We could literally write a large book on this subject, but we will confine our comments to two points: 1) the CITY and the BRIDE; and 2) the SPIRIT and the BRIDE.

  1. The CITY and the BRIDE. Let’s read Revelation 21:2, 9-11: “Then I, John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband…Then one of the seven angels…came to me and talked with me, saying, ‘Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.’ And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God” (NKJV). I believe these verses, along with the remainder of the chapter, teach us that the New Jerusalem is a LITERAL CITY where the Bride of Christ will live through all eternity. Many have taught that “the city SYMBOLIZES the church, the bride of Christ,” because the angel told John “I will show you the bride.” Yet the rest of the chapter graphically describes a literal city and other passages in Scripture reinforce this view. In Hebrews 11:10 we read of Abraham, “For he waited for a city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” Verse 16 goes on to say, “But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for He hath prepared a city for them.” Abraham and his family looked for a city that God prepared for them! What city is this? We believe it can be none other than the New Jerusalem, for this is the only “heavenly city” mentioned in Scripture. If this is true, then the Bride of Christ AND Old Testament saints will all live in the New Jerusalem. This seems to be confirmed in Hebrews 12:22-23: “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem…to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven…to the spirits of just men made perfect.” The Bride will be the most important “resident” in the heavenly city (with a special place of honor because of her relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ), but saints that lived before the church was born will also be blessed in this eternal city.
  1. The SPIRIT and the BRIDE. Revelation 22:17 says, “And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let him who thirsts come, Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.” In the verse that precedes this, Jesus had spoken of Himself as “the Bright and Morning Star,” which speaks of His coming to rapture the church before the Tribulation Period begins (just as the “morning star” rises shortly before the darkest part of the night, followed by the dawning of a new day). This announcement by the Lord Jesus stirs the heart of the Spirit and the bride to say “Come.” The Holy Spirit, Who lives inside the church (see John 7:37-39; 14:16-17 and Acts 2:4), creates this longing in the bride for His coming to take her home to glory, where she will live eternally in the New Jerusalem. Every individual believer joins in as well, crying out to the Lord Jesus to “Come.” And the thought of His coming leads God to offer a final invitation to all sinners who are thirsting for His salvation to “Come” and to “take the water of life freely.” Has my reader responded to this invitation? Have you come to Christ, the One who offers you eternal life freely (though it cost Him His life on the cross to be able to offer this gift to you)? To “come” to Jesus is to “believe” in Him as your Savior. Jesus said in John 6:35: “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” If you have already come to Jesus for salvation, then you can join in with the Spirit and the bride and cry out to the Lord to “Come.”  (217.3)  (DO)