New Jerusalem is Eternal

#NewJerusalemWe had recent posts on Eternal Life and New Jerusalem. Now we look at other eternal matters in the New Testament and how they relate to New Jerusalem.

First, God is eternal. And God is on the throne in New Jerusalem. He is the eternal center and the eternal nature of the city. The eternal God is incorruptible (1 Tim. 1:17), making New Jerusalem incorruptible.

God is also “the Father of lights, with whom is no variation or shadow cast by turning” (James 1:17). Because He is eternal, He has no variations. And He is the light of New Jerusalem. Revelation 21:23, “the city has no need of the sun or of the moon that they should shine in it, for the glory of God illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.”

The Lord Jesus died on the cross and “through His own blood, centered once for all into the Holy of Holies, obtaining an eternal redemption” (Heb. 9:12). This eternal redemption is for now and for New Jerusalem, where it is eternally displayed by the Lamb on the throne (Rev. 22:1).

After His death, God raised our Lord Jesus “in the blood of an eternal covenant” (Heb. 13:20). This eternal covenant/agreement/contract includes New Jerusalem, the eternal city. Based on His eternal redemption and covenant, the Lord is now “the source of eternal salvation” (Heb. 5:9). The salvation we received includes our eternal participation in New Jerusalem.

Also, through His death and resurrection, the way is open that we “might receive the promise of the eternal inheritance” (Heb. 9:15). This is not an earthly nor a physical inheritance but “incorruptible and undefiled and unfading, kept in the heavens for you” (1 Peter 1:4). Ultimately this heavenly, eternal inheritance, New Jerusalem, will “come down out of heaven” (Rev. 21:10).

New Jerusalem and New Creation: No Corruption

New Jerusalem is incorruptible; the city has no corruption. New Jerusalem has no corruption because it is a city in resurrection. Resurrection is a realm with no corruption.

Romans 1:23 speaks of the incorruptible God. Both Peter and Paul declare that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is apart from corruption (Acts 2:27, 31; Acts 13:34, 35, 37). In New Jerusalem God and the Lamb, Jesus Christ, are on the throne. Corruption was never in them and is incompatible with their kingdom. Hence, no corruption in New Jerusalem.

New JerusalemWe were redeemed not with corruptible things but with the incorruptible, precious blood of Christ (1 Peter 1:18-19). In verse 23 we have been “regenerated not of corruptible seed but of incorruptible, through the living and abiding word of God.” The word of God has no corruption and has brought forth an incorruptible life in us.

First Corinthians 15:50-54 speak of our resurrection. Here too there is no corruption. Corruption is tied to mortality, to death. When New Jerusalem appears, death will have been cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:14). First Corinthians quotes Isaiah 25:8, “Death has been swallowed up unto victory.’’

In Galatians 6:8 corruption is tied to the flesh, the fallen humanity. Christ crucified the flesh and now the Spirit is working in us to separate us from all the works of the flesh. In the same verse the Spirit is coupled with eternal life, the life that characterizes New Jerusalem.

Everything on the path to New Jerusalem is free from corruption. Furthermore, Romans 8:21 tells us that “creation itself will also be freed from the slavery of corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” Thus the entire new creation will have no corruption but will have New Jerusalem with the glory of God and His children.

Here are some related posts:
New Jerusalem: Incorruptible Inheritance (2)
New Jerusalem: Incorruptible Inheritance (1)
Incorruptible and Undefiled and Unfading
Pursue the Incorruptible New Jerusalem

No Need for Sleep in New Jerusalem

There is no need for sleep in New Jerusalem. But how does this mundane statement relate to the revelation in the Bible?

Simple: sleep is a picture of death and there will be no death in New Jerusalem. The first record of sleep is Genesis 2:21, “Jehovah God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept.” During this deep sleep, Jehovah took a rib out of Adam and formed Eve. In this record the forming of Eve depicts the producing of the church.

New JerusalemThe death of Jesus Christ, portrayed by Adam’s the deep sleep, is very positive and had a wonderful outcome.

