New Jerusalem

Image by IrinaUzv from Pixabay

Will the New Earth and the New Jerusalem resemble the original Garden of Eden?

Not necessarily. The New Jerusalem is a city for the saints of God to dwell in with him. It is described in Revelation 21-22. The New Jerusalem is described as both the bride of Christ (the saints) and a city for the saints to dwell in with God for eternity (Revelation 21:2-3).

John the apostle makes reference to the prophets as he talks about God wiping away every tear from the eyes of the saints. This will be a place of joy. John contrasts what the believer will receive in this New Jerusalem and what the unbeliever will no longer have an opportunity to inherit (Revelation 21:7-8).

John can only manage to describe the New Jerusalem with precious jewels (Revelation 21:10-12). The high wall ensures safety for all of the inhabitants of the city. He further describes that there are 12 gates total, three on each side of the city.

The angel measures the city, showing God’s ownership of it (Revelation 21:15-21). Some mathematicians when taking these numbers literally suggest that the city would be constructed to house over 15 trillion people.

But as you can already see as you read the chapter, the number 12 factors greatly in every part of the city from the foundation to the gates and every other description of it. Some people take this literally and some people take it figuratively.

John then describes the city is full of light because the Lord dwells there with the saints (Revelation 21:22-27). The point of all of this is that God has finally made a place to dwell with his people, to be their God and they will be his people, as much of Scripture talks about.

Finally, in the beginning of Revelation 22, a river of life flowing from the throne through the city is described (Revelation 22:1-5). This river of life feeds the trees along side of it and continues to provide life everlasting.

The Garden of Eden resembles the original state of this present Earth before sin destroyed it little by little. It doesn’t take more than six chapters in Genesis until God has to destroy and re-create the earth through the flood.

So the Garden of Eden is probably a long gone possibility for humanity. Instead, the Bible begins to talk about a new heavens and the new earth in Isaiah (Isaiah 66:17-22) and in several New Testament passages, most notably Revelation (2 Peter 3:10-13; Revelation 21:1)..

Throughout the prophets and the New Testament, the shift toward heaven and earth passing away and the new heavens and new earth taking place occurs. So the new heavens and new earth in the New Jerusalem will be different from this heavens and earth.

It will be an eternal place, a place that will last forever and ever. God will never again need to re-create anything. This will be the final destination, the home of all who believe in Jesus. That’s not to say that there won’t be gardens like Eden in this new heavens and new earth. We don’t really know much about what this will all look like.

There are several positions scholars and theologians take concerning the new heavens and the new earth. Some believe it will be a brand-new place, so that this current earth and world completely passes away and God re-creates everything as he did in the beginning of Genesis.

Others believe the language of this world passing away only means that it will not be the final product. God will rejuvenate what is here at the end of time to make it eternal. I’m sure there are a few other mediating positions between these two.

But however God chooses to do this, it will be an amazing place no one wants to miss out on. This is why while we have the opportunity now, we need to be telling others about Jesus so that they may join us in this new heavens and new earth.

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