What happens after the second coming?
John the Revelation gives us one picture.
He says, I saw the Holy City, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 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. ‘ 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. And he that sat upon the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new. ‘ What a beautiful place to live. John provides a series of details about the new Jerusalem that might not seem meaningful to us today, but would have been especially impressive to his first century listeners. Remember that Revelation was originally written to a first century audience. At that time, small towns like Capernaum or Nazareth did not have walls around them. They were too costly to build. In contrast, the greatest cities of the world had massive city walls.
Ephesis, one of the cities to whom Revelation is directed, had walls around the city that were 5.5 miles in length. The mighty city of Rome had walls that were seven miles in length and as high as 33 feet in some places. Pretty impressive. But John tells us that the walls around the New Jerusalem are 6,000 miles in perimeter and 1,500 miles in height. In other words, they completely dwarf anything that the people at that time could have imagined. Another interesting note about these walls. When Ezekiel had a vision of Jerusalem in the end times, he described a city with walls about 1.5 miles on each side. What John sees is nearly 1,000 times bigger than what Ezekiel foretold, perhaps symbolically indicating that God will not only fulfill his promises, he will more than do so. Small villages had dirt roads. Rome brought stone roads, but in the New Jerusalem, the street of the city was pure gold. Small villages had no running water. Rome brought water into the cities via aqueducts. But in the New Jerusalem, there’s no need for aqueducts because a fountain of living water flows freely. Roman cities and even Jerusalem before it was destroyed would have one or more temples as a dwelling place for a deity.
But speaking of the New Jerusalem, John says, I saw no temple therein, for the Lord, God Almighty, and the Lamb are the temple of it. In other words, the temple had been the place for God and the people to meet. But in the New Jerusalem, the temple is not needed because Jesus Christ lives there among his people. This city sounds incredible. What would it take to enter? Will there be a security checkpoint? Do I need to bring my passport? No passport is required. But although the gate is wide open, not everyone can enter. John tells us, The gates of the New Jerusalem shall not be shut, and there shall no eyes enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination or maketh a lie, but they which are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. The gates aren’t closed to keep people out. They’re wide open, inviting followers of Christ to enter. We read that those who do Christ’s commandments have rights to the tree of life and may enter in through the gates into the city. You and I know that the Book of Revelation was not the last book of the Bible to be written, but for a moment, let’s consider the Bible as we have it.
The second chapter of the Bible speaks of the tree of life, and because of the fall, Adam and Eve could not partake of it. But here in the Bible’s final chapter, we learned that in the midst of the street of the New Jerusalem was the tree of life, which bear 12 manner of fruits and yielded her fruit every month and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. The thing that was once forbidden and inaccessible to humans is now completely available, and it’s available through Jesus Christ. This shows how the consequences of the fall are reversed through our redeemer. Humans once blocked from the tree of life can now return and partake of its fruit. The new Jerusalem is going to be a beautiful place, and you and I can live there one day because of Jesus Christ. To see more videos like this one, simply search seeking Jesus.