The Bible Files

Issue 4: The New Jerusalem

This article provided the basis for chapter 4 of the first EARS book.

I was sitting in church. It was a very charismatic but conservative church. By that I mean they loved to worship enthusiastically, but held VERY tight to the text of the Bible. As such, they generally held closely to accepted church dogma and anything "weird" was often automatically dismissed as "not Biblical." Even though I disagree, in a way I liked that about them since it provided a very firm foundation.

This particular day something strange happened. One of the church elders stood and approached the pulpit. Being an extremely well respected and long-standing member of the congregation, the pastor gladly stepped aside since this man obviously had something important to say. The silver haired elder began by going into a short history of UFOs. The congregation was silent. Most of them were probably wondering "what in the world do UFOs have to do with the Bible?" I know I had brought it up with some of them, and they just kind of rolled their eyes like I was nuts. But this was a church elder, not some new guy like me who had been attending the church less than a year. I'm not sure they knew what to think.

Before long, he opened his Bible and read the following passage from the Book of Revelation:

Revelation 21:2 (NIV)
I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 

Of course, he was implying that the new Jerusalem was, for lack of better terms, a giant spacecraft. Even more than that, he went on to propose that it was already built and waiting to fulfill its mission. I heard whispers from the congregation. Had he lost his mind? Watched too much Star Trek? The problem with this is that he put the message out with a surprising amount of authority; not as a theory, but as something he was fully convinced of.

The Book of Revelation goes on to describe this craft. Ok, ok, I said craft. I know some people will take offense at that, and I've had many discussions about whether it can be considered a "spacecraft" or if it's simply some abstract magical function of God that we can't explain and simply have to accept. You can decide for yourself which explanation sounds more realistic and reasonable.

Either way, it sounds like a very beautiful place. Angels at the gates, foundations of precious stones, streets of gold. I think anyone who accepts the fact that it's real, no matter what it is, has to want to go inside and check it out when it gets here. How do you buy a ticket? That's explained after John gives the extended description of its appearance:

Revelation 21:27 (NIV)
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.

I know a lot of people who have told me that they would love to go aboard a UFO. I wonder if they ever ask themselves if the beings aboard the UFO would love to have them aboard? In the case of the new Jerusalem, we are given a pretty short but direct indication of who is going to be let onto the most dazzling and impressive extraterrestrial craft ever known to mankind - those who are not impure, shameful or deceitful.

Hmm, doesn't this message kind of sound familiar? Seems to me that everything Jesus said, and everything Paul and the Apostles wrote in an attempt to follow up on Jesus' words, was leading up to this moment. In fact, later in the book Jesus reiterates this in characteristically colorful fashion:

Revelation 22:14 (NIV) - Jesus Speaking
Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. 

As far as UFOs in the Bible, the new Jerusalem is definitely the grand finale that we all came to the show to see in the first place.

Hope to see you there.

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