New Jerusalem The New Heaven And New Earth Religion Essay
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Christians from all walks of life have always lived in great hope of inhabiting the new heaven and new earth as promised in the bible. The foundation of Christian faith has a strong basis on an everlasting life; marked with joy and happiness; where God shall live with his people forever. The book of revelation is the symbolic testimony of restoration to heaven and paradise found. It describes the final inhabitant of Christians as the New Jerusalem, which is the city of God. It also discusses the appearance of new heaven and new earth that will come from God himself and points to newness of everything with the coming of new heaven and new earth. This paper draws from theoretical approaches of different scholars to discuss the concept of new heaven, new earth and the New Jerusalem.
The concept of new heaven and new earth occurs across several books in the bible; including Revelation 21: 1-2, Isaiah 65:17, 2 Peter 3: 13, 2 Corinthians 5:17 and Hebrews 12:26-28.  The promise of a new heaven and new earth can be equated to a promise of renewal. Coming of new heaven and new earth and the newness of everything is believed to originate from the belief that the process of the end of the world will correspond to beginning of the world, hence the original condition of everything will manifest in future as it was in the beginning when heaven and earth were new. 
The New Jerusalem as described by the scripture refers to the city of the almighty God, which is the heavenly Jerusalem; this is the holy city that comes from down from heaven from God himself.  The New Jerusalem according to the Old Testament is the dwelling place of God, while in the New Testament, it is the heavenly home for saints.  The sacred structures in the city of heaven contribute to heavenly design for the earthly Tabernacle; whose future will descend as "the Tabernacle of God among Men; consisting of a Temple that is both spiritual and physical. 
Ezekiel in the Old Testament, refers to the holy mountain of God and sanctuaries in heaven while; implying the place where God's throne is in heaven.  On the other hand, Psalms refers to God who sits in heaven; pointing to the earthly Jerusalem where God will establish the messiah once the earthly nations are overthrown in the battle of Armageddon.  The New Testament portrays heavenly Jerusalem as a place where the saints will dwell with God.  Since the earthly structures depicted in Old Testament were constructed in accordance with patterns that were divinely revealed within heavenly Jerusalem, it can only be concluded that heavenly structures are real. 
The author of the Hebrews highlights heavenly Jerusalem as a place of grace to earthly Mt. Sinai, which is a place of law.  In addition, the Hebrews author describes heavenly Jerusalem as Mount Zion; which is the city of the living God; describing its inhabitants as angels, Jesus the Son, God the father and the Judge, Righteous men and Church age believers.  This therefore means that the New Jerusalem is the final destination of believers; an idea which is further supported by author of Hebrews, who explains that the present heaven and earth, which are the old creation will pass away and cease to exist; leaving the kingdom which cannot be destroyed; the heavenly Jerusalem as the everlasting inheritance of saints. 
In the book of Revelation, John refers to New Jerusalem as the bride, made ready for her husband.  This refers to the place where Jesus went to prepare for his disciples and those who believe in him as described by John.  The appearance of New Jerusalem fulfils the divine ideal purpose of the earthly tabernacle and in Church as a spiritual temple of a relationship between God the creator and Man the creature.
The New Jerusalem is referred to as the dwelling place of God because in it, God will live with his people forever. Revelation 21:16 describes the dimensions of New Jerusalem as a foursquare. Its internal construction is described as only comparable to precious earthly stones in color and composition; while its streets are made up of pure gold like transparent glass.  This city of New Jerusalem as described by its physical features therefore qualifies in each aspect as a physical reality; it has architectural structures that can be measured, it is well designed, and constructed with construction materials and it is inhabited by and human beings.  This is an everlasting city, which is designed only to be inhabited by eternal people. It is characterized by the powerful handiwork of the infinite God; which can never conform to human convention. The walls of New Jerusalem show that the Israel saints and the Church have an inheritance in New Jerusalem city. The 12 names of tribes of Israel are inscribed on New Jerusalem's gates while the names of the 12 apostles are written on its twelve stones.  This is in agreement with the dispensation of the Jewish Messiah, who promised his Jewish disciples that although he leaving them, he would come back after preparing for them a place.
The New Jerusalem is described as having God's glory in Revelation 21:11. This depicts the supernatural illumination of God's city described by John, eliminating the need for earthly existence of night and day.  The city's illumination extends to the earth, permitting the nations to walk in light as described in Revelation 21:24.  Jerusalem depicts a chosen place of God's divine plan of ages, it is described as the only city to which God descended and he has desired it for his habitation. It is the center of the world and God's resting place forever.  Jerusalem is the heart of messianic prophecy and redemption in history. It marked Christ's earthly ministry and life, apostles performed miracles in Jerusalem and Jesus commanded that the witnesses to the nations begin in Jerusalem.  The New Jerusalem will however be different from the old Jerusalem as it is marked by endless joy and an everlasting union between God and the believers.
Pryor, argues that the ultimate destiny of Christians is the new heaven and earth.  He points out that the earth will go through a period of judgment and cleansing before it is restored to a condition of Garden of Eden; an event described to take place on the day of the Lord when the cosmos dissolves its elements by fire to be renewed according to God's promise of new heaven and new earth; characterized by righteousness.  However, there is no biblical proof to show that the old heaven and earth will be consumed by fire as Pryor purports; hence his claims of destruction by fire cannot be verified.
Pryor is however in agreement with Randall Price that God will fully dwell in the midst of his people in the new earth and new heaven; that will come down from God himself, an event that will mark the freedom of creation from enslavement and futility as it will be purified, transformed and glorified when all things are made new by God himself.  This is further supported by the book of Revelation, which points out that God's eternal plan is to establish his kingdom rule over the earth as he brings new heaven and earth together.  God's ultimate reality determined to be accomplished through Christ was for man to live together with God on earth. This will only take place after purification of Satan dominated present earth.  The new heaven and the new earth signify that there will come a change that will involve a new way of life for believers who will dwell in new heaven and new earth. 
In conclusion, the book of revelation reveals that a new heaven and new earth will come from God; as the new city of Jerusalem. Believers equally be transformed and inhabit the new city, where everything will be made new in an everlasting life; characterized by joy, and they will live forever with God.
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