In Hebrews 12:22, the words “have come” are actually the same word in the original text as in some other chapters. Together, they can help us to understand what the word really means. Let’s read Hebrews 4:16: “Let us then with confidence…” We can compare this to the time when the jews were under the law. Even Moses trembled with fear (Heb. 12:21). But today, the Bible teaches us that we should “with confidence draw near to the throne of grace.” You can also take a look at Revelation. It says a rainbow is around the throne (Rev 4:3). Verse 16 continues with “…that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Here, the phrase “draw near” is actually the same as “have come” in the original text. So, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace.” Therefore, Heb. 12:22 carries the meaning of having the attitude to draw near to God and enjoy Him.
Let’s read Heb. 7:25: “Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.” Here, in the original text, the phrase “draw near” is the same as “have come” in Heb. 12:22 which we mentioned previously. Therefore, when we come to Mount Zion, we come with the attitude to draw near to God. When we behold the Lord, draw near to Him and live in His grace, these can help us greatly. These verses are related to drawing near to God.
Let’s read Heb. 10:22-23: “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” It says, “let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith.” So, when we come to Mount Zion, it’s not just about coming to a mountain. In fact, Mount Zion symbolizes grace and what this grace brings forth; it’s an infinite and immense grace. Moreover, we can find love in this grace, and grace comes from love. The word “come” in chapter 12 and the term “draw near” in this chapter are the same words in the original text. Recalling these verses when we draw near to God and worship Him will help us greatly.
Chapter 12:22 says, “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem…” Many Christians are mistaken: they pray towards the Lord in their hearts. But here it says we have come to New Jerusalem. You may wonder how we can reach the heavenly New Jerusalem, which is so far away. Actually, your mind travels much faster than the speed of light. At a speed of about 186,000 miles per second, light seems to travel really fast. But if the Lord had ascended to heaven with that same speed, it would have taken forever. The Bible tells us to mind the things above and come to Mount Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem. We need to just “come” and we will be there in no time. When I lift my hands, my heart can get there right away. My heart is also living there. We should live in His grace and stand firm in it; don’t wander elsewhere. We should stand in His grace and live in His love. We are already living in it, but still we can come closer. If you have failed, you should come to Him quickly, and pray, “Lord, save me!” When you pray, you have a direction, which is towards New Jerusalem.
Recently, a sister has gone to the Lord. And another sister asked me, “Where is she now?” Sometimes, we are not sure where people go after death. We might just say that they have rested in the Lord’s bosom. But if we understand the Bible, we will know that they are already in New Jerusalem. They have meetings there. (But they don’t need to wear masks!) It’s different from the Old Testament time, when people went to Hades after death. You can tell from Luke 16 that there were two parts in Hades, where people would go after they died. One part was where the rich man went, experiencing thirst and was in fire. On the other hand, Lazarus was in Abraham’s bosom, in another part of Hades. However, it’s so precious that ever since the Lord has come, Hades has changed! Now, both Abraham and Lazarus are up above.
We have already come to the heavenly Jerusalem. If we travelled by the speed of light, it would have taken too long. He hears all of our prayers. Our hearts are toward Him. He knows them all. And He responds really fast. Our cell phones are too slow. Even if God came to us at the speed of light to help us, we might have died already before He could reach out to us.
It’s so precious that heaven is not far from us at all. The physical distance is insignificant. To the infinite God, size doesn’t matter, because compared to the infinite God Himself, even the biggest thing, namely, the entire universe, is really really small. Likewise, don’t despise small things. For example, a tiny virus can affect the whole world. Distance is not an issue to the infinite God either. To Him, the distance between us and the planets is nothing. Moreover, we are united with Him. He’s everywhere. Where could I go from His Spirit? (Ps. 139:7) We simply can’t escape from His presence. It’s just whether or not we can enjoy Him, live before Him, and in His presence.
So, we have already come to the heavenly Jerusalem. One day, we will definitely be there with our physical body. But right now, our hearts should live in such a state, in the Most Holy Place. New Jerusalem itself is the Most Holy Place. It has the length, width, and height that are the same, just as the City of New Jerusalem. During the Old Testament times, the Most Holy Place was built according to the truth in heaven. Knowing this, your heart and attitude will be different when you draw near to God.