1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.
2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.
4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
5 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”
6 And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.
7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.
8 But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
9 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.”
10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
11 having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.
12 Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:
13 three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west.
14 Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
15 And he who talked with me had a gold reed to measure the city, its gates, and its wall.
16 The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed: twelve thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal.
17 Then he measured its wall: one hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel.
18 The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass.
19 The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald,
20 the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst.
21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.
22 But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.
23 The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.
24 And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it.
25 Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there).
26 And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it.
27 But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
While there is a wideness in God’s love that reaches out and embraces every color, shape, and size, when He forms what reflects His righteousness and holiness from that embrace, it is a very precise and exact construction. His bride isn’t just some random acceptance of individuals in whatever state or identity they choose for themselves. It is the union of only those whose names have been written by their union with Him through the blood to form a single entity, a city, with the purpose of showing His glory. Everything about life in this city will be conducted in the light of His presence, totally disallowing the effects of darkness whatsoever. The quality of its construction will be of materials that have no limits in cost, with a level of wealth that far exceeds all that of the present world. In its foundation will be the inclusion of gates that correspond to those to which His promises were given through Israel, indicating continuity in its planning that was inspired by His passion for them.
This description of where we are going in the culmination of God’s design and plan is inspiration and motivation to be among those who make up His bride. Also, though, it is an insight into the nature of the One with whom we’ve become united in Christ. At the moment of His initial embrace, He is taking us into a nature that is far from indefinite and random. The very One who will be so amazing in the fulfillment of His perfect will in the end, is that same One for us when first born again into His new life. All the old is passed away, its darkness, failures, lack, sickness, and condemnation, while everything is made new with brightness, unlimited provision, and no need for sorrow. This is what we have in Him as our Alpha and Omega right here and now, with the provision of righteousness that brings everything into alignment with His precise plans and designs. It will surely be so wonderful to actually live as part of His new Jerusalem, but the One who is the light has promised to be with us through the remainder of our walk on this earth as we simply walk in the light of His presence, led by the voice of His Spirit. This is where we are being led to even now. The overcoming that is our requirement will be remaining in His light over the passions and enticements of a world that is so far out of joint in its darkness. In the promise of our ultimate destination is also the opportunity to be liberated in faith to take hold of what has already embraced us in Him.