28th September 2013

The Heavenly Garden City

“I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.”
Revelation 21:2 (NIV) 

I sat on the train watching it twist around the blocks of flats that are on the route of London’s Docklands Light Railway. My mind was made up: I am definitely not a city boy! 

I live in a small town near the Peak District. This would too quiet and boring for those who love the noise and ‘hustle and bustle’ of a city. But for me, it is a wonderful place to live.  So when I think of heaven, my mind reaches for the image of the Garden of Eden. I once was told that the word ‘paradise’ is rooted in the idea of a walled garden or park. Sounds very apt to me! 

Yet, the Apostle John gives us another image of the future time when Jesus returns to the Earth, a picture of an enormous city, 12,000 stadia (1,400 miles) in length, width and height! (Revelation 21:16). Of course, it is symbolic—the use of the number 12 suggests this—but the thought still stands. The Book of Revelation uses a city to picture the world tomorrow. 

Should I be worried by this? No! For it will be an unusual city. At its heart lies an incredible garden: “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.” (Revelation 22:1-2)

The New Jerusalem will be a place where all personalities will live in peace; those who love cities with those who love the country. Those who love life to be loud, bright and full of people, with those who love it quiet, soaking up the smell of a campfire and discussing philosophy with a few friends. 

It sounds impossible., but God is building such a city today. I am looking forward to the day when I see the New Jerusalem – for I am sure it will change the way I look at cities forever. 

Father, we praise you for the future you have in store for the human race, a future where we all can live in peace and harmony. In our Saviour’s name Jesus Christ, we give you thanks.

Study by Ian Woodley


ianwoodleyAbout the Author:
Ian Woodley pastors the Nottingham Grace Communion, a congregation of the Worldwide Church of God, UK, that meets at 2pm Saturday, as below.  Ian also facilitates a monthly Bible Study in Lincoln, which generally meets on a Saturday at 1:30pm.  They welcome visitors to join them—for more details contact Ian Woodley as below.

Local Congregation: 
Nottingham Grace Communion
Lucy Brown Hall
Attenborough Lane

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2pm

Local Congregational Contact:
Ian Woodley
Email:  icgwoodley@gmail.com

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One Response to “28th September 2013”

  1. John Magowan on September 28th, 2013 10:22 am

    Thanks Ian for directing our thoughts to the New Jerusalem…the City of God. There’s a wonderful song sung by the Hopper family, simply called, Jerusalem, which can be accessed on You Tube. Just type in “Jerusalem – The Hoppers.” It is one of my favourite songs ever…and I hope you will like it too. So inspiring! Thanks again for sharing this thought today.

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