“The nations will walk in its light, and the kings of the world will enter the city in all their glory. Its gates will never be closed at the end of day because there is no night there. And all the nations will bring their glory and honour into the city. Nothing evil will be allowed to enter, nor anyone who practices shameful idolatry and dishonesty—but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.”
Revelation 21:24-27 NLT
In his vision John saw Jerusalem how it should have been, how God had planned it from the very beginning of time. A place of purity and holiness. A place providing all that was needed for post-old-world life. A place where God lived. In his vision, John saw nations living outside the city, nations ruled by kings, who came and went into the Holy City as they wanted, in all their finery. There was no need to shut the gates when it got dark, for two reasons. Firstly, God lived there and His light, His glory, meant that it never got dark. Secondly, in those days there will be no evil, so no-one would be sneaking into the city to commit a crime.
John saw all the nations, those people living in Heaven, coming to the Holy City to lay down at God’s feet all their glory. We read about it in Isaiah 60. Here’s a couple of verses, “All nations will come to your light; mighty kings will come to see your radiance. ..… They will honour the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has filled you with splendour.” (Isaiah 60:3,9b NLT). And we read earlier in Revelation 4 and 5 about the worship that will be happening in Heaven. The Holy City will be filled with wonderful new songs, honouring God, worshipping Him, glorifying Him.
When we pilgrims come to the foot of God’s throne, we come to give Him our glory and honour. The world system, and those who live in it, love to be honoured. There are those who receive medals or titles in the British New year honours list, philanthropists rewarded for their charitable works. There are those who are rewarded with a promotion or a pay rise at work, in recognition of their outstanding service. A pensioner might receive a clock, or something similar, to commemorate his many years working for the company. An athlete might receive a medal or engraved cup for winning a race or tournament. But, as today’s verses imply, when one day we enter the Holy City, all our previous honours, and the associated glory, will be laid at His feet, all worthless when compared to His glory.
John finishes recording what he was seeing with a reminder that there will be nothing evil allowed into the Holy City, the new Jerusalem. In fact, there will be nothing evil allowed in Heaven. The Lamb’s Book of Life was the decider. If a name wasn’t there, then that person wouldn’t be in Heaven either. There was another home prepared for them.
Once again, we pilgrims look on and marvel. The Holy City, Heaven, God and Jesus, all there waiting for us to join them. We have decided to follow Jesus, as it says in the words of the old song. We won’t be disappointed with what we will find in Heaven.
Dear Father. We give You all the honour, all the glory, today. Amen.