Read aloud the story in Revelation 21:2-23.
The Lord allowed John to see the Holy City, New Jerusalem. An angel showed John beautiful details of the city of gold with its 12 pearl gates and 12 foundations of precious gems. Centuries later, the Lord revealed that this holy city pictures the teachings of a New Church—a new Christianity.
Ideas for discussion
- How does this story help us understand how the Lord leads us toward heaven?
- Talk with younger children about the details of this city: its light, walls, 12 gates, gold, pearls, and precious gems. If possible, show them some gold, a pearl and a precious gem.
- The holy city pictures a spiritual picture of the Lord’s New Church. This holy city is home to people who love the Lord and follow His teachings.
- Why is the holy city New Jerusalem compared to a bride? (The church is wonderful and beautiful like a bride is wonderful and beautiful.)
- Why was there no need for the sun or the moon to shine in the city? (The glory of God illuminated it.)
- What does the light of the holy city suggest about the truths of the Lord’s New Church? (The Lord wants us to be able to understand His Word. He has revealed new truths that can help people more fully understand the way to heaven.)
- The walls of the city symbolize the letter of the Word. The stories of the Word have a spiritual meaning that gives us a clear idea of what is good and true.
- The twelve gates were open all the time, but an angel stood at each gate, making sure nothing bad entered the city.
- What were the gates of the city made of? (Each gate was made of a single pearl. These gates symbolize the true ideas that can introduce us into that holy city.)
- Who can live in the holy city, New Jerusalem? (Only those whose names are written in the “Book of Life.”)
- “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may enter through the gates into the city” (Revelation 22:14).
Learn more about the Holy City, New Jerusalem:
- Shine, Shine, Golden Jerusalem Song Video
This joyful children's song highlights the description found in Revelation 21:2,10-26 by the disciple John as he saw the holy city New Jerusalem descending from heaven.
- “The Golden Street” by Kenneth O. Stroh
The Lord invites all people to come into His New Church, and into the golden city, New Jerusalem.
- “The Holy City, New Jerusalem” by Eric Carswell
This heavenly city is a picture of the Lord’s church, both as it exists among all people who receive Him and also as it can be with each person.
Projects and activities for various ages:
- Open the Pearl Gate and See an Angel (ages 4-10)
This project illustrates the concept that each gate of the city is made of a single pearl and guarded by an angel.
- The Holy City Color Picture by Marguerite L. Acton (ages 6-14)
Color picture of the Holy City, New Jerusalem descending out of heaven from God.
- Make Your Own Picture of a Beautiful Bride (ages 7-10)
When seen as a bride, the Holy City symbolizes our loving response to the Lord and the truths which He gives us. This project invites you to picture a beautiful bride!
- Holy City Candle Holder (ages 7-14)
Color a picture of the holy city to place in front of a candle or in a window.
- Walled Model of the Holy City (ages 7-14)
Make a model of the golden city with its wall and its twelve pearl gates.
- Cut-Out Model of the Holy City (ages 7-17)
This is a lovely model of the city designed by Leon Rhodes which could be suspended in the air.
- The Great City the Holy Jerusalem Coloring Page by Mary S. Cooper
Pictures John seeing the holy city, New Jerusalem shining with light as it descends from the Lord out of heaven.
- Prayers for Children: The New Jerusalem
Two prayers asking the Lord to help us learn what is true and do what is good so we may enter the gates of the holy city, New Jerusalem.
- Twelve Gates, Twelve Truths (ages 15-17)
List twelve truths or teachings that could lead a person into the New Church.
- He Showed Me That Great City by Robert Glenn
Lovely illustration of an angel showing John the holy city.
- How Big Is the Holy City? (ages 10-17)
Looking at the mathematical dimensions of the Holy City, New Jerusalem makes it clear that the dimensions are spiritual rather than natural.
- John Sees the Holy City Spiritual Task by David Roth
The description of the New Jerusalem is a picture of what the Lord builds within our hearts as we work to understand and live according to His Word.
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