A Colossal City in Space
1. Who is the architect and builder of this space city?
"Wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city." Hebrews 11:16.
Answer: The Bible declares that God is building a great city for His people. And this city is as real and literal as any you have ever known.
2. Where is this amazing city that God is preparing?
Answer: This great city that is being constructed is, at this moment, in far outer space in God's dwelling place, which is called heaven.
3. How do the Scriptures describe this amazing space city?
(A) SIZE: "The city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs." Revelation 21:16. The city is perfectly square. Its perimeter is 12,000 furlongs, or 1,500 miles (a furlong is 1/8 mile). It is 375 miles long on each side.
(B) NAME: The city is called "new Jerusalem" in Revelation 21:2.
(C) WALLS: "And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits. ... And the building of the wall of it was of jasper." Revelation 21:17, 18. A wall 144 cubits, or 216 feet high (a cubit is 18 inches), surrounds the city. The wall is made of solid jasper, with radiance and beauty beyond description. Think of it! Nearly 20 stories high and solid jasper!
(D) GATES: "And had twelve 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 of one pearl." Revelation 21:12, 13, 21. The city has 12 gates- three on each side - each one made of a single pearl.
(E) FOUNDATIONS: "The wall of the city had twelve foundations ... 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." Revelation 21:14-20. The city has 12 full, complete foundations each one made of precious stone. Every color of the rainbow will be represented, so at a distance the city will no doubt appear to be resting upon a rainbow.
(F) STREETS: "The street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass." Revelation 21:21.
(G) APPEARANCE: "The holy city, ... prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." "Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal." "The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal [proportionate]." Revelation 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 breathtaking majesty and purity it is compared to "a bride adorned for her husband."
4. What phenomenal feature of this majestic city assures every citizen 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." Revelation 22:2. "Take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever." Genesis 3:22.
Answer: The tree of life, which bears 12 kinds of fruit (and is in the middle of the city--Revelation 2:7), brings unending life and youth to all who partake of it. Even its leaves will contain marvelous sustaining qualities. This tree will yield a new crop of fruit each month.
5. Is it true that this amazing city will descend to this earth?
"And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." Revelation 21:2. "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth." Matthew 5:5. "The righteous shall be recompensed in the earth." Proverbs 11:31.
Answer: Yes, the majestic holy city will come down to this earth to become the capital of the earth made new. All the righteous will have a home in this city.
6. What will happen to sin and sinners?
"All the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up." Malachi 4:1. "Fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them." Revelation 20:9. "The elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." 2 Peter 3:10. "Ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet." Malachi 4:3. "Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." 2 Peter 3:13.
Answer: God will destroy all sin and sinners with fire. This fire will melt the earth and turn everything into ashes. Then God will make a perfect new earth, and the holy city will be its capital. Here the righteous will live in joy, peace, and holiness throughout eternity. God promises that sin will not rise up again. See Nahum 1:9.
7. What refreshing, thrilling promises does God make to the people who enter His new kingdom?
A. The Lord, in person, will live with them (Revelation 21:3).
B. They will never become bored. There will be pleasures forevermore (Psalms 16:11).
C.There will be no more death, pain, tears, sorrow, sickness, hospitals, operations, tragedy, disappointment, trouble, hunger, or thirst (Revelation 21:4 Isaiah 33:24 Revelation 22:3 Isaiah 65:23 Revelation 7:16).
D. They will not get tired (Isaiah 40:31).
F. Jealousy, fear, hatred, falsehood, envy, impurity, cynicism, filth, worry, and all evil will be forever shut out of God's kingdom (Revelation 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.
8. How will the new earth differ from our earth today?
A. Vast seas as we know them today will be gone (Revelation 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 huge garden of unsurpassed beauty, interspersed with lakes, rivers, and mountains (Revelation 22:1 Acts 3:20, 21).
D. There will be no more curse (Revelation 22:3).
E. There will be no more violence of any kind (Isaiah 60:18). This precludes crime, storms, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, injury, etc.
F. Nothing defiling will be found in the new earth (Revelation 21:27). There will be no cigarette butts, tobacco juice, drunkards, taverns, alcoholic beverages, brothels, lewd pictures, or any other wickedness or impurity of any kind.
