Revelation 21

A New Heaven And A New Earth

John describes a complete transformation when he sees a new heaven and earth. The sea was seen as a source of evil, unstable, and dangerous, but in the new order of things, it is gone. The holy city, the new Jerusalem descends as a bride made ready and adorned for her husband. Heaven comes down because God's plan from the beginning was to be with his people. However, sin had prevented that reality but in the new Jerusalem he will dwell with his people and this new place will be different from everything that we have experienced. Jesus shared our life so that we might share his life in heaven. God will comfort his people and death will be no more. Mourning, crying, and pain will all cease as creation is restored and the former things pass away. God declares from his throne that he is making all things new and he reminds John to write these things down for they are trustworthy and true. God is the Alpha and the Omega meaning he originates and completes everything. Only God can truly satisfy humanity's true need, and he bids all who are thirsty may come and drink deeply from the spring of the water of life. God welcomes all who have remained faithful to inherit all things and enjoy the unique relationship of the family with God himself. John offers a sober warning to sinners when he describes their fate as the second death. Those who have willfully walked in an ongoing pattern of evil and disobedience have no place in heaven, and their portion will be in the lake of fire. John's non-exhaustive list if sin and vices remind the reader of the penalty for sin is death. 

The Glory Of God Gives It Light, And Its Lamp Is The Lamb

John is summoned to a high mountain where he sees the holy city in greater detail. The city is the glory of God, and it is radiant, with beauty and clarity of light typical of jewels and crystal. John describes it as a cube that is almost 1,500 miles long and wide and high. The city is fortified with a high wall and has an angel posted at each gate. The twelve gates are inscribed with the names of the tribes of Israel and the twelve foundations of the wall bear the names of the apostles. Jesus has reconciled people to God, so there is no need for any sacrifice. There is no temple in the New Jerusalem because God's presence will not be confined. The new Jerusalem has no need of the sun and moon because the glory of God is light and life. God's light will shine on the nations, and the gates will never be shut because there is no more night. The nations will come to worship the Lord God who is worthy of honor and glory. The city is not open to everyone and everything. Sin cannot exist in the holy city, so nothing unclean will ever come into the city for it is a place of holiness and salvation. Either one repents of sin and trusts Christ for salvation, or they are excluded from the presence of God. At the end of days, God will not send people to hell. Instead, he will grant their desire to remain separated from him, the source of life. Salvation belongs to the Lord, and his people are written in the Lamb's book of life.

Things To Consider:

  • Why does God restore all things?
  • What makes heaven, heaven?
  • What can we learn from the imagery of the bride and her husband?
  • Why did God give marriage to humanity?
  • How is marriage a living parable of the gospel?
  • How will we be comforted by God?
  • How is suffering linked to sin?
  • Why can't we pay God for the water of life?
  • Why is being made family by God so amazing?
  • Why does sin bring death?
  • What is the second death?
  • How is the continuity of God's plan made clear by the twelve tribes and the twelve apostles?
  • Why is the temple unnecessary in the new Jerusalem?
  • Why is light so prevalent in the holy city?
  • How is one's name written in the Lamb's book of life?