A Biblical Theology of the City of God

T. Desmond Alexander: What Is the City of God? The apostle John’s vision of a gigantic, golden city brings the book of Revelation to a dramatic conclusion. The vision recorded in Revelation 21:1-22:5 forms the climax to a series of amazing visions that reveal through rich imagery God’s plans for humanity and the world. The descent of this extraordinary city from heaven to earth marks the goal of God’s creative and redemptive activity. John’s vision of the city abounds with imagery drawn from the rest of Scripture. Elements of the Garden of Eden reappear in Revelation 21-22, especially the tree of life (Rev. 22:2; Gen. 2:9; 3:22-24). Importantly, in New Jerusalem the consequences of Adam and Eve’s expulsion from Eden are fully reversed. People are no longer barred from eating of the tree’s life-renewing fruit. God and humans enjoy each other’s presence, living together in perfect harmony. God’s Original Plan The creation of New Jerusalem does not occur as an

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Not Simply a Promise, But a Happening

“Here was an amazing claim. John had announced an imminent visitation of God which would mean the fulfillment of the eschatological hope and the coming of the messianic age. Jesus proclaimed that this promise was actually being fulfilled. This is no apocalyptic Kingdom but a present salvation. Jesus did not promise his hearers a better future or assure that they would soon enter the Kingdom. Rather he boldly announced that the Kingdom (Herrschaft) of God had come to them. The presence of the Kingdom was ‘a happening, an event, the gracious action of God’ (Bornkamm). The promise was fulfilled in the action of Jesus: in his proclamation of good news to the poor, release to captives, restoring sight to the blind, freeing those who were oppressed. This was no new theology or new idea or new promise; it was a new event in history. ‘The wretched hear the good news, the prison doors are open, the oppressed breathe the air

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