9. Will there be children in God's kingdom? If so, will they grow up?
Answer: Yes, there will be many boys and girls in the holy city (Isaiah 11:6-9), and these youngsters will grow up (Malachi 4:2). We have degenerated much in stature, intellect, and vitality since Adam, but all of this will be restored (Acts 3:20, 21).
10. When reunited with loved ones in heaven, will the saved know each other?
Then shall I know even as also I am known." 1 Corinthians 13:12.
Answer: The Bible clearly teaches that righteous loved ones who have died will be raised to join the righteous living in God's kingdom (Isaiah 26:19; Jeremiah 31:15-17; 1 Corinthians 15:51-55; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). And the Scriptures also teach that people in God's new kingdom will know each other, just as people recognize each other on the earth today.
11. Will people in heaven be real, with flesh and bones?
"Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. But they were terrified and affrighted, 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 a broiled fish, and of an 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 carried up into heaven." Luke 24:36-39, 41-43, 50, 51. "This same 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. "The Lord Jesus Christ ... shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body." Philippians 3:20, 21.
Answer: After His resurrection, Jesus proved to His desciples that He was flesh and bones by having them feel Him and by eating food. This same Jesus of flesh and bones ascended to His Father and will come again to the 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 saved in heaven will be ghosts who float on mist clouds and do nothing but play 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 an ethereal existence and, therefore, have little or no desire to enter God's heavenly kingdom--often preferring 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 a lifetime.
12. 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." Isaiah 65:21, 22.
Answer: The righteous will build their own homes in the new earth. (Each will also have a city mansion built by Christ--John 14:1-3.) They will plant vineyards and eat the fruit from them. The Bible is plain. Real people do real things in heaven, and they will thoroughly enjoy it all.
13. In what other thrilling activites will the redeemed participate in?
F. Travel and explore without ever becoming weary (Isaiah 40:31).
G. Listen to God sing (Zephaniah 3:17).
I. Greatest joy of allthe privilege of being like Jesus, traveling with Him, and seeing Him face to face
14. 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 Corinthians 2:9.
15. Is this kingdom being prepared for me personally?
Answer: It is prepared for you personally. The invitation from the Lord is to you personally. If rejected, friend, you will have no one to blame but yourself.
16. How can I be assured of a place in that 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." Revelation 3:20. "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." Revelation 22:14. "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." Matthew 7:21. "As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God." John 1:12. "The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." 1 John 1:7.
Answer: 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 as Christ lived and will overcome all sin. "He that overcometh shall inherit all things." Revelation 21:7. In short, a person is prepared for heaven when he has heaven in his heart.
17. I have decided to accept Jesus' offer to live with Him forever in His heavenly kingdom.
1. 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 all tears from their eyes." Revelation 21:4. Surrounded by the beauty and joys of the new earth, God's redeemed people will forget the tragedies and heartaches of the past; "the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind." Isaiah 65:17.
2. The Bible says, "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God." 1 Corinthians 15:50. How, then, can the redeemed be flesh and bones?
Here the Bible uses the term "flesh" to describe the unconverted person. A similar thought is expressed in Romans 8:8, 9: "They that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you." John 3:6 says, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." The term "flesh" here again refers to the unconverted person, while the term "spirit" refers to the converted or "born again" person. So the Bible is simply saying in 1 Corinthians 15:50 that no one can enter God's kingdom unless conversion first takes place and flesh becomes spirit. Christ, in His resurrected body, declared that He was truly "flesh and bones." Luke 24:39. We shall have a body like His, according to Philippians 3:21.
3. Is the apostle Peter in charge of the gate of the holy city?
No! The Bible says in Revelation 21:12 that the new Jerusalem--the holy city of God--has 12 gates, and at the gates are 12 angels. No reference is made in the Bible to any of the apostles as guardians of the gates.
4. 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 many times the present 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 (Matthew 7:14). So there will be more than enough room in the great city.
5. Sometimes I wonder if the reward is worth the sacrifice. It seems that Satan is about to overwhelm me at times. Does the Bible offer me any encouragement?
