This post stems from an interesting conversation I had at Biblestudy tonight. The topic of tonight’s study was Heaven. We all went around the room and talked about what we think it will be like and the stereotypical answers of “restful” and “eternal praise” sprung up, but it was where our leader took us that surprised me. We turned to the book of Revelation where John is seeing a vision of what the New Heaven and New Earth will be like. In Revelation 21:2 John talks about the “New Jerusalem” as follows, “And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her.”
As the passage continues it talks about streets of gold and what the “city of heaven” or the “New Jerusalem” will be like. This new “city” is the place where God and man will dwell together in unity, eternally. The conversation then turned when the following question was presented, “Mankind started out in a Garden and Heaven is a city, what do yall make of this?” I instantly thought of our City Cultures class.
I found it insanely interesting that mankind was created in the wilderness of the Garden of Eden and yet the end goal for Christians is to live in the “City of Heaven.” The Garden of Eden was the perfect Utopia until sin entered and the fall of mankind began. Many times today the city is considered by many to be the well-spring of sin while the country is where many people consider the good ‘ol way of living a holy life to be. Why is this view held by so many people (albeit if they claim to be Christians or not) today? Apparently it is not entirely Biblical, right? Isn’t it interesting how the Bible depicts the starting place as more of a “country” setting (the Garden of Eden) and the ending place as more of a city (Heaven)?
This post is more of a hopeful questioning of what others think about this Biblical phenomenon of the City of Heaven vs. the Garden of Eden. It grabbed my attention because it was something I had never thought about before and it happened to directly relate to what we are studying in class at this current time.
I believe it would be one of the most beautiful and powerful displays of God’s power and command to show how he can clean even a place fully of dark alleyways and brothels and use it to house his children forever in pure utopian bliss. How cool is that! I also find it interesting that the country, or garden, is almost criminalized or set aside through this example because it, in a Biblical standpoint, is seen as a starting rather than ending point. I do believe the Earth, and therefore the country as well, will be remade new and whole, but I can’t fully express in words how interesting it is to me that heaven is a city not another garden.
So, this is my selfish attempt to get some feedback. What do yall think? Is this relevant? Do you think this says something about civilization as a whole?