And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Southern Gospel can only be fully understood in light of the Great Depression. Though it traces its roots earlier, it came of age during the Great Depression. The generation of singers who grew up during the Great Depression and World War II were the greatest generation of Southern Gospel singers. The peak years of the genre roughly coincide with the peak years of its singers and fans—from after World War II to about the turn of the century.
Critics from more prosperous decades since have said there are too many Southern Gospel songs about Heaven. And there are quite a few, including a remarkable percentage of the songs listed below. But if one truly understands how bleak things were during the Great Depression, the genre’s focus on Heaven makes sense! And it’s why songs like this one are so beloved by its audiences.
And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
Michael Card’s perspective on the same passage is a little more restrained, and by comparison, almost elegant. But it has a vigor and power of its own, carried by the lyric even more than the delivery.
And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
This triumphant anthem draws from surrounding verses, but draws its key idea from this verse.
Jerusalem the golden (Revelation 21:1-2) John Mason Neale, Bernard of Cluny Lyrics | Sheet Music
Lo What A Glorious Sight Appears (Revelation 21:1-4) (1719) Isaac Watts | Popularized by The Psalms of David (1719) Lyrics | Sheet Music
New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:1-4) (2012) Popularized by Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir Lyrics | YouTube | Amazon
John Saw the Heaven and Earth Made New (Revelation 21:1-5) Louise Lapp Lyrics | Sheet Music
One Day (When We All Get to Heaven) (Revelation 21:1-5) (2017) Popularized by Matt Redman YouTube | Amazon
Lo! what a glorious sight appears (Revelation 21:1-9) Lyrics
Behold, Behold (Revelation) (Revelation 21:1-24) (2017) Popularized by Caroline Cobb (featuring Sean Carter) YouTube | Amazon
No More Sea (Revelation 21:1) Sheryl Farris | Popularized by The McKameys YouTube
I See a City (Revelation 21:2-5) (2005) Popularized by The Hoskins Family YouTube | Amazon
New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:2-6) Michael Card, Scott Brasher | Popularized by Michael Card Lyrics | YouTube | Amazon
God Shall Wipe All Tears Away (Revelation 21:4) Ulysses Phillips Lyrics