Revelation – The New Heaven and Earth

In recent weeks, we’ve learnt about the defeat of God’s enemies, with the serpent cast into the lake of fire. Following this, the great day of reckoning arrived, where various books were opened, including the book of life.

Today, David guided us through Revelation chapter 21, delving into our ultimate destiny. John sees a picture of the future by the one who draws it. Our destiny unfolds in entering the new heaven and new earth:

“THEN I SAW A NEW HEAVEN AND A NEW EARTH, FOR THE FIRST HEAVEN AND THE FIRST EARTH HAD PASSED AWAY, AND THE SEA WAS NO MORE. AND I SAW THE HOLY CITY, NEW JERUSALEM, COMING DOWN OUT OF HEAVEN FROM GOD, PREPARED AS A BRIDE ADORNED FOR HER HUSBAND.”

This chapter brims with rich imagery and symbols, offering exceptional insight.

David posed two questions regarding the new heaven and new earth:
1. What is not there?
2. What is there?

In this chapter we are now looking at the destiny of ‘those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life’ (v.27). John sees the fulfilment of this promise mentioned in Isaiah:

“FOR BEHOLD, I CREATE NEW HEAVENS AND A NEW EARTH, AND THE FORMER THINGS SHALL NOT BE REMEMBERED OR COME INTO MIND.”

Moreover, he witnesses a new city coming down from heaven. Our eternal destiny is not a replaced creation but rather a renewed, restored creation.

What is not there?

  • The sea was no more (v.1). The sea represents chaos. As mentioned in Isaiah 27 and Revelation 13, the beast rose up out of the sea, and this will be no more. Chaos is gone forever; there is eternal peace.
  • There will be no tears, no death, no mourning, no crying, no pain (v.4). An existence without these is a new hope!
  • John hears the one seated on the throne telling him:

“BUT AS FOR THE COWARDLY, THE FAITHLESS, THE DETESTABLE, AS FOR MURDERERS, THE SEXUALLY IMMORAL, SORCERERS, IDOLATERS, AND ALL LIARS, THEIR PORTION WILL BE IN THE LAKE THAT BURNS WITH FIRE AND SULPHUR, WHICH IS THE SECOND DEATH.”

  • The whole city is the temple; the dwelling place of God will be with man. Later in the chapter, we encounter measurements indicating perfection: the city’s dimensions are equal, forming a cube. The only other cubic space in the Bible is the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle.

“…AND I SAW NO TEMPLE IN THE CITY”

  • There is no need for the sun or the moon because the Glory of God gives the city light.

“…AND THE CITY HAS NO NEED OF THE SUN OR OF THE MOON TO SHINE UPON IT”

  • The city has 12 gates but none of them is ever shut. The threat of evil is gone, so no defence is needed.

“… ON NO DAY WILL ITS GATES EVER BE SHUT”

  • God’s first creation came under a curse, but in the new heaven and new earth there will be no trace of any curse.

“…NO LONGER WILL THERE BE ANY CURSE”

What is there?

  • Our destiny holds a twofold, mysterious aspect: God dwells in the temple that is the city:

“BEHOLD, THE DWELLING PLACE OF GOD IS WITH MAN. HE WILL DWELL WITH THEM, AND THEY WILL BE HIS PEOPLE…”

In addition, the living God is the temple itself:

“AND I SAW NO TEMPLE IN THE CITY, FOR ITS TEMPLE IS THE LORD GOD THE ALMIGHTY AND THE LAMB.”

  • The whole city glows with and radiates the Lamb who is the lamp (v.23).
  • There will be a river of life – see chapter 22. God is there, glory is there and life is there.

 

The most wonderful reality of the new city is that the face of God is there:

“AND THEY SHALL SEE HIS FACE”

Reflection:
Moses had longed to see God’s face, but here John discovers that:
Faith shall become sight, as we shall see Him face to face. God is making all things new, so let us look forward with anticipation and hope!

Jesima Dawood

Jesima Dawood

Hi, I'm Jesima, and I'm part of the Deep Dive team at Windsor. I started coming to Windsor in 2022. I am an international student at Queen's studying medicine. I enjoy playing the guitar, and in my free time, I'm on Facetime with my family back home! Windsor is like a new home to me, and I am so blessed to have this connection!!
Jesima Dawood
Hi, I'm Jesima, and I'm part of the Deep Dive team at Windsor. I started coming to Windsor in 2022. I am an international student at Queen's studying medicine. I enjoy playing the guitar, and in my free time, I'm on Facetime with my family back home! Windsor is like a new home to me, and I am so blessed to have this connection!!