Romans 5:12 says, “sin entered into the world, and through sin, death; and thus death passed on to all men.” This death is not positive but the Bible also likens this kind of death to sleep, as in John 11:11-14 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-16.

There will be no need for sleep and no sleepiness in New Jerusalem because there will be no death in New Jerusalem. “Our Savior Christ Jesus, nullified death” (2 Tim. 1:10). This nullification is gradually being applied to us. The consummation of this process is the transfiguration of our corrupted, mortal body at the Lord’s second coming.

“When this corruptible will put on incorruption and this mortal will put on immortality, then the word which is written will come to pass, ‘Death has been swallowed up unto victory.'” (1 Cor. 15:54) New Jerusalem will fully declare this victory.

Earlier posts about no death in New Jerusalem:
New Jerusalem: No Darkness, No Death
Neither Sin nor Death in New Jerusalem

A list of other “NO” posts, showing what is NOT in New Jerusalem:

Graphic courtesy of pixabay.com.

Neither Sin nor Death in New Jerusalem

A reader asked if there will be any sin in New Jerusalem. The simple answer is NO.

Revelation does not say in plain words “there is no sin in New Jerusalem” but the New JerusalemNew Testament revelation shows us this fact. Sin and death are always linked:
John 8:24: unless we believe,
___ we will die in our sins
Romans 5:12: death entered through sin
Romans 6:23: the wages of sin is death
Ephesians 2:1: we were dead in sins
James 1:15: sin brings forth death

Jesus Christ came, died, and rose to take away sin and death. He took away the sin of the world (John 1:29) and now every-one who believes into him has eternal life (John 3:15), a life that in no way involves sin or death, the life of New Jerusalem.

But you might be concerned because you still sin, and many Christians in the past have died. The apostle John, a very mature Christian, recognizes this in 1 John 1:7-10. The fact that he instructs us about confessing our sins shows that this confession is part of our Christian life.  This shows that eternal life has not yet fully matured in us and has not yet saturated our entire being. But it will!

First Corinthians 15:51-57 speaks about this. At the last trumpet the dead in Christ will be raised. Verse 53 declares, “this corruptible must put on incorruption [no more sin], and this mortal must put on immortality [no more death].” These verses refer to the believers in Christ.

After the trumpet and the Lord’s visible return, there will still be corruption in the world (e.g. Rev. 20:8). However, the last judgement, recorded in Revelation 20:11-15, will clear up every problem. “death [the last enemy – 1 Cor. 15:26] and hades were cast into the lake of fire” (20:14). Death, and its companion sin, will be in the lake of fire, but not in New Jerusalem. “Death will be no more” (Rev. 21:4).

New Jerusalem: Incorruptible Inheritance (1)
New Jerusalem: Incorruptible Inheritance (2)
In the Garden of Eden but not in New Jerusalem

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

Spiritual Blessings for New Jerusalem (7)

Ephesians 1:3 tells us that God the Father “has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ.” Verses 4 to 14 describe these blessings. Because they all result in the praise of God’s glory, and because God’s glory is manifested in New Jerusalem, these blessings point toward and prepare the way for New Jerusalem.

Ephesians 1:14 says that the Holy Spirit “is the pledge of our inheritance unto the redemption of the acquired possession.” The pledge is the guarantee, keeping us for God “unto the redemption.” The redemption here is not the forgiveness of sins in verse 7 but is the redemption of our mortal body, as in Romans 8:23.

Philippians 3:21 says that our Lord Jesus Christ “will transfigure the body of our humiliation to be conformed to the body of His glory.” Here also the blessings in Ephesians 1 (in this case the redemption of the acquired possession) conclude with glory, thus corresponding with New Jerusalem.

The blessings in Ephesians 1 are in three sections, the doings of the three of the Triune God. The first, verses 4 to 6, is of God the Father, and concludes

to the praise of the glory of His grace

The second section, verses 7 to 12, begins with the Son’s redemption and concludes

to the praise of His glory

The third section, verses 13 to 14, is about the Spirit’s work in us and concludes

to the praise of His glory

These spiritual blessings of the Triune God go from eternity before creation, through the present age, to eternity of the new creation with New Jerusalem, the city

having the glory of God

Praise our wonderful God, “who works all things according to the counsel of His will.”

