Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Revelation Part 16: All Things New
It's a fact of life: everything gets old! Our bodies. Our belongings. Even the earth is getting old. But Revelation 21 brings us old folks hope!
"Then I [John] saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea." (21:1)
WOW! Can you imagine?! This outta bring a sense of relief to the environmentalists of the world! They're busting their butts trying to save this old earth, but it's truly a lost cause. The planet that we currently reside on will be no more. Why? Because God never intended this old earth to be our permanent home. It's temporary.
And did you notice the words "there was no longer any sea"? I can't even picture that, can you? But my gut tells me we won't miss it, even though I love the beach, love the waves, love the sound of the waves, etc. My gut also tells me this new earth is going to be BEEEEE-u-ti-ful!! Probably very much like the Garden of Eden.
"And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Now the dwelling place of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." (21:3-4)
That right there, folks, is truly heaven to me!! God will no longer be unseen and, in a sense, unknown, to us! He will live with us! He'll walk with us, just like he walked with Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:8. He'll wipe all our tears away and we will cry no more! The "old" way of living life is gone!
Next comes the description of the New Jerusalem. Remember a few posts ago I speculated that the prostitute in Rev. 17 was the old Jerusalem and it was eventually destroyed. Well, here is the new Jerusalem and she's gorgeous! She's made of gold and jewels and has twelve gates made of pearl. God and the Lamb will live in the new Jerusalem, therefore there will be no need for the sun and night will never come. God's glory will be our light!(21:9-25)
I don't know about you, but that is a place I very much want to live! I'll never live in a palace here on earth, but there is a place so much better being prepared for me! I'll never own rare, expensive jewels in this life, but my new home will be lined with them! My feet will tread on gold as I walk about with the Lord, hand in hand!
YES! I can hardly wait!
Sadly, though, not everyone will be welcome in the New Jerusalem and the new earth and the new heaven.
"Nothing impure will enter [the New Jerusalem], nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life." (21:27)
Whose names are NOT written in the book of life?
"But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars--their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death." (21:8)
So there you have it, folks. There are two places you can spend eternity:
1. The new heaven and the new earth and the beautiful new Jerusalem where God himself will dwell among us.
2. The fiery lake of burning sulfur.
Which is it gonna be?