Original Research

Embracing a vision of the New Jerusalem (Rv 21:1−22:5) to impact on life and society

Martin H. Pohlmann
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 49, No 2 | a1854 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v49i2.1854 | © 2015 Martin H. Pohlmann | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 June 2014 | Published: 20 April 2015

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Martin H. Pohlmann, Department of Reformed Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa and Baptist Theological College, Randburg, South Africa


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Abstract

Apocalyptic biblical literature has played a significant role in motivating and mobilising Christians. As part of this genre, the Apocalypse of John has played this mobilising role within the church throughout its history. Jerusalem is often incorporated into this genre to conjure up different emotions and images to impact many different people. For example, the Jew annually recites the words to fellow Jews at every Passover meal: ‘Next year in Jerusalem’. Most Christians know the hymn ‘The holy city’, originally penned by Frederic Weatherly in 1892. It lifts many a spirit as it conjures up the idea of a beautiful, perfect, heavenly city of God. However, there is more to this apocalyptic vision, which will be explored in this article. The city upholds the hope of decent godly living today. Whilst Jerusalem is a city with an extremely chequered history, it remains to be the launching pad of a dream that believers can embrace in order to impact society for the better. The vision in Revelation 21–22 is the launch of the ‘idea’ of God’s intention for society today, and the ‘implementation impetus’ is the primary role of the church. In the greater scheme of things, the world community is the target group for a better society for everyone.

Aanneming van ’n visioen van die Nuwe Jerusalem (Op 21:1–22:5) ten einde ’n invloed op lewe en die samelewing uit te oefen. Apokaliptiese Bybelliteratuur het ’n beduidende rol in die motivering en aansporing van Christengemeenskappe gespeel. Die Openbaring van Johannes het hierdie motiveringsrol deurgaans in die geskiedenis van die kerkas deel van dié genre vertolk. Jerusalem is dikwels hierby ingesluit om ’n verskeidenheid van emosies en beelde op te roep ten einde ’n impak op ’n verskeidenheid mense te maak. Die Jood, byvoorbeeld, haal jaarliks die volgende woorde teenoor mede-Jode tydens die Paasmaaltyd aan: ‘Volgende jaar in Jerusalem’. Die meeste Christene ken die gesang ‘The holy city’ wat oorspronklik deur Frederic Weatherly in 1892 geskryf is. Dit hef menige gelowiges se gemoedere op omdat dit die beeld van ’n pragtige, perfekte stad van God oproep. Daar is egter meer aan hierdie openbaringsuitsig wat in hierdie artikel verder ondersoek word. Die hemelstad bekragtig die hoop vir ’n godvrugtige lewe vandag. Alhoewel Jerusalem ’n stad met ’n uiters veelbewoë geskiedenis is, is dit tog die beginpunt vir hierdie droom van gelowiges om die samelewing te verbeter. Die visioen in Openbaring 21–22 is die bekendstelling van die ‘idee’ van God se bedoeling vir ons hedendaagse samelewing en die ‘vervullende beweegkrag’ is die primêre rol van die kerk. Holisties beskou, is die wêreldgemeenskap die teikengroep vir ’n beter samelewing vir almal.


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Crossref Citations

1. Revelation 20:1–10 within the overall paradigm theological thrust of John’s Apocalypse
Martin H. Pohlmann
In die Skriflig / In Luce Verbi  vol: 53  issue: 1  year: 2019  
doi: 10.4102/ids.v53i1.2478