The Way It Happened

Revelation 21:24, Where is the New Jerusalem?

Speaking of the New Jerusalem, Revelation says,

The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it.

This is one of many verses that make it clear Revelation speaks of the New Jerusalem as residing on earth; not in some spiritual realm we call heaven. Revelation actually never does speak of heaven! All of its promises are for an everlasting life and kingdom on earth (if you don’t believe me, take time to actually read the book).

What exactly does this mean that Revelation never promises life in heaven? It means that Revelation’s author subscribed to the contemporary Jewish belief of a physical resurrection and a political redemption; Jews expected God to lift them above the other nations, to restore their rightful, God-given place as rulers of the earth. Regardless of the clear Christian bent behind Revelation, this expectation shines through clearly.

Is this your dream for everlasting life? Probably not, unless you’re a Jehovah’s Witness. But if you’re quick to disregard this portion of Revelation’s teachings, is it not possible to disregard also its dreams of a vengeful Messiah arriving to slaughter 200 million people? Leaving rivers of blood in his wake?

Revelation is not a pretty book, if read half-literally. Please, either read it as a spiritual lesson only, or don’t go halfway on the “literal” scale; read it for exactly what it says and promises, and recognize within its pages long-held Jewish dreams that we no longer wish to see fulfilled.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>