When we talk about HEAVEN, what we're really talking about most of the time is a gigantic, amazing Heavenly City called "New Jerusalem", now in outer space.--Galatians 4:26. One day this Celestial City is going to come down to Earth, and God will live with us and we with Him.--Revelation 21:2,3.
Things that are more wonderful than anything you ever dreamed of or imagined are already there in our amazing Heavenly Home, the great Space City whose Builder and Maker is God!--Hebrews 11:10,16; 1Corinthians 2:9. Our departed loved ones, as well as the Christians of all ages past, are ALREADY there enjoying its pleasures of Paradise.
The very last chapters of the very last book of the Bible, Revelation Chapters 21 and 22, give us the clearest and best picture in the whole Bible of just what the Heavenly City--or "Heaven" as we call it for short--is like. These chapters are the Apostle John's story of what he saw when the Lord took him there on a spirit trip. So we are now going to look at some of the wonders in these chapters.
"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."--Revelation 21:1. The Earth, as we know, is a great round globe clothed with a covering called its surface, which is surrounded by air and clouds and the sky, which the Bible calls "the heavens". The Bible uses this word "heaven" or "heavens" to talk about quite a few different places!--There's the "heavens" of the sky and the air and the clouds, and there's also the "heavens" of space where the stars, planets, sun and moon are. But the main "Heaven" that we're talking about here is the HEAVENLY CITY, which will come down from space through the sky and land on the Earth!
But before it can do that, God is going to have to clean up and remake the Earth and the sky! So at the end of the 1,000-year rule and reign of Jesus and His children on the Earth during the Millennium*, God is going to completely burn up the surface of the Earth and the "heavens" of the air and sky and He is going to recreate a beautiful NEW Earth with a new heaven! (*To better understand the Millennium and what it will be like, please see our article, "The Millennium!") This new Earth will be just like the Garden of Eden was, the Paradise of God! Everything will be just beautiful and there will be no more evil or fighting; all will be peace and beauty! There will be no more rough, steep mountains--just beautiful, smooth, rolling hills and valleys! There will be no more dry and empty deserts, just beautiful green forests, fields and farms! And there will be no more sea covering twothirds of the Earth's surface!--But in that day the Earth will be ALL LAND with lots of pretty rivers, streams and lakes! So there will be plenty of room on the New Earth for BILLIONS of people to live and enjoy this beautiful place!
This New Earth will also be under a new heaven, which will mean lovely, fresh, clean air, with no stinking pollution, no poisonous gases, fumes or smoke. And then, when the Earth and its atmosphere have been cleansed and recreated, the great Heavenly City will come down through this new clean and pure sky, or "new heaven", to land on the "New Earth"!
"And I John saw the HOLY CITY, New Jerusalem, coming DOWN from God out of the sky. And I heard a great voice from God's Throne saying, Behold, the Tabernacle (dwelling) 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 21:2,3.
Now in this present time, when Christians die, they go to the Heavenly City to be with the Lord. But in THAT day, you're not going to go up into the sky to live with God, God is going to come to Earth to live with you! It will be like God taking over the World by invading it from Outer Space! The space stations and space cities that scientists invent or that science fiction writers write books and make movies about aren't anywhere nearly as big and wonderful as this one! Ours is 1,500 MILES LONG, 1,500 MILES WIDE and 1,500 MILES HIGH!--1,500 MILES!--2,400 KILOMETERS!--The greatest space ship ever made!
"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. Just think!--No more pain nor sickness, no more crying and no more sadness!--Only wonderful happiness, joy and Heaven on Earth forever and ever!
"And He that sat upon the Throne said, `Behold, I make all things new. He that overcometh shall inherit ALL things; and I will be his God, and he shall be My son.'"-Revelation 21:5-7. In this wonderful Heavenly City, all of you who love Jesus and have faith in Him will be given "all things", everything and anything good that you ever wanted!
But before we go into more detail about what the Heavenly City--or "Heaven" as we call it for short--will be like, it would be good to tell you what YOU will be like when you live there! When Jesus returns to save His children from the evil Antichrist and his wicked people, all of God's saved children will receive new RESURRECTION BODIES and we'll all fly up into the sky to meet Jesus and go to a great Heavenly Party called "The Marriage Supper of the Lamb".-1Corinthians 15:52; 1Thessalonians 4:16-17; Revelation 19:1,6-9. There we will receive our REWARDS from the Lord if we have been faithful servants, and then we'll return to Earth to rule and reign with Jesus for 1,000 years. (See our Millennium article.)
Our new resurrection bodies will have amazing SUPER POWERS just like Jesus' had when He was resurrected! We will be able to fly and disappear and walk through locked doors and solid walls just like Jesus did (Luke 24:30,31,51; John 20:19), and our new bodies will be much more powerful and glorious than the Earthly bodies we have now!--1Corinthians 15:42-44. But in some ways they will also be very much the same.
