“And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying: Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them, and be their God.” Revelation 21:2-3
Read Revelation 21:1-5
John literally saw heaven coming down to the earth. The New Jerusalem will come down from heaven and fill the earth. That is the renewing of the earth. Sin will no longer have any place there; God will dwell with His people and they will dwell eternally with Him, perfectly, without interruption. The main body of our chapter outlines in great detail how wonderful the New Jerusalem will be. This city is called the bride of the Lamb; the church is a bride. How beautiful that day will be when this bride and Bridegroom shall be united in perfection.
The same thought is conveyed in the expression the tabernacle. You may know that the tabernacle of the Old Testament was the place where a holy God and a guilty people met together. This tabernacle has a divine secret attached to it, namely, that a holy God can commune with such people. Conversely, this people may enjoy the blessed presence of God. Nothing can compare to this!
Are you convinced of this truth? When you experience the nearness and dearness of the Lord, that is heaven on earth. Heaven is not only reserved for some future date and given to select groups of people. Do you ever experience the presence of the Saviour during the worship service, while reading the Bible or during a time of prayer? When His Word moves our hearts or the love of Christ touches our hearts, when the Holy Spirit convinces us of sin and grace, will we then not adore Him? Heaven coming down to earth means that the Lord, who dwells on high, looks down upon a people who humbly kneel before Him.
Thought: What is the most important characteristic of the church as Christ’s bride?
Psalter 429:4 (based on Psalm 138)
Lord, though I walk ‘mid troubles sore, Thou wilt restore,
My faltering spirit; Though angry foes my soul alarm,
Thy mighty arm Will save and cheer it.
Yea, Thou wilt finish perfectly What Thou for me Hast undertaken;
May not Thy works, in mercy wrought,
E’er come to naught, Or be forsaken.