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The New Jerusalem

Rev. 21

 

Human history began in paradise…the Garden of Eden.  And it will all end in paradise…the New Jerusalem.

 

v. 5  this sums up the last 2 ch’s of Revelation…all things will be new.

v. 6  “it is done” 

        What began in Genesis is brought to completion in Revelation.

 

GENESIS                                          REVELATION

1:1 -     heavens & earth created                   21:1 -   New heavens & earth

1:16 -   Sun created                                        21:23 - No need for the sun

1:5 -     Night established                               22:5 -   No night there

1:10 -   The seas created                                21:1 -   No more seas [exiled on Patmos!]

3:14-17 - The curse announced                    22:3 -   No more curse          

3:19 -   Death enters history                          21:4 -   No more death

3:24 -   Man driven from paradise               22:14 - Man restored to paradise

3:17 -   Sorrow & pain began                       21:4 -   No more tears or pain

 

Don’t you look forward to going to heaven?  “What a day that will be…”

 

10 Facts about The New Jerusalem:

1.     Heaven is a Real Place

Liberals deny its existence…say it’s a state of mind/wishful thinking…but Jesus said “I go to prepare a PLACE for you…there you shall be also”

        It’s literal, tangible, described in detail.  The emphasis is on what John SAW…w/ literal eyes.

v. 1          “saw”      v. 2          “saw”

 

And we’ll have real bodies…glorified bodies!  Jesus rose from the dead in His glorified body.  He could pass thru walls, but yet he could touch people, sit down and eat…praise God!

        It will be a different existence, but as real as it gets!

This is the capital of the eternal kingdom.  God has, by this time, destroyed our universe, our heaven and earth, and this is a new one.  And this is the capitol city!

 

Will there be room for everyone?  Sure!  First of all, not as many will be there as is commonly believed.  [“Narrow is the way, few there be that find it.”]  But it will be 1,500 miles squared…a perfect cube…in other words, it’s that high, that long, that wide!  There would be room for every human who has ever lived if they had all been saved.

 

There are windows in Heaven.  The windows are always spoken of as being open to pour out things from God.  Sometimes blessings are poured out (see Mal. 3:10; II Kings 7:2), sometimes curses (see Isa. 24:18), and sometimes the same thing that is a blessing to some is a curse to others (see Gen. 8:2).

Concerning the door in Heaven, John tells of his experience in Revelation.  “After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven:  and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter” (Rev. 4:1).

The first thing he saw was a throne.  This is God’s throne.  He was sitting on His throne.  It looked like a jasper, sardine stone, or an emerald.  It is hard for the finite mind to grasp infinite things.  We cannot imagine the beauty and radiance of God.

Consider the famous Hope Diamond at the Smithsonian.  A thick, shatterproof glass wall and an armed guard protect it.  {Kimberly has a “hope diamond” too…one she’s hoping for!}  The many people that wait in line to see the Hope Diamond express an awe, and a feeling of rapture

seems to come over those who view it.  A spirit of excitement is set off by the thought of the tremendous value.

But this is nothing, this is dirt compared to God.

The psalmist cried out, “The Lord is in his holy temple, the

Lord’s throne is in heaven...” (Ps. 11:4).  Behind the throne was a sparkling rainbow.  The twenty-four elders, clothed with glistening, white garments and pure gold crowns on their heads, were seated upon the twenty-four seats.  Thunder and lightnings were proceeding out from the throne and voices could be heard.  There were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne.

The Tree of Life was there.  This same tree was in the Garden of Eden for Adam and Eve.  After the fall of man, an angel was posted at the gate with a revolving sword, to keep them away from this tree lest they should eat of it and live forever in their fallen state.  On this tree grew twelve different kinds of fruit each month.  The leaves were for the healing of the nations.

The beautiful River of Life was flowing out from under the throne and pure water of life was freely accessible.  The streets were made of pure, transparent gold, suggesting the elimination of all impurities which cloud things on the earth.

As John continued to look, he saw twelve gates of pearl; three on the north, three on the south, three on the east and three on the west.  Twelve angels stood at these twelve gates.  But Jesus will be what makes it heaven for me!