When Jesus came back from the dead, He still looked like Himself, He still felt like Himself, He could still eat and drink and even COOK!--John 21:4,9. When His disciples first saw Him after He arose from the dead, they were frightened because they thought that He was a ghost! But He said, "Don't be afraid!--It's Me!" Then He told them, "Touch Me! Feel Me! See that it is I! A ghost does not have flesh and bones like I have!"--Luke 24:39-43. Then He sat down and ATE with them! So our new, wonderful, glorified, Heavenly bodies are going to be able to enjoy all the pleasurable and enjoyable things that our bodies enjoy HERE and NOW! (Revelation 2:7,17)--Like beautiful friends, beautiful music and beautiful love and loving! God didn't create all these wonderful things just to throw them all away! In Heaven we're going to have all this and even MORE! All the things you love and enjoy and have lots of fun doing here on Earth, you're going to have in Heaven FOREVER!
Another wonderful thing about Heaven is that we will be with all of our loved ones that we are separated from today! It will be the greatest Family Get-Together ever known, with all of your brothers and sisters and friends and parents and grandparents and people you love but have been apart from or who have gone on to Heaven already! And the ones who were old and wrinkled here will look young and beautiful again there! Think of it!--They're already there enjoying all the pleasures of Heaven right NOW!
Now, back to the Apostle John's description of the Heavenly City in Revelation 21: "And there came unto me one of the Angels and he shewed me that Great City, the Holy Jerusalem, coming down from God, having the glory of God, and her light was like a very precious stone, even like a diamond, CLEAR as CRYSTAL. And it had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve Angels. And the wall of the City had twelve foundations"--or twelve levels.--Revelation 21:9-14.
"And the Angel that talked with me measured the City, and the gates and the wall. The base of the City is perfectly square, and it is as long as it is wide: The Angel measured the City and it was 1,500 miles long, 1,500 miles wide and 1,500 miles high!"--Revelation 21:16. That is a VERY big City!--1,500 MILES, or 2,400 KILOMETERS, in each direction!
Can you even IMAGINE a city that size?--It's almost BEYOND your imagination! The base of it would cover an area as large as half of the United States or all of Europe or half of Africa! And can you imagine it being 1,500 miles, or 2,400 kilometers, high? Jumbo jets usually fly around five or six miles high at the most, and even most space satellites hardly ever go higher than around 150 to 600 miles above the Earth.-But God's Heavenly City is going to be 1,500 MILES HIGH!
His great Space City is coming down to Earth, but it won't even be able to get all the way out of space! Most of it will still be extending up into Outer Space! What a VIEW we will have from its summit!--The tallest skyscraper in the Universe! And it's our Heavenly Home with plenty of room for all the millions and billions of God's children who have ever lived! Hallelujah!
And guess what SHAPE this Heavenly City is?--A PYRAMID! The Bible calls it "the MOUNTAIN of the Lord's House" and "Mount Zion, the Heavenly Jerusalem" (Isaiah 2:2; Daniel 2:35b; Ezekiel 28:14b; Revelation 14:1; 21:2), so it must be mountain-shaped! This is probably what the ancient Egyptians were trying to copy or imitate with their pyramids.
As one saintly man of God said, who, like the Apostle John of old, was carried up in spirit to view and visit this marvellous City, "I don't know exactly what part of that Great City I was in when I visited there, but it looked almost like a great big World's Fair with big beautiful buildings, lovely parks and all kinds of wonderful things! The buildings that I saw the inside of looked like some kind of science displays! So I wouldn't be surprised if the Lord has all kinds of wonderful shows and programs there to teach us the real sciences of God and the true History of the Universe!--To answer all of our questions and to teach us everything we always wanted to know!
"Just think!--We'll even be able to look back into the past--as recorded by the Lord--and watch things as they really happened!--Watch God create the Earth and the moon and the stars!--See how He made all of the different birds and fish and animals!--Watch Adam and Eve when they first met! We would all like to see what really happened, so God's probably got all these shows and demonstrations so we can see every event!-To teach us the wonderful secrets and mysteries of His great Creation!"
Jesus said, "In My Father's house are MANY MANSIONS. I go to prepare a PLACE for YOU, that where I am, there you may be also!"--John 14:2,3. Some scholars who have studied and translated the Bible have said that this word "mansion" in our Bible doesn't necessarily mean a great big house, but something more like many different houses in one, maybe even what we would call luxury apartments today!
Why would each of us need to have a great spacious house all to ourselves?--I'd probably be a little bit lonely, wouldn't you? I'd much rather have all my friends and brothers and sisters and loves and loved ones all living there WITH me! So even if the "mansions" Jesus has prepared for us are big houses, we can live there together in loving unity, reunited with all of our departed loved ones!
John says that the same Angel that measured the CITY also measured the surrounding outer WALL, and it was 144 cubits (216 FEET) high!--Revelation 21:17. Then he tells us that the twelve layers of this big wall are each made of different beautiful jewels and gems, of every colour of the rainbow!--Diamonds, rubies, quartz, etc!--Wow!--What a beautiful City!--Revelation 21:19-21.
"And the 12 gates were 12 pearls!"--Revelation 21:21. Each of the 12 gates of this big beautiful wall is one giant pearl! "And the street of the City was pure GOLD, like clear GOLDEN GLASS!"--Revelation 21:21. The gold of the City will be see-through glass like golden crystal, beautiful everlasting crystal gold! And it's not only the STREETS that are made of this pure crystal-clear gold, but it says that the WHOLE "CITY is pure gold, as clear as glass!"--Revelation 21:18. Think how beautiful that is! You'll be able to see right THROUGH those transparent golden walls of the City out onto the beautiful New Earth!
"And I saw NO TEMPLE in the City: for the Lord GOD Almighty and the LAMB are the Temple of it."--Revelation 21:22. This gigantic, amazing, wonderful City has no temples, no church buildings, no cathedrals, no synagogues, no mosques!--No so-called "houses of God" there!
"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 of it."--Revelation 21:23. It doesn't say there'll BE no moon or sun, but it says that in the CITY they won't NEED the moon or the sun, because it will have its OWN light, the beautiful Light of God and His Son, Jesus! But OUTSIDE the City, on the New Earth, there will still be seasons and day and night just like there are now.--Genesis 8:22.
"And the nations of them which are SAVED shall walk in the light of the City, and the kings of the Earth do bring their glory and honour into it."--Revelation 21:24. There will still be NATIONS and there will still be KINGS on the NEW EARTH, OUTSIDE the City. But He says that only those whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life, the saved, will be able to ENTER and ENJOY this wonderful Heavenly City.--Revelation 21:27b.
"And he shewed me a pure river of WATER OF LIFE, clear as crystal, coming out of the Throne of God and of the Lamb. And in the middle of the river and on either side of it there is the Tree of Life, which gives twelve kinds of fruits, and gives her fruit every month."--Revelation 22:1,2. Some places within this beautiful City are going to be like a beautiful park, and this magic River of Life is going to flow right through it!--Imagine swimming and taking boat rides down God's Magic River in Heaven!--Ezekiel 47:5.
"And the LEAVES of the Tree were for the HEALING of the NATIONS."--Revelation 22:2. IN the Heavenly City there's not going to be any more pain or sickness or death or sorrow or crying.--So why do the leaves of the trees have to be used for the healing of the nations?--Because those kings and nations OUTSIDE the City will not be "the saved" in the same way as we who already love Jesus now and will be living IN the City. They will still need some kind of healing.
Apparently the New Earth will have people living on it who were not bad enough to go to Hell, but who, even though they were pretty good, didn't get saved through Jesus, and so couldn't get into Heaven. But just the same, God's going to have mercy on them! He's going to send His children, you and me, out of those 12 pearly gates of that Holy City with the leaves of the Tree of Life to heal them!
We who love Jesus and will be living in that lovely City will gather these special leaves to take out for the healing and helping of the poor folks outside.--Much like we do now with the leaflets of God's Words, the posters and tracts that we take out to the people of the World today, to help them find Jesus and God's Love!--So we will still have a big JOB to do! Our work and service for the Lord will not be over, even in Heaven!--Revelation 22:3b.
And when that's all done and all the people are all totally restored and saved and happily loving the Lord and each other, who knows what ELSE God may have for us to do?--Maybe the Lord will want us to pioneer OTHER WORLDS! What's the whole UNIVERSE and all that huge amount of space FOR if He's only interested in THIS one little tiny Planet? So maybe there will be other Worlds that we will have to save and reach and teach and train and heal!
Are YOU ready for a wonderful, exciting future in Heaven? Is Jesus preparing a place in that great Space City for YOU? If you love Jesus and have Him in your heart, then you can know that Heaven is your HOME where you'll be happy forever with Jesus! If you love and receive and live for Him NOW, you can enjoy Him and Heaven FOREVER! Amen?--See you There!--HOME FOREVER!
My name is James Arendt. I was raised in the Hegewisch neighborhood on the southeast side of Chicago, Illinois, served in the USAF from 1970 to 1974, and became a full-time missionary for Christ living 40 years in Japan, 3.5 years in Russia, and a few months in other countries such as Finland, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, South Korea, Taiwan and mainland China where I also served the King of Kings, Jesus, as an Ambassador for His Kingdom.
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