Jerusalem-City of God?
By Rev Tan Eng Boo
I took the above photo in October 2018 while I was seated on the Mount of Olives, and had the privilege to witness a rainbow over Jerusalem, Israel.
From where I sat, I could see the prominent golden Dome of the Rock (built in 691-692 AD) which is recognised as the site of Mount Moriah where Abraham was told to sacrifice his son Isaac (Genesis 22), and on which sits Solomon’s Temple. On the left side of the Dome is the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
This vast location is called the Temple Mount today by Israel. It is a vast area under the Palestinian Authority. This place has been and is always the flash point of trouble between the Jews and the Palestinians. But Jerusalem is not only confined to the Temple Mount area. It comprises the complete walled city, which includes the Temple Mount.
I am always excited to be in this city when I am in Israel because it reminds me of the biblical account that concerns the future of all believers in Jesus Christ. Do you know that the book of Revelation mentions that the new Jerusalem is the city of God? The apostle John says:
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. (Revelation 21:1-3)
Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. (Revelation 21:9-11)
Wow, what a revelation from God! This is the future home of all who believe in Jesus Christ. After God makes a new heaven and new earth, then the city of the new Jerusalem will come down from heaven. It is the place where believers will forever live with God.
In this city there will be no Temple. And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb (Revelation 21:22). God and the Lamb (Jesus Christ) will be there. He will dwell with His people. The apostle John was able to catch a glimpse of it in this vision and he was told, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (Revelation 21:5). The author to the book of Hebrews also gives an insight into this city. But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering (Hebrews 12:22). This is a real place. This is eternity with the Lord.
It is always good to read Revelation 21 when seated on the Mount of Olives, facing Jerusalem. Oh, what glorious hope we have as sons of God (John 1:12), who will get to live in the City of God one day. I look forward to it. May that be your desire, too.
The Bible also mentions that those whose names are not in the Book of life will not be in this city. Nothing evil 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 (Revelation 21:27 NLT). If anyone was not found written in the book of life, he was cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15). This is a holy city. It will be a pure world. But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells (2 Peter 3:13).
May we all desire to be citizens of this city. The Bible reminds us that we are all sinners and that the wages (penalty) of sin is death (Romans 3:23). This is an eternal separation from God. But if you believe that Jesus, the Son of God, died and rose again, and you’ve asked God to save you by His grace, then you can be a citizen of the New Jerusalem. If you have not yet trusted in Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, then I urge you to –
Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved (Acts 16:31).
In the New Jerusalem
(An old favourite of the B-P Church)
Lyrics: Rev Dr Timothy Tow
We’re a pilgrim band now headed for the glory land of light.
We are travelling through the wilderness of night.
We’ve a home that’s far away beyond the heaven and the stars.
In the New Jerusalem.
In that land of glory where the saints are gathered round the Throne.
Not a sigh or tear, no sorrow nor a groan.
But an everlasting song of victory flows from every tongue.
In the New Jerusalem.
We are heading nearer nearer for the land that’s now in sight.
Will you join us to the City fair and bright?
Is your name forever written in the Lamb’s book of Life?
In the New Jerusalem.
Hal-le-lu-jah ! fills the heaven
For the saints have all come home
To Je-ru-sa-lem ! To Je-ru-sa-lem !
Joy-fully they shout Ho-sanna ! Come and crown Him King of Kings !
In the New…….Je-ru-sa-lem !