Have you ever seen a house being built? First the foundations are laid, then the frame of the house is built up from the foundations, then the frame for the roof is placed on top. After the shell of the house is ready, the electrical cables and water pipes are fitted. Then the walls inside are covered with boards so that the house will have many rooms. What else does a house need, do you think? Maybe some paint on the walls, some carpet; how about windows? There are lots of things to think about when you’re building a house aren’t there?
Well, Jesus is preparing many houses. How many do you think He is preparing? Is He preparing one for you? Yes! He is preparing a whole city of beautiful houses for His children.
The apostle and prophet John saw several visions that he recorded in the very last book of the bible. Do you know the name of that book? It’s called the book of Revelation. The apostle John saw many things that would happen right before Jesus returns to earth. He also had visions of things that would happen after Jesus returned.
In fact the apostle John saw many strange things, but perhaps the strangest thing of all that he saw, was a beautiful city coming down out of heaven.
When Jesus returns to earth the second time, it will be brighter than lightning. He will descend from heaven with a shout, the call of the archangel and the trump of God. He will descend on a cloud, the base of it like a brilliant fire and on top of the cloud, a vibrant rainbow. A vast assembly of angels will accompany him on his journey to earth. All the while singing in heavenly tones. When Jesus arrives, He will not leave the bright sky. His feet will not touch the ground.
He will call His sleeping saints to Himself. Raising his hands to the heavens and in a mighty voice declaring, “Awake, awake, awake, ye that sleep in the dust and arise!” Then throughout the entire earth the dead saints hear his voice and rise from their graves clothed with immortal glory, crying, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”
He will gather up the saints both the living and the dead. The dead will be raised first and then the living righteous will be caught up together with them in the clouds. Their weak, mortal bodies will be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye into strong, immortal bodies! With songs of gladness they ascend together to the city of God.
Once they arrive in their eternal home, Jesus shows them all sorts of marvellous sights and places a glittering crown on each person’s head.
As the years pass, the children of God will not grow old and weak as we do now. Their minds will grow sharper and their bodies’ will become fitter over time. There will be no sadness or bitterness; only love, joy and peace.
After one thousand years passes, Jesus returns to earth again, bringing the angels and the saints with him. They descend onto a great and mighty mountain, which cannot hold Jesus up; it parts under him and a mighty plain is formed.
A moment later a great and holy city, The New Jerusalem, is seen descending out of heaven from God! It’s light like a shimmering, precious jewel. The square-shaped city settles onto the mighty plain. It has twelve foundations and on them are the names of the apostles. Each foundation is adorned with a different precious jewel. The city is pure gold, like clear glass! There are twelve gates in the city and on them are the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. Each gate is made of a single pearl!
In the city is a pure river. The crystal clear Water of Life flows from the Throne of God. Our heavenly Shepherd leads His flock to living waters. On either side of the river is the Tree of Life. It is not like the trees we see today. It provides fruit, but not only one type. It provides twelve different types of fruit. One type for each month! The leaves of the tree are for the healing of nations. The earth shall decay no more, death shall be no more. The former things have passed away. In the new earth, the pilgrims and wanderers have found a home. Small children lead calves and lion cubs. The wolf and lamb dwell together and the leopard and the young goat lie down together.
In the city there is no night. Neither is there any sun or artificial light. They do not need it. The Lord himself gives them light. There is no temple in the city either. The Lord God almighty and The Lamb are its temple.
Praise God that Jesus is preparing an eternal home for us! Let us watch and pray so that we will be ready for him when he returns!
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