And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:
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On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.
And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal. And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.
And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.
And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. 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 thereof.
And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.
And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.
Throughout the history of the world, great cities have risen and fallen. You have heard of the greatness of Babylon and Jerusalem. You have heard of the greatness of Rome and Alexandria. You have heard of the greatness of Athens and Constantinople. These cities and many others were well-known for their educational advancements, their architectural techniques, their cultural diversity, their religious devotion, and their military prowess.
However, none of these cities were known for the one thing that the world has longed for -- peace. Jerusalem was sacked by Babylon and then later by Rome. Babylon was overrun by the Medes and the Persians. Athens underwent repeated wars with other Greek city-states. Very little of the ancient glory of Alexandria remains because the city suffered from constant wars. Constantinople was crushed by the Ottoman invaders. And Rome, perhaps the greatest city of the ancient world, was ravaged by bands of barbarians from the north.
None of these great cities were able to provide permanent peace for their citizens or the world. Even today, our world longs for peace. Just a few weeks ago Israel and Gaza were at war and today, despite a ceasefire, there is still open hostility. There is no peace. In Syria, rebels are fighting their own government to gain democratic rights. There is no peace. Egypt remains in turmoil and there is no peace in the great city of Cairo today either.
It seems as though the one thing the world has strived for the most it simply cannot obtain.
However, our passage for today tells us about a future city that will provide that peace that the world has longed for. It is called the new Jerusalem and it will be the capital city of the new creation that God will bring about at the end of time.
The passage we just read describes the beauty of the New Jerusalem. This New Jerusalem comes about after God has defeated the evil forces that rebel against Him during the end times. Jamieson, Fawcett and Brown state in their commentary that this passage "describes the eternal and consummated kingdom of God and the saints on the new earth." The name 'Jerusalem' actually means 'City of Peace'. It will be the eternal home of all those who remain faithful to God and His Son Jesus Christ.
Allow me to briefly share with you three reasons why the New Jerusalem will indeed be a "city of peace" and how you can have a place in this city.
1. First of all, the New Jerusalem is the "City of Peace" because God Almighty and the Lord Jesus Christ will dwell there. Verse 11 of our passage states that this city will have "the glory of God." Theologian and professor Ed Hindson says that "The most dominant characteristic of the New Jerusalem is the presence of the glory of God...The 'glory' shows God's presence with His people. The fact that He is there is far more significant than the dazzling description of the city itself."
God Himself preserves the peace for those who dwell in His city. Because He is almighty and all-powerful, He will be able to preserve the peace in a way that no one else will.
The peace of the New Jerusalem will be so complete that the city will face no threat from outside forces. Revelation 21:25 tells us that the gates of the city will never be closed. And Tim LaHaye tells us that the twelve angels stationed at the twelve gates "are not stationed there to serve as guards, but as greeters who welcome the righteous into the city."
In the ancient world, a city would close its gates at night to protect itself from raiders and those who would seek to infiltrate and overthrow the kingdom. When an enemy army approached a city, the city would close its gates to withstand the threat that it faced. But the New Jerusalem will never face any threats to its eternal peace and security because the almighty, all-powerful God will dwell there.
2. Secondly, the New Jerusalem is a "City of Peace" because the devil and his followers will not be there. Verse 27 of our passage reads: "And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life."
Those who have their names written in the Book of Life are those who have had their sins washed away in the blood of Jesus Christ.
In every community of the world, there is a lack of peace. Our cities are places of crime, violence and unrest. That is why we have all kinds of security systems put on our houses and on our cars to protect our belongings. But in the New Jerusalem, all of that will be unnecessary.
The British poet Matthew Arnold said, "Try all the ways to peace and welfare you can think of, and you will find that there is no way that brings you to it except the way of Jesus. But this way does bring it to you."
All of those who live in the New Jerusalem will be without a sin nature -- that sin nature that causes people to do bad things and to harm others. We will be able to live in the New Jerusalem without worrying or fretting about crime and violence. We will be at peace.
3. Thirdly, the New Jerusalem is a "City of Peace" because the effects of sin are forever gone. Revelation 22:3 says, "there shall be no more curse." What curse are we talking about here? Well, it is the curse that is found all the way back in the book of Genesis.
It is the curse that followed from Adam and Eve disobeying God. It is the curse that hurts our relationship with each other, the world around us, and with God Himself. It is the curse that caused man to go from a state of happiness and fulfillment to conflict and despair. It is the curse which causes our current earth to decay, crumble and fall apart. It is the curse which causes there to be no peace in the world.
John tells us that in the New Jerusalem, the City of Peace, everything will be as it was intended to be in the beginning. All of our broken relationships will be restored. We will be happy and fulfilled. The world will no longer decay and fall apart.
Unlike in Israel and Palestine today, the descendants of Abraham will be able to get along together. Unlike in Syria, innocent children will not have to cower in basements as bombs are dropped on their houses. Unlike in Egypt, every man and woman will be treated with dignity and respect.
In short, everything and everybody will be at peace.
My friend, the Bible informs us that there is coming a City of Peace for those that have their names written in the Book of Life. The question for you today is: is your destiny in the City of Peace secure? Is your name written in the Book of Life?
If it is not already, your name can be written there if you will surrender your life and heart to God and accept the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ sacrificed Himself on the cross to pay the debt that you and I owe for our sins. Because of His sacrifice, your eternal destiny can be changed from a place of endless torture to a place of eternal peace.
If you want to have a place in the "City of Peace", allow me to show you how you can accept Jesus Christ as your Saviour today.
First of all, you must understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God's laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." Please understand that because of your sins, you deserve eternal punishment in hell. Romans 6:23 says "the wages of sin is death..." This is both physical death in the grave and eternal spiritual death in the lake of fire.
How can you be saved from this death? Romans 10:9,13 says: "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved...For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God and congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your new found faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read "What To Do After You Enter Through the Door". Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, "I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture."
God loves you! We love you! And may God bless you!
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in twenty-three foreign countries. He is the author of sixteen books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts, The Prayer Motivator Devotional and the Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel's Report and the Second Coming Watch Update. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor's degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, and a Master's degree in Religion from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for twenty-five years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com. Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3.