Who is the architect of and builder of this city? "Wherefore God... hath prepared... a city." [ HEB 11:16 ] The Bible decalres that God is building a great city for His people. And this city is a real and literal as any city you've ever known. Where is this amazing city that God is preparing? "And I John saw the holy city... coming down from God out of heaven." [ REV 21:2 ] "O Lord my God... hear thous in heaven thy dwelling place." [ 1 KIN 8:29, 30 ] The great city is being constructed is, at this moment, in far outer space in God's dwelling place which is called heaven. How do the scriptures describe this amazing city? (A) SIZE "The city lieth four square... and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs." [ REV 21:16 ] The city is perfectly square. It's circumference is 12,000 furlongs, or 1500 miles (a furlong is 1/8 mile). It is 375 miles long on each side. In size it would cover about a 1/4th of Ohio, the lower half of PA., all of W. VA., all but a smide of MD, all but a smidge of VA, and the upper half of N. Carolina. Remember Washington D.C., a big city, is 10 miles square. with a good chunk not used (given back to VA), call it 100 sq. miles, roughly. With a checkboard, 1 by 1 is 1 square unit. 2 by 2 is 4 square units. 3 by 3 is 9 square units. 4 by 4 is 16 square units. It goes up exponentially. We're talking 150 Washing D.C.s across, down, and filling in the middle... that's just the area it covers. (B) NAME The city is called :New Jerusalem" in Revelation 21:2 (C) WALLS "And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and fourty and four cubits." "And the building of the wall of it was jasper." [ REV 21:17, 18 ] A wall 144 cubits, (a cubit is 18 inches) making the wall 216 feet high, surrounds the city. The wall is made of solid jasper with radiance and beauty beyond description... nearly 20 stories high. (D) GATES "And had tweleve gates... on the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates." "And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was one of pearl." [ REV 12, 13, 21 ] The city has 12 gates, 3 on each side, each made of a single pearl. To be in proportion theses gates may be as much as a mile wide. (E) FOUNDATIONS "The city... had twelve foundations... garnished with all manner of precisious 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, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst." [ REV 21:14, 19, 20 ] The city has 12 full, complete foundations -- each on made of precious stone. Every color of the rainbox will be represented so that at a distance the city will no doubt appear to be resting on a rainbow. (F) STREETS "The street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass." [ REV 21:21 ] (G) APPEARANCE "The holy city... prepared as a bride adorned for her husband... Having the glory of Gos: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal." "The length and breadth and the height of it are equal [or in proportion]." [ REV 21:2,11,16 ] The city with all of its precious stones, gold and shimmering beauty will be lighted with the glory of God. In its breath taking majesty and purity it is compared to a bride "adorned for her husband." What phenomenal feature of this majestic city assures every citizen of eternal vigor and youth? "In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations." [ REV 22:1,2 ] "Take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever." [ GEN 3:22 ] The tree of life which bears twelve kinds of fruit (and is in the middle of the city [ REV 2:7 ]) brings unending life and youth to all who partake of it. Even it's leaves will contain marvelous sustaining qualities. This tree yields a new crop of fruit each month. Is it true that this amazing city will descend to this earth? "And I John saw the hoy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." [ REV 21:2 ] "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth." [ MATT 5:5 ] ( Please note it says 'meek, not 'weak'... just because the words rhyme does not mean one can be used in place of the other. ) "The righteous shall be recompensed in the earth." [ PROV 11:31 ] The majestic holy city will come down to be the capital of the earth made new and all the righteous will have a home in the city. What refresshing, thrilling promises does God make to the people who enter His new kingdom? (A) The Lord, in person, will live with them. [ REV 21:3 ] (B) They will never become bored. There will be pleasures for evermore. [ PSA 16:11 ] (C) Thre will be no more death, pain, tears, sorrow, sickness, hospitals, operations, tragedy, disappointment, trouble, hunger, or thirst. [ REV 21:4; ISA 33:24; REV 22:3; ISA 65:23; REV 7:16 ] (D) They will not get tired. [ ISA 40:31 ] (E) Every saved person will be physically whole in every way. The deaf will hear; the blind, see; the dumb, sing; and the lame will be able to run. [ ISA 35:5, 6; PHIL 3:21 ] (F) Jealously, fear, hatred, falsehood, envy, impurity, eynicism, filth, worry and all evil will be forever shut out of God's kingdom. [ REV 21:8, 27; 22: 15 ] People will no longer be burdened with the worries and the cares that drive them to distraction. There will be no more nervous breakdowns. Time will become eternity and the pressures and deadlines of earth will be gone forever. How will the new earth differ from our earth today? (A) The sea will be gone. [ REV 21:1 ] The oceans and seas cover three-fourths of the earth's surface today. This will not be the case in God's new kingdom. The whole world will be one vast garden of unsurpassed beauty, interspersed with