Sun, Nov 19, 2000

A New Heavens and Earth: Revelation 21:1-8

Ministry of Pastor Joe Guglielmo teachings through the Bible, verse by verse for a better understanding of Gods Word.
Text Print read

A NEW HEAVENS AND EARTH

REVELATION 21:1-8

Please turn in your Bibles to Revelation chapter 21, as we continue our study through the book of Revelation. Let’s begin reading in verse 1 of Revelation chapter 21. (Read Revelation 21:1-8).

We are now in the home stretch of this book. We saw the church age come to an end and the church, the bride of Christ, caught up to the Lord prior to the start of the tribulation period. We saw heaven filled with worship and then Jesus take back the title deed of the earth, purchased by the shedding of His blood on the cross of Calvary.

It is then we see the Lord pour out a series of seven seal judgments, seven trumpet judgments and then seven bowl judgments upon the earth-dwellers, those people who are living in rebellion against God. And it all came to a climax as the nations of the world gathered to fight against the Lord and we are told in Revelation 19, "Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God...And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh." Revelation 19:15, 21.

After this Satan is bound for 1,000 years in the bottomless pit and the Lord establishes His kingdom here on this earth to rule and reign for 1,000 years. After the 1,000 years Satan is loosed for a season to give those born during the kingdom age a chance to chose, either to surrender to the Lord or to Satan. Those that have rejected the Lord, throughout history, will appear before the Lord in the great white throne judgment and will enter into the lake of fire for eternity. For the faithful, they will enter into eternity with the Lord as He creates a new heavens and a new earth, which we will begin looking at this morning.

Before we dig into this portion of Scripture, listen to what Jon Courson has to say regarding this chapter, for it will help us get focused on what we will be looking at this morning. He said:

It is true that the church is to be a hospital where people who are hurting can come and be healed through the body of the Great Physician, Jesus Christ (Matthew 9:12), it is also true that the church is to be a school where we can study to show ourselves approved unto God

(II Timothy 3:15). It is also true the church is to be a gymnasium wherein we work out our salvation (Philippians 2:12), and exercise unto godliness (I Timothy 4:7). But perhaps most importantly the church is to be a travel agency, booking people on an eternal excursion to heaven.

Revelation 21 and 22 constitute a travel brochure for just such a journey...

- Jon Courson, Revelation -volume 2

With that all said, let’s look at this travel brochure and see what is in store for us as God creates a new heaven and a new earth, with a new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven.

REVELATION 21

VERSE 1

Understand this, God is not going to refurbish this earth, He is going to create a new one! Let me explain. In Genesis 1:1 we are told that "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." The Hebrew word for "created" is BARA. It means to call into existence from nothing or to make out of nothing. Only God can do that. What man can do is take the existing materials and assemble them together. The Hebrew word ASAH means "to make" and YATSAR means "to form." That is what man can do, but God can take that which was nothing and bring into existence something!

Then, in Isaiah 65:17-18, in speaking of the new heavens and the new earth, we read

"For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not beremembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; for behold,create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, and her people a joy." Also, in Isaiah 66:22 we read "‘Foras the new heavens and the new earth which I will make shall remain before Me,’ says theLORD, ‘So shall your descendants and your name remain." The word "create" in Isaiah 65 is the same Hebrew word found in Genesis 1:1, BARA. God is going to create a new heavens and a new earth out of nothing, out of materials that did not exist!

Then what happens to the old heavens and the old earth? Peter gives us some insight to that when He says in II Peter 3:10-13, "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore,since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holyconduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because ofwhich the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with ferventheat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth inwhich righteousness dwells."

Peter is speaking of the earth being destroyed, done away with and the establishing of a new heavens and a new earth taking place. And he is admonishing us to live lives that are holy or set apart for God since these things will come to pass.

Now in Revelation, in II Peter and also in Isaiah we see the reference to a new heavens being created. What is that speaking of? Understand that the Bible calls 3 different places Heaven, a word that is used some 700 times in the Bible, and the way they are used are as follows:

1. EARTH’S ATMOSPHERE - A place where the birds fly, the clouds are and-so-on.

2. OUTER SPACE - A place where the sun, stars, moon and planets are.

3. GOD’S DWELLING PLACE - Paul, in II Corinthians 12:2-4 spoke of being caught up to the third heaven after he was stoned by the people and left for dead. We read "I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago-- whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of thebody I do not know, God knows-- such a one was caught up to the third heaven. And Iknow such a man-- whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows– howhe was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for aman to utter."

