What Do We Know About the New Jerusalem?
Manfred E. Kober, Th.D.

The believer's hope is a celestial city Christ is preparing as the eternal home for His Bride, the Church.

1. The Disclosure of the City (John 14:1-6)

On the night before His crucifixion Christ revealed to His troubled disciples that He would depart, prepare a place for them in heaven (“the Father's house“) and
return to take His own to that place. This is the first biblical reference to the rapture. The place being prepared by the Savior is described in vivid detail in Revelation 21-22 as a glorious city.

2. The Desire for the City (Hebrews 11:10, 16)

Abraham, living about 2000 B.C., in faith “looked for a city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (v. 10). God built the city as well as designed it. It is not known when this revelation of a future heavenly home was given to the Patriarchs, but in faith, they longed to leave their temporary tents for the celestial city and their endless travels to enter the city of eternal rest. Their firm faith in God was rewarded by the God of Abraham “who is not ashamed to be called their friend for He has prepared for them a city” (v. 16).

3. The Description of the City (Revelation 21:1-22:5)

The final chapters of the Revelation provide a description of a city of extraordinary dimension and exquisite beauty, “having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal” (21:11).

The following description pictures the “holy city, the New Jerusalem” (21:1) as a gigantic jewel radiating the glory of God and a beautiful setting for God's grace to be manifest in those who have trusted in Him.

The city is laid out as a square. “The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal” (21:16). The dimensions, translated into modern terms, are about 1400 miles. It is perhaps best to understand the city as being in the shape of a pyramid, similar to the way Clarence Larkin has pictured it (see below).

4. The Descent of the City (Revelation 21:1-10; 3:12)

The city will descend from heaven after the millennium when John foresees “a new heaven and new earth” (v. 1). The stupendous truth is that God Himself “will dwell with them” (v. 3). The saints, rather than spending eternity with God in heaven, will enjoy the presence of their God eternally on the new earth. What a marvel of condescension!

5. The Designations for the City (Hebrews 12:22)

The writer to the Hebrews speaks of the city as “Mount Zion, and. . .the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem.” Paul speaks of it as the Jerusalem above (Gal. 4:26). The name Jerusalem is very suggestive of peace as well as the presence of God, of authority as well as adoration.

6. The Dwellers in the City (Hebrews 12:22-23)

The inhabitants of the city are listed as “an innumerable company of angels, the general assembly and church of the first born. . . and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect.” Jerusalem will be the home of the holy angels, church age saints, the triune God and the redeemed of all the ages. Dear reader, if you have trusted in Christ as your pesonal Savior, this is your eternal home!

7. The Delights of the New City (Revelation 22:1-5)

Our eternal home will be a place of paradisiacal perfection, free of the curse (v. 3) and all darkness (v. 5). We will enjoy the tree of life and river of life. Our rewarding spiritual activity is summarized by service for our Savior (v. 3) and ruling with Him. The grateful believer concurs with Dr. Ryrie's fitting remarks, “This is complete exaltation and perfect exultation.” (Revelation, 1996, p. 67).

© Manfred E Kober
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