New Jerusalem

Prior posts focused on Ephesians 1:3-41:5-61:7-9a1:9b-101:11-12, and 1:13-14a.

Image courtesy of pixabay.com.

Spiritual Blessings for New Jerusalem (6)

Ephesians 1:3-14 presents God’s spiritual blessings to us in Christ. Three times we are told that these blessings are to the praise of His glory. This goal links Ephesians 1 with New Jerusalem, the city of glory.

New JerusalemEphesians 1:13 says, “In whom [Christ] you also, having heard the word of the truth, the gospel of your salvation, in Him also believing, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of the promise.” Like many prior phrases, the actions here are “in Christ.”

We heard the word of the truth, the gospel of our salvation. We heard because God is “the One who works all things according to the counsel of His will” (Eph. 1:11). Our hearing generated faith within us (Rom. 10:17). This faith brought us salvation. This salvation includes the sealing of the Holy Spirit.

The seal indicates that we belong to God. It is like a name tag on an object, except that it is living and inward. We belong to God for His purpose which ultimately is New Jerusalem.

We are sealed with “the Holy Spirit of the promise.” This promise includes all of God’s blessings in Christ. The concluding portions are “the promise of the eternal inheritance” (Heb. 9:15) and “new heavens and a new earth” (2 Peter 3:13) both of which point to New Jerusalem.

The Holy Spirit of the promise is also “the pledge of our inheritance” (Eph. 1:14). First Peter 1:4 tells us that this inheritance is “incorruptible and undefiled and unfading, kept in the heavens for you.” Like the promise in verse 13, the inheritance in verse 14 ( ) points to New Jerusalem.

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

 

Pursue the Incorruptible New Jerusalem

We have been born of incorruptible seed (1 Peter 1:23) with an incorruptible life to participate in New Jerusalem. In this divine-human city there is no physical gold, which is corruptible (1 Peter 1:18-19).

New JerusalemFirst Peter 1:7 speaks of “your faith, much more precious than of gold which perishes.” Here the corruptible gold is perishing.

This is another strong indication that physical gold, silver, pearls, and precious stones will not be in New Jerusalem. It is a city of the uncreated, divine, eternal life, so nothing perishable matches New Jerusalem and perishable things cannot and will not be in it.

The last part of 1 Corinthians 9 uses the metaphor of those who run in a race. Paul says that we, like them, should run the Christian “race” and like them “exercise self-control in all things.” He reminds us that they exercise “that they may receive a corruptible crown, but we, an incorruptible” (1 Cor. 9:25).

We are not running to gain riches or fame or any other corruptible crown in this earthly life. We run, we exercise to gain “the crown of righteousness” (2 Tim. 4:8), “the crown of life” (James 1:12), “the unfading crown of glory” (1 Peter 5:4).

First Corinthians 15:54 has the marvelous promise, “When this corruptible will put on incorruption and this mortal will put on immortality, then the word which is written will come to pass, ‘Death has been swallowed up unto victory.'” This will first be fulfilled when the Lord Jesus returns visibly and even more when New Jerusalem appears visibly.

These verses show that New Jerusalem is incorruptible, not perishing, and unfading; let us pursue toward this goal!

NO Physical Gold in New Jerusalem

New JerusalemFirst Peter 1:18-19 says, “Knowing that it was not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, that you were redeemed from your vain manner of life handed down from your fathers, but with precious blood, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot, the blood of Christ.”

This shows us that in God’s eyes gold and silver are corruptible, of little value, and not precious. Hence, we will not see physical gold or silver or pearls or precious stones in New Jerusalem.

Gold, pearls, and precious stones are all mentioned in Revelation 21’s description of New Jerusalem. But, they are not physical, corruptible materials. Rather, they are symbols of the Triune God—divine nature of God the Father, the redemption of Jesus Christ, and the transforming work in us by the Spirit. The Triune God in us is the incorruptible substance of New Jerusalem. Three Precious MaterialsGold, Pearls, and Precious Stones.

