Monday, 4 December 2017

New Jerusalem

I think there will come a real new heaven and earth, for sure. But the Book of Revelation describes the New Jerusalem as a present reality too, in some way. It's in heaven. It's coming. It'll establish itself on the new earth. Heaven and earth will kind of be joined together! But in the mean time, the river flows. On either side are the tree of life, whose leaves are for the healing of the nations.

That describes a present-day function, not a future one. Because after the final judgment, there won't be any more healing for the nations, will there? It describes sinners being outside the city, but still living. That's the case now - but you wouldn't describe the situation after the final judgment like that, would you? 

So the New Jerusalem is a present, heavenly, spiritual reality, and we on earth belong to it, have come to it, and are interacting with it - even though it is yet to come in all its final glory. 

Not every symbolic detail in Revelation is meant to happen chronologically in history only after the previous symbolic detail has seen its fulfilment in history. A key to understanding the Bible, I think, is to understand when there's an 'already' and a 'not yet' aspect to the kingdom of God.

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