Yes. In fact, the apostle Paul must have been thinking of someone like you when he wrote, "The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." Romans 8:18. Just one glimpse of that eternal kingdom will cause the worst trials and persecutions of earth to pale into insignificance, and the redeemed will cry out: "Hallelujah, heaven is cheap enough!"
6. Will little babies who die be saved in God's kingdom?
We do not have a specific Bible answer to this question, but many choose to believe that infants will be saved on the basis of Matthew 2:16-18. There the Bible tells of wicked king Herod slaying all the male babies in Bethlehem who were two years old or younger. 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. ... Thy children shall come again to their own border." Jeremiah 31:16, 17. This is an obvious reference to the resurrection.
7. Do I understand correctly that heaven, the home of the saved, will 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 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 (Revelation 21:2, 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.
8. Why do so many teach and believe that the home of the saved is a misty place with ghostlike inhabitants who float on clouds and do nothing but play 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 fully understand the Bible truth regarding the home of the saved, his power over them is broken, because they will begin making plans to enter that kingdom. This is why he works so hard to becloud the issue and spread falsehood regarding that heavenly home.
1. The holy city in space (1)
_____ Is not literal, but simply an allegory.
_____ Is a literal city being prepared now by God in His dwelling place.
_____ Does not exist except in the minds of some people.
2. This holy city (1)
_____ Will be destroyed by a nuclear explosion.
_____ Will be captured by Satan and his host.
_____ Will descend to this earth and become the capital for the earth made new.
3. In the following list, check the true Bible facts regarding the holy city: (7)
_____ It is called the new Jerusalem.
_____ It is about the size of London.
_____ Its walls are of topaz.
_____ The city is as long as it is wide.
_____ The streets are of pure gold.
_____ The city has 14 foundations.
_____ The apostle Peter stands at its gate.
_____ Each of its 12 gates is made of one pearl.
_____ Its perimeter is 1,500 miles.
_____ Its foundations are all made of precious stones.
_____ The city will be in perfect proportion.
4. The tree of life (1)
_____ Is a real tree that will impart eternal vigor and youth to God's people.
_____ Is a figure of speech and means only that God will give His people strength.
_____ Existed in the beginning but will not be included in the new-earth kingdom.
5. In the following list, check all items that are true Bible promises to people in God's new kingdom: (5)
_____ The Lord will perform marriages daily.
_____ The tree of life bears 20 kinds of fruit.
_____ The Lord Himself will live with His people.
_____ After a million years, the saints will become bored.
_____ There will be no more death or sorrow.
_____ People will never get tired.
_____ The lame will be carried around by angels.
_____ Angels will be the doctors and perform all operations.
_____ The blind will receive sight.
_____ Jealousy, fear, hatred, falsehood, envy, impurity, etc. will be gone forever.
_____ Babies will not grow up.
6. Check the statements below that tell the truth about the new earth: (6)
_____ The seas of today will be no more.
_____ The deserts will be larger.
_____ Animals will be kept in lovely heavenly cages.
_____ Tornadoes, earthquakes, and floods will not be known.
_____ Cigarette butts will be carefully removed from the streets daily by the angels.
_____ Flowers and trees will not wilt or fade.
_____ Heaven will be right here on earth.
_____ Sin will not arise a second time.
_____ The glories of it all cannot be described.
7. The righteous in the heavenly kingdom (1)
_____ Will be ghosts who play harps and float on clouds.
_____ Will not know other loved ones and friends who may be there.
_____ Will have real bodies of flesh and bones and will know each other.
8. We know that people in heaven will be real and will do real things because (1)
_____ Science has proved this conclusively.
_____ The Bible says we will be like Christ, who was real (had flesh and bones) after His resurrection and did real things.
_____ Many preachers say this is so.
9. I can be sure of a place in that heavenly kingdom if I (1)
_____ Say daily that I love the Lord.
_____ Am fearful enough of hell.
_____ Accept and follow Christ and keep His commandments.
10. What will the saved do in the heavenly kingdom? Check the true Bible facts listed below: (5)
_____ Build houses and live in them.
_____ Plant vineyards.
_____ Kill animals and eat them.
_____ Play heavenly instruments and sing praises to God.
_____ Worship before God's throne.
_____ Fly past hell and taunt the lost.
_____ Eat of the tree of life.