy Place in the Temple (1 Kings 6:20), the three dimensions perhaps suggestive of the three persons of the Trinity. God will live in the city, and it is His presence that will be its greatest feature [emphasis added].
The graphic description of the walls, the gates, and the streets are reminiscent of Ezekiel’s vision in Ezekiel 1 where he describes the mobile throne of God. No one doubts that Ezekiel’s vision was exactly what he saw. I see no reason to believe John’s vision was anything else but what he saw, which was a literal building.
To me, the key is Jesus’ promise to come get us and take us to be with Him. Whether the New Jerusalem is literal or figurative, whatever Jesus has for us is beyond our wildest dreams! I have THAT in writing, “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him–” 1 Corinthians 2:9.
Abba, the description itself makes me want to go be with You. And to think that what You actually have in store for us is beyond comprehension blows my mind! I know I spend a lot of time thinking about heaven, but Lord, people need hope here in this world, and having a grasp on what heaven is like gives us hope. Please continue to reveal heaven to us even as You use us in Your plan here on this earth. We are Yours. Forever. Amen.