Purpose of this Session
Two great cities are contrasted in these closing chapters of the book, one the pinnacle of earthly wisdom, the second is from heaven.
Revelation 18 chronicles the demise of the great and mighty city of Babylon, the central hub of earth’s commerce and politics, and the seat of power for the anti-Christ and his prophet. In one day the city is razed to the ground, possibly burned and crushed by a nuclear bomb or similar weapon (18:8).
Those who have lavished themselves with the fruit of Babylon’s greed will weep and lament over the city that is powerless to rise from its shame and destruction. Meanwhile heaven will rejoice.
This ungodly city, the habitation of devils and every foul spirit (18:2) is in stark contrast to the beauty and wonder of the New Jerusalem. Revelation 21 details the arrival of this heavenly city from which Christ shall reign over the earth for 1000 years. It is so beautiful it is likened to a gorgeous bride, arrayed for her husband. Some of its characteristics include:
1. All things are new (21:1)
2. God will dwell there among His people (21:3). There will be no temple for God and His Son are its Temple (21:22), and His throne shall be in the midst of the city (22:3)
3. No longer any death, crying or pain, and no more curse (21:4; 22:3)
4. It will have a shining brilliance like a costly jewel (21:11)
5. It will have a great wall surrounding it, with twelve gates named after the twelve tribes of Israel, guarded by angels (21:12). Each gate will be made from a single pearl (21:21)
6. The walls of the city have twelve foundation stones made of precious stones (21:19-20), each named after the 12 apostles of the Lamb (21:14)
7. The dimension of the city are cubic, it is 1500 miles (2414 km) high, long and wide, possibly like a mountain of some kind (21:15-17)
8. It will be a pure golden city (21:18)
9. There will be no need for artificial or celestial light, for God Himself will light the city (21:23; 22:5). The nations will walk in the light of this glory (21:24)
10. Kings of the earth will bring their glory to the city, and pay homage to the Lamb (21:24)
11. There will no longer be night or darkness (21:25)
12. The unclean, abominable and liars will be forever banished from the city (21:27)
13. The river of life, flowing from God’s throne, will flow through the midst of the city (22:1-2)
14. On either side of the river will stand the tree of life, its seasonal fruit bringing healing to the nations (22:2)
15. Believers will now be able to look upon the face of God (22:4)
Now that is what I call a city!