THE ETERNITY OF GOD:

THE NEW HEAVENS AND EARTH AND THE NEW JERUSALEM

REVELATION 21:1 – 22:5

As we begin today, let’s think about salvation.  There seems to be a number of Christians, that have a little (maybe a lot) of trouble with eternal security.  If you have been wrestling with your salvation, please think about the following.

God sent His only Son, the Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, He lived a perfect life, one without spot or blemish, to shed His blood upon the Cross for the forgiveness of our sins.

What does this mean for you?  It means that only through the Lord Jesus Christ, you can know God the Father and have fellowship with Him now and for all eternity.  It means that you will live in heaven with God the Father forever.  (John 3:16)

It also means that even while you were yet a sinner, God LOVED YOU enough to send His Son to die on the cross for you that you might have His free gift of salvation [eternal life, John 3:16].  Think about it this way, like a prisoner facing certain execution who is suddenly freed, you can be pardoned from your sin through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God’s only Son.  In other words, salvation only comes through the One who proclaimed, “I am the way the truth and the life.”  (John 14:6)

FACT:  God’s love is well beyond our human comprehension.  Have you thought about it this way?  God’s love is unconditional, undeserved, and based purely on His mercy and grace.

FACT: God loves us, in spite of our disobedience, our weakness, our sin and our selfishness.  Because of His eternal, powerful and special love, He wants to set us free to live an abundant, joyful life.

FACT: We need not to fear Someone [God] who loves us so perfectly.  We can trust Him with our entire life, now and for all of eternity.

FACT: Because of His unconditional love, God forgives us completely, absolutely, He cleanses us thoroughly, and He forgets our sins completely.  Each of these truths has eternal significance for the one who will follow these Scriptural truths.

(Hebrews: 10:5-7; John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8; Romans 10:9-13; Hebrews 11:6)

Now think about Revelation 21:1, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth:  for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.”

The earth is going to pass away.  There is going to be a new earth.

The present earth is defective, it is cursed.  The earth suffers under all kinds of natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, destructive storms, floods, scorching heat, deserts, famines, diseases, and death.

But the day is coming when God is going to remake the earth.  God is going to create a new earth.  Think what this will mean to you if you have accepted God’s Son, the LORD Jesus Christ, as your savior, before you die.  (John 3:16)

  • No more disasters or destruction.
  • No more thorns or thistles, or unfertile and unproductive soil.
  • No more hunger or thirst.
  • No more disease, decay, erosion, or death.
  • The new earth will flourish and be fruitful, bearing all the good that can be imagined.
  • Think how beautiful, free, lush, productive and fruitful the new earth will be.
  • Think how peaceful, serene, comfortable it will be.
  • Think of the security and provision, the abundance and overflowing of every good and perfect gift—the fulness of life that will be possible upon the earth.
  • Think what the earth will be like when it is new and make perfect by God in every conceivable way.
  • Think about what it means for there to be no more sea.  This can mean one of two things.
  1. The sea will be eliminated, done away with, and the new earth will have no need of a sea.
  2. Or it can mean the same thing that is meant with the heavens and earth.  The heavens and the earth and the sea are to pass away and be made anew and recreated.  The sea that causes devastation and destruction will be destroyed right along with the earth and the heavens; but when they are recreated, the sea, being part of the earth, will be part of the new earth, part of the new creation.

NOTE: A perfect earth is beyond our comprehension.  But is exactly what Scripture declares is going to happen.  God is going to create a new earth as well as new heavens.  Please review the Scripture from our previous study dealing with the new earth.

Now let’s move to Revelation 21:2 and the new Jerusalem which we have previously reviewed.

“Let not your heart be troubled:  ye believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father’s house are many mansions:  if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.  And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.  Thomas saith unto him, Lord we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life:  no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”  (John 14: 1-6)

  • There will be the new city of God, the holy city, the New Jerusalem.  The idea is that the New Jerusalem will be the capital city, in the new heavens and earth.  It will be the place where the very presence of God is symbolized.
  • God’s presence, of course, will be manifested everywhere in the new heavens and earth, manifested in all of God’s glory and majesty.
  • But the holy city will give believers a place with which to identify as they serve God throughout the universe.  The next verse shows this.  The heavenly city is the tabernacle, the very presence of God that comes down to dwell with man.  The New Jerusalem will be discussed in detail in Revelation 21:9f.

However, the point in this verse (v. 2) is to show that God has prepared His own capital city to sit upon the earth.  It will apparently be from the New Jerusalem that Jesus Christ will rule the universe and require His servants [believers] to occasionally visit and report on their work (we will explore this further in Revelation 21:24-27).

  • The Lord’s throne will sit in the New Jerusalem and from there He shall rule and reign throughout all eternity.

Note:  That the city comes down out of heaven.  It is not constructed here on earth; God has it built in heaven and then moves it to earth.

Note:  The New Jerusalem is said to be as beautifully prepared as a bride is for her husband.  This points both to the beauty of the city and our longing desire to have God’s presence right here on earth with us.  Remember that Jesus Christ told His apostles that He was going away to prepare a place for them.

