And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Rev 21: 9-10
And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life. Rev. 21: 27
There's coming a day when God will take over the control of this world, and expel the devil and his fallen angels. I believe we are very close to that day coming. The Bible gives many descriptions of what the New Jerusalem, the Holy City will look like, and what will be there, and what won't be there. This post will center on Rev. 21:27, and unpack this verse and open up what this verse holds for us, and our future-if we are one of the Lord's people.
There shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth.
Into heaven shall enter nothing that defileth. Every one, and everything whatsoever that is tainted with any impurity shall be utterly excluded. Not merely that eventually heaven will be cleared of such blemishes, but such shall never enter there. Absolute truthfulness and perfect purity, without any admixture of defilement at all, these are what God requires in all who cross the threshold of His home above. Better to be blind to the glory altogether than to gaze longingly upon it, if we must also gaze with despair on the forbidding regulation that those defiled, as we are, shall in no wise enter.
The word of exclusion working within the soul—within my soul, within yours. No person who defiles, no fallen spirit, or sinful man can enter. And as no person, so no tendency, leaning, inclination, or will to sin can gain admission. No wish, no desire, no hunger towards that which is unclean shall ever be found in the perfect city of God. Nor even a thought of evil can be conceived there, much less a sinful act performed. Nothing shall ever be done within those gates of pearl contrary to the perfect law, nor anything imagined in opposition to spotless holiness. Consider such purity, and wonder at it. It is altogether perfect! And, mark well, that no untruth can enter—“neither whatsoever maketh a lie.” Nothing can enter heaven which is not real; nothing erroneous, mistaken, conceited, hollow, professional, pretentious, unsubstantial, can be smuggled through the gates. Only truth can dwell with the God of truth. Bethink you that not only does actual sin shut men out of heaven, but this text goes to the heart by reminding us that we have within us inbred sin, which would defile us speedily, even if we were now clean of positive transgression. How can you and I enter heaven while there is unholy anger in us? There shall in no wise enter into heaven a hasty temper, or a quick imperious spirit, or a malicious mind; for these defile. But then look at the other part of the difficulty—that is, the making of your own heart pure and clean. How shall this be done? Have you tried to master your temper? I hope you have. Have you managed it? Your tendencies this way or that, you have striven against them, I hope, but have you mastered them? I cannot overcome myself, nor overcome my sin. I will never cease from the task, God helping me, but apart from the Divine Spirit the task is as impossible as to make a world.
The Victory-Christ Our Redeemer
He sits upon the throne of God, there, too, our dwelling-place shall be. The transgressor may be sunk in the guiltiest pollution; but if in his distress he casts his sinful soul into the forgiving arms of the Redeemer, he shall surely be forgiven. Out of his great tribulation he shall come, and wash his robes and make them white in the blood of the Lamb, and therefore he, too, once defiled, and banished, and despairing, shall be found before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple.
"The word of salvation, which just meets the difficulty raised by the sentence—“There shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth.” But, first, my past sin, what of that? “Washed in the blood of the Lamb!” This is our first great comfort, “He that believeth in Him is not condemned.” But here is the point, there is still no entrance into the holy city so long as there are any evil tendencies within us. This is the work, this is the difficulty, and since these are to be overcome, how is the work to be done? Simple believing upon Christ brings you justification, but you want more than that; you need sanctification, the purgation of your nature. Faith in Christ tells us of something else beside the blood. There is a Divine Person—let us bow our heads and worship Him—the Holy Ghost who proceedeth from the Father, and He it is Who renews us in the spirit of our minds." (C. H. Spurgeon.)
Those who may Enter
“Only they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”
I. The register. The Infinite One must know everything—what it is, where it is; its nature, character, and uses. But it is not said that there is an indiscriminate register for all, but simply for the holy and true. Not for the wicked. Are you enrolled in that book among the saints? If in Christ, you are, you must be—no one can keep you out of it. If not in Christ, you must be out of it, and no one can put you in.
II. The registrar. “The Lamb’s book.” The Book of Life must be the most difficult to keep. What wisdom—discrimination and justice are required! The combined intelligence of heaven and earth could not keep it; even archangels would make mistakes, but the “Lamb” cannot. Think of His high qualifications. His wisdom is perfect, His omniscience unfailing, His justice unsullied, and His love deep and eternal.
III. The registered. To be in that book is to be safe. To be there is to have heaven for an eternal possession. To be there, is to be among the highest and the best. What honour can be comparable with this? (Biblical Illustrator)
The Citizens of the City
The New Jerusalem, as seen in the vision of the Book of Revelation, is a city differing in many respects from cities in the modern world. There is no night there, no curse, no temple. It is to be, not, as are many modern cities, for the troubling of the nation, but for its healing. It is to be the source of light and health and glory to all mankind. There is no relapse into heathenism or barbarism, no dark ages yet to come. The new city has an eternal day. The light of God’s Presence never wavers. The translucent buildings and walls transmit all the light of life that is concentrated in her to the nations and peoples without. Her gates are ever open—everything that is of value, every talent, every power, every gift in the sum of human perfections is concentrated here to the Divine service. All the nations offer their glory and honour, not as captives robbed of their freedom, and despoiled of their treasures in a Roman triumph, but as free and loving subjects, as those who hate falsehood and immorality, and order their conduct in obedience to the laws that bind the citizens of the kingdom of the Lamb.