Since the beginning of time, people have speculated, theorized, and fantasized about what it would be like and where their spirit would go when they die. Speculate, theorize, and fantasize no more! God’s Word, the Bible, answers those questions very clearly and specifically.
God lifted some of His prophets into the spiritual realm and gave them a guided tour of Heaven–and they lived to tell about it. Here are parts of the Apostle John’s firsthand account:
I saw a new [atmospheric] heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. …
And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.
“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
Then He who sat on the throne [Jesus] said, “Behold, I make all things new.”
And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. … And the city was pure gold, like clear glass. (Revelation 21:1-5,10-11,18)
John goes on to say that the base of this great city from space is 2,220 kilometers (1,380 miles) square. Its peak is equal to its length and width, reaching 2,220 km into the sky (Revelation 21:16). Just think how beautiful it will be–a gigantic, pyramid-shaped city of clear crystal gold, standing on the earth 250 times taller than the world’s tallest mountain, Mt. Everest.
Also [the city] had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates. (Revelation 21:12)
An angel guards each gate. The fact that the city has a tall wall and gates guarded by angels shows that there will obviously be people or spirit beings who will not be allowed to enter the city.
Names [were] written on [the gates], which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west. Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. … And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every gate was one pearl. (Revelation 21:12-14, 21)
On each of the gates is the name of one of the twelve tribes of Israel, which is God’s way of honoring the Israelites who believed in and followed Him. He also honors the original twelve apostles for their great work of starting His Church by putting their names on the twelve layers of the wall.
An angel measured the wall for John, and it was 66 meters (216 feet) high. Its twelve 5.5-meter (18-foot) high levels are each made of a different kind of precious or semiprecious stone–diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and so on (Revelation 21:17-20). Because this wall runs all the way around the base of the city, its total length is nearly 9,000 km (5,600 miles). Just imagine 9,000 km of gigantic diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and other gems! No one living has ever seen such beauty or riches!
And the gates! Can you imagine the gates for such a city, whose wall is 65 meters high? They would be gigantic–pearls such as this world has never seen!
And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. (Revelation 21:24)
Inside the great heavenly city is where all of God’s saved children will be free to live with Him forever. Outside the city there will be multitudes of previously unsaved people who have been raised from the dead, have stood before God’s great judgment throne, and have been allowed by Him to live on the beautifully remade Garden-of-Eden-like earth (Revelation 21:24-26).
Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). (Revelation 21:25)
This wonderful heavenly city will always be open. Its citizens need no sleep.
There shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. (Revelation 21:27)
Only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will be allowed to enter through those pearly gates. There will be nothing unclean there–no dirty city streets, no violence, no crime. Everything will be spotless and clean, sinless and beautiful! What a wonderful place–literally Heaven on earth!
And he [the angel who was giving John the tour] showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.
In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.
They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.
There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. (Revelation 22:1-5)
The inhabitants will flow in and out of those 12 gigantic gates of pearl, entering in to enjoy the wonders and joys of the heavenly city, and going out with leaves from the trees of life for the healing of the nations (Revelation 22:2). They will be helping and healing and teaching those outside about the Lord and His love and His ways, so one day all will finally know and love the Lord and be members of His kingdom of love!
* * *
Will you be able to pass through those gates of pearl to freely enjoy the heavenly city and its wonders? Do you know the life changing power that God has made available through His Son, Jesus Christ? Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father, but by Me.” (John 14:6) If you’re not sure, you can be sure by entering God’s heavenly kingdom right now in spirit. All you have to do is receive Jesus Christ, His Son, into your heart. Jesus said, “I am the Door. If any man enter in by Me, he shall be saved” (John 10:9).