Summary: Heaven is our future in the presence of God. & we can enjoy heaven today as God lives in our hearts
v. 9 and one of the seven angels came, the ones having the seven bowls full of seven last plagues, and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”
10. and he carried me away in Spirit to a big high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem descending out of heaven from God, 11. having the glory of God. It’s radiance was like a precious stone as a jasper stone, crystalline, 12. having a great high wall, having twelve gates, and upon the gates twelve angels, and names inscribed which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel. 13. on the east, three gates, on the North, three gates, on the South, three gates, and from the West, three gates. 14. and the wall of the city, having twelve foundations, and on them twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
15. and the one speaking with me had a gold measuring rod, so he could measure the city, and it’s gates, and its walls. 16. And the city sits tetragonal, and the length of it is the same as its width. And he measured the city with the rod, twelve thousand stadia (about 1220 km). The length and breadth and height of it are equal. 17. and he measured its wall, and hundred forty four cubits (about 200 feet), measure of a man, that is of an angel.
18. and the nature of the wall is of jasper, and the city, pure gold, like clean glass. 19. and the foundation of the city wall all adorned with precious stones, the first foundation, jasper, the second, sapphire, the third, chalcedon, the fourth, emerald, 20. the fifth, sardonyx, the sixth, sardius, the seventh, chrysolite, the eighth, beryl, the ninth, topaz, the tenth, chrysoprase, the eleventh, jacinth, the twelfth, amethyst, 21. and the twelve gates, twelve pearls, yep, each of the twelve gates was one pearl, and the street of the city clean gold, like transparent glass.22. and I saw no temple in it, for the Lord, the Almighty God, is its temple, and the Lamb.
23. And the city has no need of the sun, nor of the moon, that they should shine in it, for the glory of God enlightened it, and its Lamp is the Lamb.
24. And the nations (ethnicities) shall walk by its light, and the kings of the earth bring the glory and honor of their nations into it.
25. And its gates are not shut by day, and there will be no night there. :-)
26. And they will bring the glory and honor of the nations into it.
27. And there shall not enter into it anything dirty, and those practicing abomination and a lie, nor those not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
Where is Heaven?
Where is heaven for you?
I know people here in India who have decided their little corner of heaven is Kerala. That’s where they speak Malayalam, the language, they argue, we’ll all be speaking eventually. Keralites are not the only ones to make such a claim, but the state government has officially called Kerla “God’s Own Country” (a little fun reading https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God%27s_Own_Country) I’ve been to Kerala. Most of the year it’s really hot. The heat reminds me of another place. Others have had near-death experiences, or extraordinary dreams, and think they’ve been there (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GsoQRqnwV4 one example, there are many). If you’ve ever been in love, you know what it’s like to feel like anywhere your are, as long as you’re with your beloved, you’re in heaven. I may be biased. I’ve been in love. I think this last idea is what the Bible is talking about.
Beginning in a Garden. Ending in a City.
Genesis 1, 2 & 3 are now mirrored in Revelation 21 and 22. Adam (man) and Eve (mother) were made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) and placed in a beautiful garden to care for it (Genesis 2 & 3) and to commune with God. This was the first marriage, if you will, and what God put together, no one was to break apart. Adam and Even were one, united, and their relationship with God was unbroken. But something went wrong. The rest of the story-Adam and Eve feeing from God when they heard His voice, the first murder, the establishment of replacement worship systems for the worship of the True and Living God, a Flood, human government based, again, on rebellion against God, and God’s plan to redeem humanity from the tyranny of murder, death, rebellion, lies, and injustice, make up the rest of the Bible; at the center, the crux (the Latin word for Cross), of the story, is Jesus-the Redeemer, God Incarnate come to pay the price of our redemption, and at the end of the story, His reunion with His creation-us.