Our participation in this wonderful, incorruptible New Jerusalem begins with our regeneration. Our Walk on the Golden Street of New Jerusalem Begins at Regeneration First Peter 1:23 says that we have been “regenerated not of corruptible seed but of incorruptible, through the living and abiding word of God.”

We have an incorruptible seed which brings forth the growth of incorruptible life in us for our participation in the incorruptible New Jerusalem. Thank God our Father for this!

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.

 

God’s Mercy for God’s Goal, New Jerusalem

New JerusalemGod has a goal. This is not his response to man’s fall and to sin and death. Rather, it is His eternal heart’s desire, what He wants to do and what He will accomplish. Sin and death merely show His wisdom in accomplishing His desire, which consummates in New Jerusalem.

Because of sin and death, our fallen being is disqualified from what God wants to do and we could have no part in His plan. However, God had mercy on us. Because of His great mercy, He saved us, He regenerated us, and His is bringing us onward to New Jerusalem.

Here is a summary of our recent series on God’s mercy, with a verse and a link to each post.

  John the Baptist came “to give knowledge of salvation to His people by the forgiveness of their sins, because of the merciful compassions of our God.” Out of the introduction by John, according to God’s merciful compassions, “the rising sun [Jesus] will visit us from on high” (Luke 1:76-78).

 Jesus Christ became “a merciful and faithful High Priest in the things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people” (Hebrews 2:17). This propitiation opens the door for us to receive the eternal life which brings us to New Jerusalem.

 Romans 9:15-16 say, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion. So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.” It is not by our determination (him who wills) nor by our effort (him who runs). But we can cry out to God for mercy.

 We need mercy because of the negative effect of sin and death. We also need mercy because in ourselves we do not have the glory of God (Romans 3:23), an essential quality of New Jerusalem.

Ephesians 2:1-3 describe our fallen condition. Verses 4-6 describe what God did with us in Christ due to “being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us.” Verse 7 continues, “That He might display in the ages to come [including New Jerusalem] the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”

Like Ephesians 2, Titus 3 presents our fallen condition then presents God’s salvation through His washing and renewing, “not out of works in righteousness which we did but according to His mercy.”

First Peter 1:3-4 say that God, “according to His great mercy has regenerated us unto a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, unto an inheritance, incorruptible and undefiled and unfading.” New Jerusalem is the consummation of this inheritance.

 Jude 21 encourages us “keep yourselves in the love of God, awaiting the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” We have eternal life already; here “unto eternal life” indicates we still need mercy to be brought into the fuller enjoyment of this life in the coming age and the fullest enjoyment of it in New Jerusalem.

While we are on the journey of our Christian life, “Let us come forward with boldness to the throne of grace that we may receive mercy and find grace for timely help.”

The new creation is spiritual and hidden within us today but eventually the new creation with New Jerusalem as its center, will become visible to all (Revelation 21:1-2). We should care for this today; per Galatians 6:15-16, “a new creation is what matters. And as many as walk by this rule, peace be upon them and mercy.”

God has temporarily turned from the Jews to show mercy to non-Jews (Gentiles). God’s mercy is shown to us according to His infinite wisdom. Our response should match Romans 15:9, “the Gentiles should glorify God for His mercy.”

This series on mercy concluded with a hymn,
God, we praise Thee for Thy mercy, ’Tis so great and so profound!
In our weakness and our failures; With its greatness it abounds.
We adore Thee! we adore Thee! With such mercy we’ve been crowned!

God is merciful to bring us into His salvation and His salvation brings us to New Jerusalem.

Photo by Christine Painter, courtesy of CSIRO Australia.

Incorruptible and Undefiled and Unfading

Peter declares, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has regenerated us unto a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, unto an inheritance, incorruptible and undefiled and unfading, kept in the heavens for you” (1 Peter 1:3-4).

New JerusalemIn his epistles Peter mentions several things included in this inheritance. Since Peter’s epistles conclude with the new heavens and new earth (2 Peter 3:13), this implies to me that the inheritance also includes New Jerusalem. Certainly the characteristics “incorruptible and undefiled and unfading” are true of New Jerusalem.