Now the Greek word used for heaven in Revelation 21:1 is OURANOS, and this word can speak of all three of these places. So which one is it? Well, we can safely say that the earth’s atmosphere will be created again. We can also safely say that the second heaven, the universe or outer space will also be created again. And there does seem to be a hint that this third heaven, the place where God dwell’s will also be created again for now God will dwell amongst us. We shall see, but I do lean towards all three being done away with and created again.

Also, on this new earth there will be no more sea. Very different from what we see today considering the earth is made up of some 75% water. So what is this speaking of? First of all, man’s make-up, man’s dependance upon water will not be needed any longer. In our glorified bodies we won’t have to worry about this. I also think this could be speaking of the sea of humanity from which we saw the Antichrist and many, many other wicked leaders emerge from throughout history. But in the eternal kingdom you don’t have the masses of humanity, the flesh is gone, we have new bodies and in this eternal kingdom will be only those who love the Lord.

VERSES 2-3

Not only will there be a new heavens and a new earth in this eternal state, but a new Jerusalem which will be the focal point of this eternal state. And we will see this more in our next study, but for now just keep in mind the importance of this new Jerusalem, for it is not like the earthly one!

Now Hebrews 11:10 tells us that Abraham waited by faith,"for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God." You see, God is the builder, God is the maker of this new creation! Jesus, in speaking to His disciples said in John chapter 14, "Let not your heart be troubled; you 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 to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know."John 14:1-4.

That is speaking, I believe, of the new bodies, the eternal bodies that God has prepared for us after these bodies of flesh go back to the dust of the earth. But we can also look at this as the complete fulfillment of what is spoken of in Revelation chapter 21, as God creates a new heavens and a new earth, a new Jerusalem for us to dwell in. And Jesus concludes by saying,"...and the way you know."

Now I love Thomas, he is unsure and basically says to Jesus, "I don’t get it?" and Jesus says to him, and to us "...‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." John 14:6. You see, Jesus is the only way to get there, His Words are true and they bring forth eternal life to all who hear and apply them!

And this city will be filled with great joy, abundant joy, overflowing joy because God will dwell with man, there will once again be that intimate fellowship that was seen in the Garden of Eden before the fall of man. There will be communion with God experienced by all! It is as David cried out in Psalm 16:11, "You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore." And I believe we will shout the same thing for our desire is to dwell with the Lord and the complete fulfillment of that is seen here in Revelation. It is like John said "Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is." I John 3:2. We await the day!

VERSE 4

For some, heaven, they feel, will be a place of sadness for them. They can’t imagine living for eternity knowing that family and friends who have not come to the Lord will be tortured day and night in the lake of fire. If that were true, most if not all of us could not enjoy that kind of eternity, knowing those things. The reality is the Bible teaches that we will be filled with joy. You see, in the eternal state, which we see here in Revelation chapter 21, God tells us there will be no more tears, no more death, no more sorrow, no more crying, no more pain because these things have all passed away, to be remembered no more.

It is as we read in Isaiah 65:17, "For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind." We won’t remember the things of the past, our focus now will be the present, living with the Lord. Some may think this is cruel, but I see it as being very compassionate. Can you imagine spending eternity remembering family and friends who are being tormented day and night for their rejection of Jesus? That would be cruel. But God mercifully takes those painful things away from us so we can have that fullness of joy with Him.

VERSE 5

It almost seems that John is so blown away at all the glorious things he was being told that he just stood there awe struck. And the Lord tell’s John to "write!" Can you imagine all he has seen so far, all the destruction and devastation that came upon man during the tribulation period, and all because of their rejection of Jesus. And now John see’s this glorious light of hope and he is blown away, it almost too good to be true!

Thus, the Lord tells John that "...these words are true and faithful." You see, you can trust the Word of God, it won’t lead you astray, it won’t lie to you, but it will lead you down the path you need to travel if you are willing to listen and obey. Man’s ideas, man’s philosophy’s, man’s ways are constantly changing but God’s Word is still the same, it is unchanging and what God said 2,000 years ago applies to us today! It is as Jesus said in Luke 21:33, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away."

