Heb. 12:22-23: “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the festal gathering and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect…”
The verses above wonderfully describe God’s church. First, the church is the heavenly Mount Zion, the place that the LORD has chosen to be His dwelling place (Ps. 132:3-4). The church is also the city of the living God – it belongs to Him, and Christ must reign over it as the head (Col 1:18) with His scepter of righteousness (Heb. 1:8-9). It is the heavenly Jerusalem, not earthly; it cannot be made by man, nor by man’s hands – it is not of this creation (Heb. 8:2; 9:11). Man’s ideas, opinions and work have absolutely no place in the heavenly Jerusalem.
In the books of Moses, the earthly Jerusalem was the place God commanded all His people to gather three times a year to keep the feasts, and to bring the first fruits of their offerings to God. In the same way today, the heavenly Jerusalem is the place of festal gathering for all of God’s people to come and keep the feasts (1 Cor. 5:7-8) and worship God by bringing spiritual sacrifices (1 Pet. 2:5, 9). God desires His people to apply everything Christ has accomplished for us from His incarnation all the way to His ascension and for our preparation for Christ’s second coming. He then asks us to prepare and bring our best offerings of what Christ has accomplished and changed in us to worship our heavenly Father. The church, the heavenly Jerusalem, is for God’s enjoyment!
In the church God’s people must also come to God the Judge of all. It is an error to think that God will only judge the unbelievers when He comes back. God wants to be our Judge today to judge anything in us that does not please Him and to perfect us. His purpose is for every believer to become a co-king and priest with Christ to rule and reign with Him on this earth in the coming millennial kingdom age (Rev. 1:5-6; 5:9-10; 20:6). This is why Christians need to know Him as the Judge today to be perfected.
In summary, God has chosen the heavenly Jerusalem, the church today, to prepare and perfect His people to rule and reign with Him on the earth when He comes back. Are you living in the reality of the heavenly Jerusalem today?