Psalm 48

Great is the LORD, and most worthy of praise, in the city of our God, his holy mountain. It is beautiful in its loftiness, the joy of the whole earth. Like the utmost heights of Zaphon is Mount Zion, the city of the Great King. God is in her citadels; he has shown himself to be her fortress.

When the kings joined forces, when they advanced together, they saw her and were astounded; they fled in terror. Trembling seized them there, pain like that of a woman in labor. You destroyed them like ships of Tarshish shattered by an east wind. As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the LORD Almighty, in the city of our God: God makes her secure forever.

Within your temple, O God, we meditate on your unfailing love. Like your name, O God, your praise reaches to the ends of the earth; your right hand is filled with righteousness. Mount Zion rejoices, the villages of Judah are glad because of your judgments. Walk about Zion, go around her, count her towers, consider well her ramparts, view her citadels that you may tell of them to the next generation. For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end.

There is a city set aside for us, a Holy and beautiful city that also has the name Jerusalem. Abraham dreamed about it (Hebr. 11:10) but John saw it (Rev. 21:10-27) and described it for us.

“I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.'”

“The city shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west. The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.”

“The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 1400 miles in length, and as wide and high as it is long. He measured its wall and it was 200 feet thick, by man’s measurement, which the angel was using. The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone.”

“The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of pure gold, like transparent glass.”

“I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”

This is the home of the redeemed, the “Heaven” where all believers will dwell with the Lord forever. The Lord has spent nearly 2000 years preparing and perfecting it for us. (John 14:1-3) I don’t believe it ever descends fully to Earth but hovers above it like a giant low orbit satellite. (If it did ever come to rest on Earth it would require a foot print equivalent to all the land in Norway, Sweden, Finland, England, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy combined, and would rise into the sky a distance equal to 4500 times the the height of the world’s tallest building!) Those who calculate these things estimate that we’ll each have a mansion about 10,000 square feet in size to call our own in this new city.

Without vehicular aid we’ll travel at the speed of thought to any point in history anywhere in the universe, soaking up knowledge, insight, and perspective as we go. Possessing minds and bodies released from the corruption of our former sin nature we’ll be scientist, explorer, adventurer, athlete and artist all rolled into one. Every day of our eternal existence will be filled with the joy of discovery, the excitement of being, and the expectation of an endless string of even greater tomorrows. Gone forever the stress, disappointment, and uncertainty we face today, we’ll finally be free.

This was Abraham’s dream, this is the believer’s destiny, and ours is the blessed generation that will see it come to pass!