Revelation 22:1,2 says this, “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of the street and on either side of the river was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.“
I grew up in Indiana in an old Baptist church in Zionsville. One thing that always stuck with me was how I should interpret God’s word. It is my opinion that God’s word was written for us to take Him literally. However, unless the different authors of the books use literary devices for example: hyperbole, litotes, or just a simple “as,” “like” for comparison. For me this clears up confusion when I read certain passages, like Jesus saying if your eye offends you pluck it out. Does Jesus really want me to pluck out my eye? No. It is a figure of speech, meaning be willing sacrifice anything to enter the kingdom of God.
Now when we come to the above passage, like many passages in Revelation it tells us something interesting about the scene in God’s Kingdom. There is a river of life and in the middle there is a tree of life. A tree that has different fruit on it. Then the passage says, “the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” The bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:35-49 that we will have resurrected bodies, “we have borne the image the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.” So what role do these leaves play? So here is my explanation, which comes from a Pre-Tribulational Rapture point of view (which means that God will rapture believers today before the Tribulation begins).
When the Lord returns to put an end to the Tribulation, He will immediately begin to set up His Kingdom. The Overcomers from Revelation 2 & 3 will rule and reign with Christ in His Kingdom. However, who are the people who are living in the kingdom? Let me suggest this, the people living in the Kingdom will be the true Jewish Remnant as well as children (who have not taken the mark of the Beast). Jesus said the Kingdom of Heaven was like a child. The Israelites wandered in the wilderness for 40 years, because of their sin of unbelief. They wandered because God was not going to allow that generation to enter the Promised Land. Who entered the Promised Land then? The children of the previous generation. God’s Kingdom will last a thousand years. Longer than any other kingdom.
These children now in the Kingdom will not have resurrected bodies like those who have died or will be raptured up. But their bodies will be like those who lived before the flood. Those people lived extremely long lives. How that will happen I do not know. What I do know is that back in Revelation 22:2 the leaves of the tree of life were for the healing of the nations. The word nations implies gentiles not Jews. For believers we will have resurrected bodies and have no need for healing. But the people of t he nations will. Someone gets hurt during the Kingdom then they will be healed.
It is a pretty mind blowing verse, however, everything in God’s Kingdom serves a purpose. I believe God will not let children go to Hell. What is the age of accountability? That is hard to answer because there is no verse in the Bible to suggest what age it could be. Technically you have the passage where David loses his kid in 2 Samuel, but it is vague at best. Hypothetically writing I would say the age could be anything under 18. Your brain reaches full development by the time you are in your early 20′s. I come to that conclusion based on the approximate age of the youths entering the Promised Land.
Its cool if you disagree with me or whatever. There is not a verse that specifically says anything about it. All I am writing is that this could be how things shake down. I do tend to think that this is how it will be. My opinion. Feel free to share your own.