THE NEW HEAVEN AND THE NEW EARTH
REVELATION: CHAPTER 21
AIM: To show what eternity will be like and to show that what God was unable to enjoy in the first creation He will be able to enjoy in the new creation.
POINT OF CONTACT: What do you suppose happens after the Millennium & the Great White Throne Judgement? Allow answers. Then eternity begins and time (a creation of God) will be no more. We will study today about how it will be.
INTRODUCTION: This chapter is "Out of this World". It tells us of the Universe or the world after the Millennium & after the lost dead are cast into hell.
I. The New Heaven & New Earth Vs. 1
John is shown this new scene. Although the earth was once cleansed with water, Peter tells us (2 Pet. 3:4-13) that God will cleanse it once more by fire. When this occurs the present earth will not cease to exist but will be renovated & made new. Ps. 119:90. The old creation was made for the first Adam & the New creation will be made for the last Adam. CF. Isa. 65:17, 66:22. The old creation has to be cleansed from sin & defilement before it will be suitable for those living in glorified bodies to inhabit it.
II. The New Jerusalem Vs. 2-27
A. The City is the Bride Vs. 2 & 9
The Holy city is the New Jerusalem. Its prepared by God. Jn. 14:1-3. It comes from God. This city is not the New Earth but it seems to hover over the New Earth. The Earths light will come from the city. Vs.24. The Bride is the Church (assembly) & the city. Both are spoken of as the Bride. We speak often in a similar way. Eg. When I speak of Miami, I may be referring to it in its material or physical sense, or I may be referring to the people in Miami. "Miami is a wicked, sinful city". That is the population is. "Miami is a beautiful city". That is, its buildings & topography are. So, the New Jerusalem is the Bride. It is the habitation of the Bride. That is why God calls it both the "Holy City" & the "Lamb Wife".
B. A New Era Vs. 3-9
Vs. 3 The Tabernacle of God refers to the person of Jesus Christ. The flesh of the Lord Jesus was a tabernacle whereby God came among men Jn. 1:14. In the New Jerusalem, the Glorified body of Jesus will be the tabernacle. He will be in a body dwelling with His church throughout eternity. Everyone will worship Him. Phil. 2:9-11.
Vs. 4 - Note several "No Mores". Tears, death, sorrow, crying pain. Isa. 65:17
Vs. 5 - This seems to be the first or one of the first utterances of God in eternity. John is commanded to write because these words are not only faithful & true, but they are the same as fulfilled. "They are come to pass". God speaks of what He is going to do as if it is already done.
Vs. 6 The Alpha & Omega is Jesus. Rev. 1:5-8. Water from the fountain of the water of life is promised in abundance to the one who is thirsty. This promise refers to the abundant character of eternal life & the blessings which flow from it & is a fulfillment of Isaiah 55:1 as well as that of Christ in John 4:10, 13-14.
Vs. 7 Another promise is that overcomers will inherit all things. This was formerly promised in Romans 8:16-17. All believers are Sons of God. Jn. 1:12, Gal. 3:26.
Vs. 8 & 9 The Creation of the New Heavens & New Earth does not affect the status of the lost in hell nor does it change hell itself in anyway. Sin & sinners are forever shut out of the New Creation.
Notice that the unbelieving are listed with the greatest sinners. Unbelief is the greatest sin. Jn. 3:16-18,36.
C. The Description of the New Jerusalem Vs. 10-21.
Vs. 10 & 11 A Great & Glorious city The city whose main inhabitants will be the church although the earth dwellers will also go in & out of it. Vs. 24-26.
Vs. 12-16 A square city actually a cube. Twelve thousand furlongs (16), 1500 miles high, wide & long. From Miami to Maine & from New York to Colorado. Three gates on each side & named according to the 12 tribes. It will have 12 foundations, each named for an apostle, because the church is built upon the foundation of the Apostles & Prophets. Eph. 2:20. Jesus turned His work over to the apostles at His ascension. Acts. 1:1,2.
Vs. 17 A cubit is about 18 inches.
Vs. 18-21 What a beautiful place! Pure Gold will be so common that the street will be made of it & we will walk on it. The precious stones of which it will be made will be beautiful. Each gate is made of pearl, which speaks of the redeemed, the church. The pearl is the only precious gem that is not a stone. A living organism that lives in the sea when wounded by an intrusion of sand, throws off a fluid that covers the sand & makes a pearl. The organism forms the pearl out of itself. So does Jesus. Because of sin, Jesus died, thereby covering trusting sinners with His robe of Righteousness. The gates of Pearl will forever remind us that we were a grain of sand, dirty, rebellious, & unattractive, but God loved us & covered us with His righteousness. The beauty is not in the sand but in the covering. Our beauty in eternity will be His righteousness which He put upon us.
Note that there is only one street & its of pure gold that is transparent. This will be specially made by God.
D. The Presence of God Vs. 22 & 23
Vs. 22 There will be no Temple in this city. The Temple as considered during time was the dwelling place of God. Where sin existed in Old Testament times, people could not come into the presence of God in the Temple, but in eternity, sin will be no more & all the inhabitants of the New Earth & the New Jerusalem will enjoy the presence of God.
God created man for fellowship in Eden & in eternity He will enjoy fellowship with people who will want to fellowship and love Him. We cant see God now but then we will be able to.
Vs. 23 Probably the sun will have to get its light from the New Jerusalem. Jesus, the light of the world will give light to His new creation & there will be no more darkness. We will be no more away from the presence of Jesus. Jn. 8:12.
E. The New Center of Creation Vs. 24-26
The gates will not be shut at all. They are not for protection, but are the badge or coat of Arms of the church. The pearl of great price has been purchased at great price. The church will be for the display of His Grace. Eph. 2:7.
The church will be the fairest jewel of all when He makes up His Jewels. Mal. 3:17,18 Jn. 14:3d. "That where I am, there ye may be also".
F. Those Excluded from the New Jerusalem Vs. 27
Only those who have accepted Christ as Saviour can enter it. All other are defilers, abominable to God & liars.
CONCLUSION: The New creation & life in it is really beyond description & understanding. God has in this chapter revealed to a degree what it will be like, but it will be even more & better than we expect. Are you going to be an inhabitant?
When do the events of Chapter 21 occur?
What will happen when the first earth passes away?
Where does the New Jerusalem come from?
What is the tabernacle of God?
State 3 things there will be no more of in the New Jerusalem?
Who is the alpha & omega?
Who are the overcomers?
Is unbelief as bad as murder?
Who & what is the Bride?
How many gates will be in the New Jerusalem?
What names will be on them?
How many foundations? Name them.
What is unusual about the gold in the city?
Why are the apostles the foundation of the wall?
What shape is the city in?
How many streets are in the city?
What is the significance of the pearly gates?
Where will the city obtain its light?
Who will be allowed in the city?
Who will be excluded from the city?