Q: Your book, Footsteps of the Messiah, states that nothing unrighteous will ever enter through the gates of the city. Why are there gates? Does this suggest that something less than perfection exists outside the New Jerusalem? If the New Jerusalem is in effect Heaven on Earth then what is happening on the rest of the earth? “... light unto the nations,” hmm. You mean to tell me that there will still be nations?
A: The purpose for the gates of the New Jerusalem is to have a way in and out of the city since there is more to the Eternal Order than just the New Jerusalem. There will also be the remainder of the New Earth, which will also be for our enjoyment. The gates, therefore, are not to keep anyone out, but, as ornaments, they will allow free passage in and out of the city. Since nothing will threaten the city, the gates will never need to be closed. No, there will not be “nations” in the Eternal Order, but the Greek word simply means “Gentiles.” The point is that the Jewish-Gentile distinction will still be maintained throughout eternity, though there will be no functional difference at that time. All believers will be living in the New Jerusalem, but we will have access to the remainder of the New Earth for our enjoyment.