In my last post I talked about how the New Jerusalem is described as the Bride of Christ. That’s where the golden streets and the pearly gates are mentioned. I also said that many Christians think that this is where everyone who’s saved will live after the return of Christ.
But that’s not entirely true. Even a quick look at the Word will show us that not everyone is a permanent resident of this city. Revelation, chapter 21, is too long to quote the whole thing here, so I’ll give you a synopsis.
In both verse 2 and verses 9-10, the New Jerusalem is called the Bride. Verse 7 is clear that only the overcomers will inherit this residence.
He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.
That also goes along with Revelation 3:12, which states that only overcomers will bear the name of the New Jerusalem on their clothing.
What happened to the rest of the Christians – those who just made it into the kingdom but have no rewards to show for it (I Corinthians 3:12-15)? This chapter of Revelation also answers that question. According to verses 22-27, there are kings and nations living on the earth. They bring their glory and wealth into the city – so they have temporary access.
Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
The Scripture is just as clear that only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life can enter the city. So there are saved people living on the earth who come to the city, they just don’t have a home there.
We need to take this truth to heart – not all believers are permanent residents of the New Jerusalem. Therefore, not all believers are a part of the Bride. This may be a hard pill for some to swallow, but the rest of the teaching on the Bride of Christ will bear this out.
Please remember that at that point the earth has been totally renewed. It will have the same perfection as when it was first created. It will be a glorious place to live. Even so, I’d rather live in the New Jerusalem.
Now let’s continue our look at the New Jerusalem as John describes it to us.
The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
Here we are told about the foundations of the Holy City. There were twelve of them. Each foundation was one of the twelve Apostles of Christ. Somewhere in their walk with Christ they made that transition from being an attendant of the Groom, to become a part of the Bride.
This brought up a question in me. Can you be a friend of God and not a part of the Bride? The answer found in Scripture was startling to me. I’ll share that truth in my next article.
Question: What does it take to become an overcomer?
© Nick Zaccardi 2015