39 - The Privileges of Its Inhabitants
The Privileges of Its Inhabitants
There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever. (22:3–5)
- As John toured the New Jerusalem, he couldn’t help but notice that life was very different for its inhabitants.
- The most dramatic change from the present earth is that there will no longer be any curse.
i. As noted in the discussion of 21:4 in chapter 18 of this volume, the removal of the curse will mean the end forever of sorrow, pain, and especially death—the most terrible aspect of the curse (Gen. 2:17).
- Though, as previously noted, there will be no temple in the New Jerusalem, the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it (cf. the detailed description of the throne scene in 4:2–11).
- God the Father and the Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ, will reign throughout eternity. Since God will continue forever as heaven’s sovereign ruler, His bond-servants will serve Him forever (cf. 7:15).
- They will spend all eternity carrying out the infinite variety of tasks that the limitless mind of God can conceive.
- Incredibly, as the parable in Luke 12:35–40 indicates, the Lord will also serve them.
- The saints in the New Jerusalem will also see God’s face (cf. Matt. 5:8). Being perfectly holy and righteous, they will be able to endure the heavenly level of the blazing, glorious light from God’s presence without being consumed—something impossible for mortal men (Ex. 33:20; John 1:18; 6:46; 1 Tim. 6:16; 1 John 4:12).
- The redeemed will also be God’s personal possession; His name will be on their foreheads (cf. 3:12; 14:1).
i. That identification will leave no doubt as to who they belong to forever.
- John repeats the earlier description of heaven’s magnificence: And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them (cf. 21:22–26). #. Then he adds a final crescendo describing the saints’ heavenly experience: it will never end, because they will reign forever and ever.
i. That will be the fulfillment of Christ’s promise in 3:21: “He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”
ii. “If we endure,” Paul wrote to Timothy, “we will also reign with Him” (2 Tim. 2:12).
- The eternal capital city of heaven, the New Jerusalem, will be a place of indescribable, unimaginable beauty. i. From the center of it the brilliant glory of God will shine forth through the gold and precious stones to illuminate the new heaven and the new earth.
ii. But the most glorious reality of all will be that sinful rebels will be made righteous, enjoy intimate fellowship with God and the Lamb, serve Them, and reign with Them forever in sheer joy and incessant praise.