“…and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there (Revelation 21:25).”
I want to return to the middle verse of the three verses we considered yesterday and consider one phrase more closely: “its gates will never be shut.”
How many of you keep your doors unlocked all the time? Likely there would be few, if any, of you who would say that you do - and if you do, you wouldn’t want us to broadcast that truth. Yet that is exactly what John does here in Revelation 21:25. He wants us to know that the gates are never shut in our great eternal city. And while you might want to correct me by saying that he only says that is true “by day,” I would ask you to read on and see that there is “no night.” So, to say that the gates are never shut by day, is to say they are always open.
In the old fallen world, the gates of cities like Jerusalem would often need to be shut. It’s the wise thing to do when we live in a world filled with danger. The gates would need to be shut and defended against real or potential enemies and intruders. Yet this is not so in the new city, for it faces no danger.
This perpetually open door stands in sharp contrast to the entrance to the Garden of Eden after the curse was announced in Genesis 3. At the very end of that chapter we hear the saddest part of the curse announced: “He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life (Gen. 3:24).” The way to the tree of life and the place where they had known such great intimacy with God was closed and kept that way by a flaming sword. But now we hear that the way to the place of fullest intimacy with God will one day be open. Indeed, it will always be open!