Note  There is the possibility that He was referring to His preparing the New Jerusalem (John 14:2-3)

Now let’s move to Revelation 21:3 and our new fellowship with God.

  • There will be immediate fellowship with God.
  • The very tabernacle of God will be set up right here on earth.
  • The tabernacle is  a picture of the tabernacle of the Old Testament,
  • It is the worship center of Israel,
  • It is the place where the very presence and glory of God dwelt in a special way.
  • The picture is this:  when the New Jerusalem, the capital city of eternity, is moved to earth, then the very presence and glory of God will be forever upon earth.
  • God’s presence will never again be dulled or removed from the presence of His people.

NOTE:  The one thing for which man longs is the presence of God, the glory and fulness of God in all the abundance of life.

  • Man may not know it, but the longing of his heart is for God.
  • Man tries to fill his longing with all sorts of worldly pleasures and possessions.
  • But nothing satisfies—nothing but God, His presence and glory.
  • Until man allows God to fill his heart, he goes through all kinds of negative experiences:

*lack of purpose, meaning, and significance.

*emptiness, questioning, and wondering about life.

*routineness, dullness, and feeling drained.

*insecurity and fear and failure.

NOTE:  However, when man gives his life to God, he begins to fellowship with God and to experience all the fulness of life.

NOTE:  The point is this:  in the new heaven and earth the presence and glory of God will dwell with man all the time.  Man will  never be without the presence and glory of God.  Man will always experience the fellowship of God’s presence and glory.

Note how strong the fellowship will be;

“And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.”  (Revelation 21:3)

Four things are said:

  1. The tabernacle of God, the very presence and glory of God, will be with men.
  2. God will dwell with them.
  3. They shall be His people.
  4. God Himself shall be with them and be their God.

Think how wonderful it will be:

  • We will never be without the presence and glory of God.
  • We will have the immediate presence of God.
  • We will be able to share with God.
  • We will be able to talk with God face to face.
  • We will have immediate fellowship with God.
  • We will have immediate communion with God.
  • We will be able to laugh and rejoice with God.
  • We will be able to praise and worship Him face to face.
  • We will be able to serve and work for Him face to face.
  • God says that He is going to live and dwell with us.
  • God is going to take over the management of our lives face to face.
  • God is going to direct us day by day.
  • We will be under His immediate presence an fellowship.
  • This is what eternity will be like, what the new heaven and earth will be like. The presence  and glory of God will be living and dwelling with us right here on earth.

Now let’s move to Revelation 21:4-6 and think about Heaven and earth further.

Note a couple of things:

  1.  Life will be perfect.

*This means that the body of man will be perfect.

*This means the environment and earth will be perfect.

*This means that life and utopia for which man has longed for will be a living reality.

*This means that all the sufferings and evil of life and all the bad and negative experiences of life will be gone.

*Scripture explains the change in the most beautiful and striking way:  it declares that “God shall wipe away all tears from their [believers] eye’s.”

*Imagine a world so perfect that there would never again be a tear shed.  Look at what Scripture says:

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain:  for the former things are passed away.”  (Revelation 21:4)

*There will be not more death:

*No more aging.

*No more murder.

*No more killing.

*No more war.

*No more miscarriages or dying children.

*No more dying mothers or fathers.

*No more parents who have passed on.

*No more funerals or cemeteries or burial grounds.

*Everyone will have a spiritual body.

*Everyone’s body will be perfect, made incorruptible and immoral.

*There will be no death in the new heaven and earth.

*God will wipe away the fears of death.

*There will be no more sorrow.

*There will be no more brokenness, disappointment, regret, guilt, failure, weakness, inferiority, inadequacy, or incapability.

*No more homelessness, starvation, hunger, or thirst.

*The believer will be capable and able, successful and fruitful, confident and secure.

*There will never be a regret or failure to make us sorrowful.

*The believer will be perfect.

*The believer will be able to live and serve to the fullest degree without any shortcoming whatsoever.

*Remember, God will wipe away all the tears of sorrow in the new heaven and earth.

There will be no more crying:  no more disappointment, arguing, fussing, cursing, divisiveness, drugs, evil, immorality, separation, bitterness, burdens, or heartache—no more bad things that cut the heart and cause the heart and eyes to cry.  Every life will be perfect.  Everyone will be perfect and live together in love, joy, and peace—never causing hurt to another person.

There will be no more pain:  no more diseases, accidents, distress, pressure, abuse, beatings, fights, afflictions, or agony.  There will be no more emotional or physical pain.  No more of anything that causes pain of any kind.  God will wipe away the tears of pain.

But note why.  It is because God recreates the universe.  It is because the “former things are passed away.”  God cannot state it any clearer:  the earth as it is now is going to pass away.  Note again how clear and exact Scripture describes what God is going to do:

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain:  for the former things are passed away.”  (Revelation 21:4)

We will go into more of the blessings of the new earth and heavens in our next study.

Good Question:  Would you like to live in a world as described?  If your answer is yes, please look up and think about:

John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9 and follow the road to heaven in Romans 10:9-13; think about Hebrews 11:6.

 

 

 

 

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