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Who Shall Enter the City

“...for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder

and maker is God.”

“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.” (Hebrew 11:10, Revelation 21:10, NKJV)

In the last two chapters of Revelation, we have described in words

the vision John saw of the glorious future of God’s people. Three

basic images are given: a city, a bride, and a garden-type scene.

They all refer to the same glorious situation of God dwelling with

His people forever. Who are the ones who are so blessed? In chapters 21 and 22, they

are described or characterized in various ways.

They are the ones:

Whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life (20:15, 21:27)

Who are God’s people (21:3)

Who drink from the fountain of the water of life (21:6, 22:17)

Who are overcomers (21:7)

Who are saved (21:24)

Who are His servants (22:3, 6)

Who have His Name on their foreheads (22:4)

Who reign forever (22:5)

Who keep the words of this book (22:9, 14)

Who worship God (22:9)

Who are righteous and holy (22:11)

Who are rewarded according to their work (22:12)

Who do His commandments, or have washed their robes (22:14)

Who answered the call to “Come!” (22:17)

Who are those who are not allowed into God’s city? They, too, are described as the ones:

Who are cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers,

idolaters, and all liars (21:8, 22:15)

Who defile, or cause an abomination or a lie (21:27)

Who are unjust and filthy (22:11)

Who add to or take away from His book (22:18, 19)

Now, look over those two lists. Revelation is the tale of two cities: God’s New Jerusalem or

humanity’s Babylon, destined for destruction. It is the tale of two women: the Lamb’s bride

adorned for her husband or the mother of harlots destined for destruction. It is the tale of two

eternal destinies: God’s city where the river of life flows and the tree of life grows or the lake of fire that burns forever. And there are two distinct peoples destined for the two distinct abodes those who are prepared and those who are unprepared.

If we want to have our place in His City, as Abraham longed for, it is not confusing or

complicated the kind of life we should live or the sort of people we should be. To be in that city will be to serve and worship God face to face, without anything to spoil our fellowship. If we are not serving and worshipping God now, why do we expect to do so then?

Consider this also...adding and subtracting from His Book will keep us out of that city. If

someone brings a doctrine, teaching, or view inconsistent with the description above, should

we hear them? And so these chapters, in addition to painting a glorious picture for us, also

protect us from falsehoods and false ideas that might lead us astray. Heaven is for the servants who worship God, keep the words of the book, keep the commands of God, and overcome sin, Satan, and the world.

There’s a great day coming. Let us live and love as those who know what our destiny is. Let us await our Savior’s return with glad anticipation and full faith. Let us be faithful servants until He comes for us or calls us home.

—John Ostic

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