lakes, rivers, and mountains. [ REV 22:1; ACTS 3:20, 21 ] (B) The deserts will become gardens. [ ISA 35:1, 2 ] (C) The animals will all be tame. None will prey upon the others and a little child will lead them. [ ISA 11:6-9; ISA 65:25 ] (D) There will be no more curse. [ REV 22:3 ] (E) There will be no more "violence" of any kind. [ ISA 60:18 ] This includes crime, storms, floods, earthquakes. tornadoes, injury, etc. (F) Nothing defiling will be found in the new earth. [ REV 21:27 ] No cigarette butts, tobacco juice, drunkards, taverns, alcoholic beverages, brothels, lewd pictures, nor any kind of filth or impurity of any kind. Will there be little children in God's kingdom? If so, will they grow up? "And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof." [ ZECH 8:5 ] "And ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall." [ MALACHI 4:2 ] Yes, there will be many boys and girls in the holy city, and these youngsters will grow up. For that matter, since people before the flood were giants [ GEN 6:4 ] most likely even adults will need to grow up. We have degenerated much from the stature, intellect and vitality of Adam, but all this will be restored. [ ACTS 3:20, 21 ] When reunited with loved ones in heaven, will the saved know each other? "Then shall I know even also I am known." [ 1 COR 13:12 ] The Bible clearly teaches that righteous loved ones who have died will be raised to join the righteous living in God's kingdom [ ISA 26:19; JER 31:15-17; 1 COR 15:51-55; 1 THESS 4:13-18]. And the scriptures also teach postively that people in God's new kingdom will nkow each other just as people know each other on earth today. Will people in heaven be real with flesh and bones? "And ... jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and saith .. peace be unto you. But they were terrified and affrightened, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And He said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have ... And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered he said unto them Have ye here any meat? And they gave him a piece of broiled fish, and of a honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them." "And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and ... while He blessed them, he was parted from them, and carreid up into heaven." [ LUKE 24:36-43; 24:50, 51 ] "This is Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven." [ ACTS 1:11 ] "Who shall change out vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body." [ PHIL 3:21 ] After His resurrection Jesus proved to His disciples that He was flesh and bones by having them feel Him an by eating food. This same Jesus of flesh and bones ascended to His Father and will come againt to earth. The righteous will be given bodies just like the body of Christ and will be real people with flesh and bones throughout eternity. The difference will be that the heavenly body will not be subject to death, decay, or deterioration. The teaching that the saven in heaven will be ghosts who float on mist clouds and do nothing but plink harps has no foundation in the scriptures. Jesus did not die on the cross to provide any such trivial and foolish future for those who accept His love and nobly follow His way of life. Most people have no interest in such ethereal existence and, therefore have little or no desire to enter God's heavenly kingdom -- often choosing it only because they fear hell. If only all people everywhere could learn the truth about God's holy city and new earth, millions would begin to understand His love and would turn to Him with all their hearts. A person who misses out on God's kingdom has made the supreme blunder of his lifetime. How will the righteous spend their time in the heavenly kingdom? "They shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat ... mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands." [ ISA 65:21, 22 ] The righteous will build their own home in the new earth. (Each will also have a city mansion built by Christ. [ JOHN 14:1-3 ]) They will also plant vineyards and trees and eat the fruit from them. The Bible is plain. Real people do real things in heaven -- and they will thoroughly enjoy it. This is not prohibiting sharing, it is speaking against the system of common market of produce. In what other thrilling activities will the redeemed engage? (A) Sing and play heavenly music. [ ISA 35:10; ISA 51:11; PSA 87:7; REV 14:2, 3] (B) Worship before God's throne every Sabbath. [ ISA 66:22,23 ] (C) Enjoy never-fading flowers and trees. [ EZE 47:12; ISA 35:1, 2 ] (D) Visit with loved ones, patriarchs, prophets, etc. [ MATT 8:11; REV 7:9-17 ] (E) Enjoy studying the animals of heaven. [ ISA 11:6-9; 65:25 ] (F) travel and explore without ever becoming weary. [ ISA 40:31 ] (G) Greastest joy of all -- the privilege of being like Jesus, traveling with Him, and seeing Him, face to face. [ REV 14:4; 22:4; 21:3; 1 JOHN 3:2 ] (H) Listen to God sing. [ ZEPH 3:17 ] (I) Realize fondest ambitions. [ PSALMS 37:3, 4; ISA 65:24 ] Can feeble human language really describe the glories of the heavenly home? "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." [ 1 COR 2:9 ] Not even in its wildest dreams can the heart of man begin to even faintly comprehend the marvels of God's eternal kingdom. All that Adam lost will be restored. [ ACTS 3:20, 21 ] Is this kingdom being prepared for me personally? "Whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely." [ REV 22:17 ] "To an inheritance incorruptable ... reserved in heaven for you." [ 1 PETER 1:4 ] "I go to prepare