“32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will NOT BE FORGIVEN HIM, either in this age or in THE AGE TO COME.” (Matt. 12:32).
The AGE TO COME refers to the eternal New Covenant gospel, Kingdom age after AD 70. The Kingdom is a spiritual Kingdom that consists of all born-again Christians, who are redeemed by Christ and have fully consummated salvation.
The AGE TO COME also includes all believing and non-believing people physically living after AD 70 in this human life. All faithful believers will spiritually enter the New Covenant spiritual Kingdom on an individual basis upon being born-again spiritually.
The AGE TO COME is not referring to heaven. It is called the Messianic age or eternal New Covenant Kingdom age in which we humans are now living physically after AD 70.
All born-again believers receive eternal life in Christ in the AGE TO COME after AD 70. They each receive the Holy Spirit and are individual priests of God in the New Covenant gospel, spiritual Kingdom. (Luke 18:29-30). Our mission is to grow in Christ; love one- another; spread the gospel; and make new disciples growing the Kingdom forever (Isa. 9:7; Eph. 3:21).
The Kingdom will continue growing and spreading throughout the SEEN realm on earth, but it will never reach perfection here on earth (seen realm). Perfection is only found in heaven (unseen realm). The earth is where the visible church has its activity. The Cross and the Parousia were two world-changing events, which forever and irreversibly affected both the seen and unseen realms.
Earthly realm aspect:
The earthly Kingdom’s realm existence is in the church. This earthly realm aspect is much like Isaiah was prophesying about in Isaiah 65:20-25, 66:18-24. This also corresponds to the earthly life in the Kingdom as spoken of in Ezekiel 47 where the river of life will grow and bring life wherever it goes, but that there will always be the evil and darkness around us (swamps and marshland) (Ezek. 47:11).
This aspect is speaking about us as true members of Christ’s body in the church à we have free unhindered entrance into the earthly aspects of the Kingdom city, God dwells with us, we are blessed with His Holy Spirit living with and guiding us, and we have the guarantee of the inheritance of eternal life in the heavenly city once we leave this earthly life. No “unsaved” person can truly enter the body of Christ in the earthly church, nor have these rights or access to the Tree of eternal Life in the heavenly city upon physical death (they must first be born again. John 3:5). (Outside of the gates of the earthly church body are the “dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolater, and whoever loves and practices a lie.”)
Heavenly realm aspect:
The New Jerusalem is in the heavenly unseen realm where God dwells. The Tree of Life is in this heavenly city. Jesus brought this heavenly city down with Him when He returned at His Parousia. At His Parousia He raised the dead righteous souls in the unseen realm out of Hades/Sheol, changed the living righteous into the unseen realm, and gave them all new immortal heavenly individual bodies, and they inherited their eternal life and entrance through the gates into the heavenly Jerusalem with access to the Tree of Life.
It is in the heavenly afterlife aspect of the New Jerusalem where the Tree of Life is. And like Jesus prayed in His model prayer, the Kingdom has both earthly and heavenly aspects: “May your kingdom come, and your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” It is NOT an either/or situation, but rather a both/and situation.
And this dual aspect to the New Jerusalem and Kingdom is even more clearly seen when we consider the audience relevance of Rev 21 – 22 to those first century saints. Recall that the “overcomers” (Rev. 3:12, 21, 21:7) and faithful saints (Rev. 22:14) have the right to enter into the city. Those “overcomers” were already Christians long before they overcame the trials of the great tribulation. And it was their faithfulness unto death which made them overcomers and enabled them to enter into the Heavenly City. They did not enter into it until after they died. Therefore, entry into the gates of the New Jerusalem is not talking about becoming Christians. It is instead talking about faithful Christians dying and leaving this earthly life and then entering into the heavenly Jerusalem.
For a more in-depth study see the related full “Study Series” (available upon request if not hyperlinked):
“Study Series 16 Lesson 9 Rev. Chapter 21”
“Study Series 16 Lesson 10 Rev. Chapter 22”