The City of God in Heaven is just as real as this earth we live on. It is clear in Scripture that the Father in Heaven created the earth for man and Him to enjoy. In original creation — before sin defiled the earth and man — the Father would step out of His “Pearly White City” and walk in this garden with Adam. Moses, the author of Genesis, told of the wonderful fellowship that God had in His garden with Adam until sin appeared.“And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day…” (Genesis 3:8a).
What a story would have continued, but on this occasion sin interrupted a perfect environment. Heaven and earth were so close that the Father and man could have personal fellowship without limitation. The corruption — sorrow, jealousy, anger, and death — all began in this garden that our Father had created so perfectly. The Heavenly city did not change and Satan was cast out with all his renegades. While God’s Son was on earth effecting redemption, He told of watching Satan being expelled from His Father’s presence. He said, “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from Heaven” (Luke 10:18b).
The earth began a slow but powerful descent into the muck and mire that we presently witness. Satan and those that follow him are responsible for every heartache and destruction that is visible everywhere. Sickness did not exist until sin. No one can doubt that our environment is practically depleted. Every physical upheaval — earthquakes and great storms — are but death pains of societal decay. But a perfect redemptive plan is recorded in the Holy Bible. We call this plan “Prophecy” and the sounds of hope are in the air.
Heaven and earth were originally in close proximity to each other or close enough that the great fellowship between the two could unfold daily. But, a great gulf was created by God to separate a sinful world from a holy Heaven. Today, we call it the Second Heaven. Our world has its own Heaven that is full of stars and other created bodies. The Heavenly kingdom is in the Third Heaven, where the great city of God gleams in its splendor. New Jerusalem that the Son of God created for His Bride probably sits in the suburbs waiting for the wedding day. John saw it and recorded its beauty in Revelation chapters twenty-one and two.
This Third Heaven is my subject today. The Bible tells us that Jesus came down from Heaven to be born into our world. He said it Himself, “And no man hath ascended up to Heaven, but he that came down from Heaven, even the Son of man which is in Heaven” (John 3:13). It was His dwelling place for eternity, but He was willing to come down to us to redeem man and His earth. The headquarters of the Heavenly host of angels is in Heaven. He told His disciples that they would see angels ascending and descending unto Him from Heaven. They are still ascending and descending to minister for those that are His disciples.
Heaven is the treasure trove of the saints of God. We do not lay up our treasure here on earth. Jesus told the rich young ruler to give up everything, sell it all, and follow Him. His words are beautiful, “Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in Heaven: and come and follow me” (Matthew 19:21).
Why are the multitudes willing to keep to themselves earthly treasures and store them up for their family to fight over while almost nothing is being sent on ahead as “treasure in Heaven?” If your treasures are in this world, they will soon be obliterated in the cleansing of this earth.
This “Pearly White City” that is called Heavenly Jerusalem is, without question, breathtaking to behold. Apostle Paul was caught up to view the city and returned without words to describe it. He said it was unlawful for Him to repeat what He had beheld. John saw the New Jerusalem prepared for the saints, but gave no description of the Holy City itself.
The Psalmist David spoke of the Son of God and His returning for the saints. He described Him with beautiful words and then told us He would come out of the ivory palaces of Heavenly Jerusalem. Here are His words, “All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the “Ivory Palaces,” whereby they have made thee glad” (Psalm 45:8, emphasis added). Three songs later He spoke of the city, “Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King. God is known in her palaces for a refuge” (Psalm 48:1-3).
Its time to quit living for this passing world and its empty promises. Heaven is the homeland. The great promises of the Lord are intimately connected to a New Heaven and a New Earth all renewed and joined together again. Sin will never interrupt the harmony of our future. The one door into this grand day is Jesus Christ, God’s only Son. Surrender to His grace and live the holy life He has prepared for you in His righteousness. Soon, all things He has prepared and promised will be ours to enjoy forever.
Joseph R. Chambers