a place for you." [ JOHN 14:2 ] It is prepared for you personally. The incitation from the Lord is to you, personally. If lost, there will be none to blame, but you. How can one be assured of a place in the great and glorious kingdom? "Behold I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in." [ REV 3:20 ] "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they have the right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." [ REV 22:14 ] "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; be he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." [ MATT 7:21 ] "As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sonds of God." [ JOHN 1:12 ] "The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin." [ 1 JOHN 1:7 ] The Bible makes it plain. It is simple. give your life to Christ for cleansing from sin. When you do this, He also gives you power to do His will and keep His commandments. This means, of course, that you will begin to live like Christ and will overcome all sin and "He that overcometh shall inherit all things." [ REV 21:7 ] IN short, a person is prepared for heaven when he has heaven in his heart. We must walk with Him here, if we would walk with Him there." How can heaven be a happy place when the saved think of loved ones who are lost? The Bible says that God will "wipe away the tears from their eyes." [ REV 21:4 ] Then God will miraculously cause His redeemed people to forget the tragedies and heartaches of earth and "the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind." [ ISA 65:17 ] The Bible says "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God." [ 1 COR 15:50 ] How then can the redeemed be flesh and bones? The Bible uses the term "flesh" to describe the uncoverted man. "That which is born of the SPirit is spirit." [ JOHN 3:6 ] The term spirit refers to the converted or "born again" man. In Romans 8:8, 9, we read, "They that are in the flesh can not please God. But ye that are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you." So the Bible is simply saying in 1 COR 15 that no one can enter God's kingdom unless conversion first takes place and the flesh becomes spirit. Is the holy city really big enough to hold all the saved people of all ages? If the city were to be crowded and each saved person given only 100 square feet of ground space, there would be room for 39 billion people in the city, which is 10 times the 1970 population of the world. Many statisticians believe that if all the people who have ever lived were saved, there would be plenty of room for them in the city. The scriptures make it clear, however, that only a few will be saved [ MATT 7:14 ]. So there will be all kinds of room in the great city. Sometimes I wonder if the reward is worth the sacrifice. It seems that Satan is about to overwhelm me at times. Does the Bible comment on this? Yes. In fact, the apostle Paul must have been thinking of folk like that when he wrote, "the sufferings of this present time are not owrthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." [ ROM 8:18 ] Just one glimpse of that eternal kingdom will cause the worst trials and persecutions of earth to pale into insignifigance and the redemmed will cry out "Hallelujah, heaven is cheap enough!" Is the apostle Peter in charge of the gate in the holy city? No. The Bible says in Revelations 21:12 that the new Jerusalem, the holy city of God, has twelve hates, and at the gates twelve angels. No reference is made in the Bible to any of the apostles as guardians of the gates. Will little babies who die be saved in God's kingdom? Apparently so. The Bible tells of wicked king Herod slaying all the babies in Bethelehem who were 2 years old or younger. [ MAT 2:16-18 ] The Old Testament foretold this tragic, cruel incident, and God told the mothers to stop crying because their children would one day be restored to them. "Refrain thy voice from weeping .. they (the slain children) shall come again from the land of the enemy ... they children shall come againt to theur own border." [ JER 31:16, 17 ] Do I understand correctly? Will heaven, the home of the saved, be right here on this earth? That is correct. Although the holy city is now in God's dwelling place, He is going to move it to this earth. Sin and sinners will be destroyed with fire and the earth will be made over new and given to the righteous in all of its Edenic glory and beauty. The holy city will be the capital of the new earth, and God will move His throne here [ REV 21:3; 22:1,3 ] and live with the righteous right here on this earth throughout eternity -- and where the Lord abides, that is heaven. God's plan is to restore to man what Adam lost: the glories of a perfect life on a perfect planet. Satan and sin interrupted God's plan, but the plan will be carried out. We can all share in this new kingdom -- and we must. It's too much to miss. Why do so many teach and believe that the home of the saved is a misty place with ghost-like inhabitants who float on pink clouds and so nothing but plink on harps? This teaching originated with the devil, the father of lies. [ JOHN 8:44 ] He is anxious to distort God's loving plan and present heaven as an unreal, "spooky" place, so people will lose interest or become skeptical of God's word altogether. Satan well knows that when men and women understand the Bible truth regarding the home of the saved, his power of them is broken, because they begin making plans to enter that kingdom. This is why he works so hard to becloud the issue and spread falsehood regarding that heavenly hom.