John continues describing this beautiful city. But now he moves from jewels and pearls to the very essence of beauty itself—God and the Lamb. We are told that there is no temple in the city, for it has no need of one. Under the old covenant, the temple was the place where the people of God went to offer sacrifice for sins. Under the new covenant, the temple is the people of God themselves—the Church—built upon the cornerstone himself—Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:19-22). In heaven, the temple will be the Lord God Almighty Himself and the Lamb, for we shall finally be with Him and He with us, and we fully in Him and He fully in us, and He shall be the “all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28). Neither is there need of sun or moon for light since the Father is the light and the Lamb is the lamp. To be exact, the glory of our God shall shine throughout the holy city, and we shall walk by that light. We might call that light, “natural light,” not because it comes from nature but because God IS light whereas all other lights are His creation.
Then we find some wonderfully comforting words: “Its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there…But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” Let us call this security. I read that it is on the second rung of Maslov’s “hierarchy” of human needs. Of course, he was speaking of matters such as personal health and safety. But the Christian demands more than that; the Christian wants security from sin and temptation, from anything that draws him away from God. And this is what heaven affords. It comes first from our own souls which shall be fully redeemed and unable to sin, for sin begins with the human heart which must be healed and the image of Christ completely made within. But it also comes of having no corruptible and abominable thing, no detestable and sinful matter around to harm. And this will be the case even with the gates wide open. God will have made a final and permanent separation among us, and an unbridgeable chasm fixed between us so that no sinful or evil thing or person will bother us (Luke 16:26). I suppose we will be “un-temptable” in that glorified state; but still, no one in that city will want anything of that stuff around anyway.
You see, the holiness of God will permeate every person, every brick, every wall, gate, street, hill, valley—everything within the city. No detestable thing would want to be there. We will finally be where we were meant to be, with the One we were meant to be. And that’s a beautiful thing.