Our God and Father has regenerated us unto this inheritance. By our natural birth we are not qualified. Our second birth, our birth as children of God (John 1:12-13), is the initial step toward this inheritance. Now we are growing in this life unto maturity, which is the qualification for us to inherit it.

We were “regenerated not of corruptible seed but of incorruptible, through the living and abiding word of God” (1 Peter 1:23). The incorruptible nature of the seed matches the incorruptible nature of the inheritance.

Our regeneration is “unto a living hope…unto an inheritance.” Our inheritance is not material riches, which are lifeless, corruptible, and fading. Our inheritance is living. New Jerusalem is a living, incorruptible, undefiled, unfading city and regeneration puts us on the path unto this wonderful city.

Resurrection is the Incorruptible Answer

New JerusalemNew Jerusalem is a city in resurrection and therefore is incorruptible. At present corruption is all around us. There is physical corruption, such as foods spoiling, and there is moral corruption, unrighteous behavior.

Some people strive to reduce or eliminate moral corruption, believing that men can behave properly through some combination of exhortation, education, laws, and public pressure. While this striving is good, it ignores a fundamental fact stated in Romans 5:
• through the disobedience of one man the many were constituted sinners (v. 19)
• through one man sin entered into the world, and through sin, death; and thus death passed on to all men (v. 12)

Because sin and death are in all men, a righteous, incorrupt society is impossible in this age. The efforts of those who strive for righteousness probably help reduce unrighteousness/corruption but cannot eliminate it.

The answer is Jesus Christ. This answer includes many steps. First are eternal facts completed without our involvement: God came in the man Jesus, He lived a perfect human life, He died for the sins of us all, and He rose to impart incorruptible life into us.

Then there are facts involving us, as in 1 Peter 1:23—everyone who believes in Jesus Christ is “regenerated not of corruptible seed but of incorruptible, through the living and abiding word of God.” When we were born again, we received an incorruptible life.

Now we face a choice moment by moment—to live by our natural, corrupted life or to live by our new, uncorrupted life. One Biblical expression of this choice is Romans 8:6, “the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the spirit is life and peace.” We face either death with its corruption or life with its incorruption. Because of this choice, at present Christians are not always perfect.

Gradually, as we cooperate, the incorruptible life grows in us. This process in our present life plus our transfiguration at the Lord’s return will bring forth New Jerusalem incorruptible and fully in resurrection.

New Jerusalem: Incorruptible Inheritance

New Jerusalem is a city in resurrection and is the ultimate portion of our incorruptible and undefiled and unfading inheritance (1 Peter 1:3-4). First Corinthians 15 fuses resurrection and incorruption. In this chapter:

New Jerusalem Our physical body is buried in corruption (v. 35) but raised in incorruption (v. 42). “It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a soulish body, it is raised a spiritual body” (v. 43-44). Incorruption, glory, power, and spiritual are characteristics of New Jerusalem.

 Our physical body of flesh and blood, due to the presence of sin and death, is corrupt and “cannot inherit the kingdom of God” (v. 50). In this verse to inherit the kingdom of God is to inherit incorruption. The ultimate stage of the kingdom of God is New Jerusalem with “the throne of God and of the Lamb” and in which their slaves “will reign forever and ever” (Revelation 22:1, 5).

 The dead in Christ “will be raised incorruptible” and the believers who are alive “will be changed” (v. 52). This resurrection and changing will be the transfiguration of our physical bodies, from humiliation to glory (Philippians 3:21), completing God’s process of sonship (Romans 8:23).

 “When this corruptible will put on incorruption and this mortal will put on immortality, then the word which is written will come to pass, ‘Death has been swallowed up unto victory.’ ” (v. 53-54) Death is the last enemy to be abolished (v. 26). What a glorious victory!

The devil, the source of sin and death, and death itself will be in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10, 14). New Jerusalem will be full of and constituted with sons of God in glory. It will be a city of glory, resurrection, and incorruption.

Photo courtesy of NASA.

%d bloggers like this: