This is it – the vision and reality that is coming, and that we long for – God’s creation in order, the way He designed it to be. There is no more crying (over the pain we cause), no more pain (that we inflict on each other), no more death (the result of our actions) – the old way is gone – we are changed from the inside out. No one is forced into this magnificent city – a city so marvelous that words can’t describe it (“clear gold”?). The city is described as 1400 miles long – and high! This is to show that we live together – in community.
And the foundation of the city is the apostles – lives given in love to the Lord, chosen by Him, making a difference for Him. Our lives matter, my life can count eternally – in Him. Nothing is worth more than Jesus – this world and its ways are passing away. As we are changed from glory to glory, God is preparing our hearts for eternity – lives that live in this world and make a difference, like the apostles. Like the apostles, we don’t have to pretend or try to be perfect – we only need to follow the One who makes all things new, who wipes every tear from our eyes, and who changes us and fills us with love so that we work for peace.
This is it – the vision and hope that changes us – even now.
|<< Revelation 21 >>
New Living Translation
The New Jerusalem
1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. 2And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
3I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them.a 4He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”
5And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” 6And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. 7All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children.
8“But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars—their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
9Then one of the seven angels who held the seven bowls containing the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come with me! I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”
10So he took me in the Spiritb to a great, high mountain, and he showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. 11It shone with the glory of God and sparkled like a precious stone—like jasper as clear as crystal. 12The city wall was broad and high, with twelve gates guarded by twelve angels. And the names of the twelve tribes of Israel were written on the gates. 13There were three gates on each side—east, north, south, and west. 14The wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were written the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
15The angel who talked to me held in his hand a gold measuring stick to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. 16When he measured it, he found it was a square, as wide as it was long. In fact, its length and width and height were each 1,400 miles.c 17Then he measured the walls and found them to be 216 feet thickd (according to the human standard used by the angel).
18The wall was made of jasper, and the city was pure gold, as clear as glass. 19The wall of the city was built on foundation stones inlaid with twelve precious stones:e the first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, 20the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst.
21The twelve gates were made of pearls—each gate from a single pearl! And the main street was pure gold, as clear as glass.
22I saw no temple in the city, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23And the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light. 24The nations will walk in its light, and the kings of the world will enter the city in all their glory. 25Its gates will never be closed at the end of day because there is no night there. 26And all the nations will bring their glory and honor into the city. 27Nothing evilf will be allowed to enter, nor anyone who practices shameful idolatry and dishonesty—but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
a 21:3 Some manuscripts read God himself will be with them, their God.
b 21:10 Or in spirit.
c 21:16 Greek 12,000 stadia [2,220 kilometers].
d 21:17 Greek 144 cubits [65 meters].
e 21:19 The identification of some of these gemstones is uncertain.
f 21:27 Or ceremonially unclean.