Jerusalem coming down from heaven / Future or present event?


I was told by someone who I work with that the world will not be destroyed because the bible talks about Jerusalem coming down and sitting over the old city in the end and therefore the world is without end.

Now is this a common Protestant interpritation of the bible, and is it Catholic as well?

Also I was reading this passage (Rev 21:2) “I also saw the holy city a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God…”

This got me thinking if this is the passage he may have been referencing. But I would think this is something that is going on now,not a future but present just like what Catholics belive about the Mass. Turn to Heb 12:22 and we read this as a event that happend to the first Chirstians “No **you have approached **Mount Zion and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerualem and countless angels in festal gathering and the assembly of the firstborn enrolled in heaven.”

So is this what John was talking about in Revlation? And should I tell my friend that what he is refering to is what actually is happening at Mass.

Or could we interprit the verse as what they believe? Who knows Jerusalem may always exist with the heavenly one over it. It wouldnt contradict the fact that it is going on now at Mass would it?




Maybe destroyed is to strong a word for some people, but I think it is accurate. There is nothing about an old city remaining as far as I can see.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. (Rev 21:1)

God alone is mighty enough to destroy the world and remake it in perfection.

The one who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” Then he said, “Write these words down, for they are trustworthy and true.” (Rev 21:5)

Concerning your other point I don’t discount the idea of partial present benefits, but this is clearly a future event that will take place at the end of salvation history.


Ryan :slight_smile:


So when the bible talks about Jerusalem forever being its talking about the earthly one?

I thought maybe just a heavenly Jerusalem not literally an earthly one. Or maybe both I dont know :shrug:


Jerusalem represents God’s Kingdom, but His Kingdom isn’t restricted to a city in the holy land.

If I’m not mistaken, Heaven and earth will unite and there will be no distinction between the two. The former things will pass away and the universe will be mysteriously renewed. Something like before the fall when there was no sin or death.


Ryan :slight_smile:




This is my understanding also; wonderful to envision at Mass. (cf. CCC#1137-1139)
Thanks for the Hebrews reference; it connects beautifully with the Revelation verse.

The Revelation passage also has a future application at the end of time - when Our Lord comes at the end of the world with all the angels and saints. (CCC #677)

The Catechism definitely sees the “heavenly Jerusalem” as referring to the Church.
You might be interested in checking the various CCC paragraphs that reference the Revelations passage. There is an “Index of Citations” “Sacred Scripture”, which immediately follows the ending text of the Catechism (at least there is in my Catechism).



Thanks Nita


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit