In Revelation 21, we read about God’s revelation in a vision to John, the author, about the end of the world when Jesus returns. The new holy city of Jerusalem, described as a beautiful bride dressed for her husband, Jesus Christ, comes down from heaven. The magnificence and splendor of God’s glory illuminating the city, its perfect structure, and building materials of precious minerals, stones and pearls is beyond our comprehension. Those whose names are written in Jesus’s Book of Life, God’s children, are allowed to enter the city freely. In this walled city, there is no more death or sorrow or crying or pain because it is God’s home where God lives with His children who have been given life through Christ. Evil cannot exist here.
The fate of those who are not God’s children is the fiery lake of burning sulfur which represents endless separation from God and eternal, excruciating pain and sorrow.
For me, the most beautiful aspect for God’s children in this new city is the existence with God where pain and sorrow and death do not exist. As people of the world we live in, we spend much of our time, effort, worry, and resources in our earthly lives to deal with and battle pain, sorrow and death. They are our constant shadows. For some, the battles can be all-consuming and overwhelming especially without God’s help. But thanks to God, through Christ there is a beautiful, new heaven and earth which is God’s home where God welcomes His children who trust in Jesus. In this home, we honor and glorify the Lord God and Jesus Christ, who are the temple at the heart of this city.
I recently visited my cousin who has suffered with extreme pain from a growing cancer tumor for more than five years despite treatments. She looks forward to being in the new city, Jerusalem, of no pain, sorrow or death. Her faith in Christ, in spite of her suffering, has made this city of God’s habitation all the more real and beautiful to me.