The Celestial City

THE CELESTIAL CITY

Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city." Hebrews 11:16

An 18th century author named John Bunyan wrote a book called Pilgrim's Progress in a very unusual style. It is the story of a man "on his way to the Celestial City", and of the trials and pitfalls he encounters on the way. The object of his destination is that same heavenly homeland that God has prepared for us Christians.

In our section called "On Beyond Death" we learned that people who have near-death experiences rise in some sort of a body and pass through a dark tunnel towards an intense light. They meet beings of light that fill them with love and warmth, and then encounter a Supreme Being of Light who gives you a life review and puts your life in perspective.

So is the end of the tunnel, where all this wonderful love and warmth permeates us, the end of the journey, or is it just a way station on the road to the Celestial City? Have we reached the city that God prepared for us? Descriptions from those who experienced the Being of Light claimed they "wanted to stay with him forever."

Is the end of the tunnel just a way station, or the edge of the Celestial City?

Jesus taught of an intermediate state between death and final judgment where the righteous poor would enjoy bliss in the presence of Abraham, while the wicked rich would suffer in the flames of Hades (Luke 16:22-24). The Apostle Paul believed that when he departed earth, he'd be with Christ (Philippians 1:23).

Jesus says, "In my fathers house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also (John 4:2,3).

The city is described in detail in the book of Revelation, chapter 21. Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.

Behold, I make all things new (Revelation 21:5).

And I saw the Holy City, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband; and I heard a loud voice the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them and they shall be his people. Revelation 21:2-3

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This New Jerusalem, the Celestial City is described in many ways:

New Jerusalem's length, breadth and height are equal (Revelation 21:16)

It's radiance like a most rare jewel. - Revelation 21

…Having the glory of God, it's radiance like a most rare jewel, like a Jasper, clear as crystal (Revelation 21:11).

To the thirsty I will give the fountain of water without payment (Revelation 21:6).

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more (Revelation 21:4).

Jasper

Emerald

Beryl

Mother of Pearl

Agate

The wall was built of Jasper, while the city was pure gold, clear as glass. The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every jewel;( jasper, sapphire, agate, emerald, onyx, carnelian, chrysolite, beryl, topaz, chysoprase, jacinth, and amethyst). Revelation 21:18 

Each of the gates was made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, transparent as glass (revelation 21:19).

Chrysoprase

Carnelian

Amethyst

Topaz

Gold

And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city had no need of the sun or moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb (Revelation 21:22).

By its light shall the nations walk; and the kings of the earth shall bring their glory into it, and its gates shall never be shut by day-and there shall be no night there (Revelation 21:24).

So where is this Celestial City we Christians are headed to? According to the Apostle John, he saw it "coming down out of the heaven from God, as a bride adorned for her husband."  Just like a bride walking down the aisle in a church, this event is going to turn heads and capture everybody's attention!  The beauty will be awesome! If John could see it descending from heaven, then won't it be visible from afar off, too? It would look like a point of light far different than anything else.

We found this 8/17/99 Denver Post article on mystery objects in space. We like to read up on what the astronomers are doing because they're looking into our Father's house, so we're always curious to see what they come up with.

They found a light pattern they've never seen before. Its "light signature" is not simple enough to be a star. It's not a galaxy and "doesn't look like a quasar…"If it's not one of those, then it could be "the existence of an entirely new phenomenon." But nobody knows. Another interesting discovery recently made is a "star like light several hundred times brighter than the galaxy with which it was associated."

Maybe someday they'll come across the Celestial City. Maybe they already have! In the meantime, we'll continue our trek towards it. Jesus tells us how to get there "And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to myself, that where I am, you may be also. And you know the way I am going. Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?" Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but by me. If you had known me, you would have known my father also; henceforth you know him and have seen him"" (John 14:3-7).

SEE YOU THERE!