VERSES 6-7

Here again is the invitation for all to come to Him and receive those living waters, and when we get to verse 8 we will see the result of those who refuse. But the Lord here makes the statement,"It is done!" What is done? The redemption of man! All that sin had done, is now reversed. Death has been swallowed up! And for man, there is only two final destinations he can go, and now all those decisions have been made, all these things are completed, and each will enter eternity in a place that is dependent upon their choice, the Lord or their rejection of Him!

In Psalm 42:1-2 we read "As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?" Are you thirsty for God? Do you hunger to know Him more? That is God’s desire for you. And when you do He will freely give you what you need. You will be satisfied!

The problem comes as Satan offers many other alternatives to quench out thirsts and our hungers, and we go after them thinking they will quench our thirst, they will satisfy us. And the reality is we are left thirsty, left hungry, wanting more because outside of Christ we will never be satisfied. Jesus will not leave you in that condition if you will only turn to Him.

The Lord tells us here that we need to overcome these things and when we do we shall be satisfied, we shall be established or adopted into the family of God and enter into eternity with Him. The question is, "How do we overcome?"

Listen carefully to what John tells us in I John 5:4-5. He says "For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world-- our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?" The victory is not found in us, what we have done, but our faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of our life. If we believe it and apply that to our lives, we will be over comer’s, we will enter into the new heavens and the new earth with Him. You see, because we are the children of God we shall inherit all things!

"After the great Chicago fire of 1871, evangelist Dwight L. Moody went back to survey the ruins of his house. A friend came by and said to Moody, ‘I hear you lost everything.’

‘Well,’ said Moody, ‘you understood wrong. I have a good deal more left than I lost.’

‘What do you mean?’ the inquisitive friend asked. ‘I didn’t know you were that rich.’

Moody then opened his Bible and read to him Revelation 21:7 - ‘He that over cometh shall inherit all things, and I will be His God.’"

I like that, and Moody is 100% correct. Now this is in stark contrast to what is being said in Revelation 21:8. You see, one group of people will enter into the eternal state with the Lord, and we have read about them. And the other group of people will enter the eternal state outside the Lord, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. And it is this last group we are now going to read about.

VERSE 8

Now when you read through this list of people most will focus on the abominable or polluted people, those who are murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters and they will come to the conclusion that they are only getting what they deserve, eternal punishment in the lake of fire, the second death!

But are you a coward, unable to stand up for Christ? Do you ever sin or are you sinning now? And if you think you are doing really well, that you have earned heaven because you are so good, you are a liar and deserve to be cast in the lake of fire for John says in I John 1:8, "If wesay that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us."

We must understand that all of these tendencies are inherent within each of us, even murder as we many times kill people with our words! Then how can I enter into the presence of a holy and righteous God knowing that I am a sinful person like everyone else? Why can I get in and why do others not get in?

Very simply, Paul tells us in II Corinthians 5:21, "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." You see, Jesus paid in full the penalty for ours sins and thus it is His righteousness that has been imputed to us. It is as Psalm 103:12 says, "As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed ourtransgressions from us." And in Isaiah 43:25 we are told "I, even I, am He who blots outyour transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins." As God looks at us He see’s us as perfect, as clean, as white as snow because all of our sins were nailed to the cross of Calvary to be remembered no more if we receive that free gift of life that is only found in Jesus. He has given us eternal life!

And as we move into the eternal state, the flesh will be done away with, we will have glorified bodes, eternal bodies. Sin will be done away with. And thus, this eternal state will be glorious, peaceful, joyful and in direct opposition to those who will be cast into the lake of fire because of their sin, their rejection of Jesus!

Let me ask you this as we close this morning. Have you booked yourself on that eternal excursion to heaven? For if you haven’t you will be heading for the lake of fire! And believe me, if that is where you are booked to go, you are getting ripped off, don’t be fooled, come to Christ. Listen to these words He has for you this morning, and meditate upon them. In Isaiah chapter 1 we read "Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of yourdoings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, Learn to do good; seek justice, rebuke theoppressor; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow. ‘Come now, and let us reasontogether,’ says the LORD, ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white assnow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If you are willing andobedient, you shall eat the good of the land; But if you refuse and rebel, you shall bedevoured by the sword"; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken." Isaiah 1:16-20.

Think this through, your sin has separated you from God, and He wants to cleanse you, come to Him and receive that cleansing in your life and you will never thirst or hunger again! As Jesus said "...‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he whobelieves in Me shall never thirst." John 8:35. Come and partake of Him, come and drink from Him and you will never hunger or thirst again!

Audio download
Powered by: Preachitsuite