A real place…

 

2.     Heaven is a Remaining Place

v. 1          “passed away”

        Nothing you see on this physical earth is going to last…nothing will remain.  We like to have nice things and we should enjoy them, but don’t get too attached…they are not permanent.  In the end, all we have left is our soulAll we will have in eternity is the treasures we send ahead.

         “Only 1 life…”

 

Ill.—[fictitious] 2 women died.  One was stingy/miserly.  She was a Christian, but very greedy…and when she gave it was grudgingly. 

She had a maid working for her…she didn’t have much, but loved to give, and looked for opportunities to do so. 

Both women died.  An angel escorted the wealthy woman around.  He said, let me take you to your new home, and on the way we’ll pass by your maid’s house.  Down the golden street they went, and as they approached a great mansion she said wow, and that’s just for my maid?!  I can’t wait to see my place!  They moved on to a cardboard shanty.  “What is this?”

“Sorry, we did our best w/ the materials you sent ahead!”

        Jesus said we send ahead of us treasures--by how we serve, how we give now.

 

Every stain of sin, every evidence of evil will be vanquished as well when the old earth is destroyed!  And all that will be left is our souls and our spiritual investments, stored up for us.

 

One of the most precious experiences we will have in heaven is being approached by someone who says, I got saved because of your witness, your testimony, your missions giving, your prayers, etc.!

 

Heaven is a real place, a remaining place…

 

3.     Heaven is a Readied Place

v. 2          “prepared”

And the Lord has spent a lot of time, and is sparing no expense in readying heaven for us. [2,000 years compared to 6 days of creation!]

R.G. Lee—“Heaven is the most marvelous place the wisdom of God could conceive and that the power of God could prepare.”

 

Ill.—little girl born blind/only beauty she knew came from her mother’s descriptions/flowers in spring, trees in fall, snow in winter, ocean in summertime/girl could only imagine/at 10 years of age, had experimental surgery to help her see/bandages for several weeks/moment of truth came…bandages removed and she saw/ran to the window and stood breathless/ “mother, why didn’t you tell me it was so beautiful?”/ “I tried to, but words just wouldn’t suffice!”

        I believe that in heaven we’ll run around breathless, and when we see the apostle John we’ll say, “Why didn’t you tell me?” and he’ll say, I tried, but words wouldn’t suffice!

1 Cor. 2:9     But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

 

4.     Heaven is a Place of Relationship

v. 3          This is what makes heaven be heaven!  If the streets were not gold but gravel, if the walls were particle board and not jasper, if mud was knee deep and weeds over our heads, it would still be heaven because Jesus is there!

 

And there we’ll see the only “man made” thing in heaven.  Oh the paralyzing sight we’ll behold in the nail scarred hands and feet of Christ!  [a constant reminder of how we got there!] 

 

We’ll be elated, yes, but only because we’re RELATED! 

Heaven is a place of relationship…

 

5.     Heaven is a Place of Relief

v. 4-5       no more crying, sighing, or dying!  No hospitals or graves!  And Satan will not be able to get a passport. He will be in the bottomless pit. All the fallen angels will be chained up. There will be no aging, wrinkles. The fountain of youth will be there. One drink and all signs of age gone. Nothing will ruin, rot, or rust. No itching, no blindness, no deafness, no diabetes, no cancer, or heart attacks, or scars, no witchcraft, no drugs, no alcohol, or tobacco!  No divorce, child abductions, accidents…and no more taxes and bills!

 

What a relief to go to heaven.  I’m not just homesick…I’m here sick!

 

And the more you may go thru down “here”, the sweeter heaven will be for you!

Romans 8:18

    For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

 

Some call it heaven/new Jerusalem/pearly white city/Glory/and some call it “home”.  [“I’m kinda homesick for a country…”]

 

6.     Heaven is a Place of Refreshing

v. 6          Ever been really thirsty? You don’t want milk.  Sometimes you want a soda or tea or lemonade, but even those won’t do when you’re REALLY thirsty…you want what?   Water!

 

How satisfying!  And in heaven, every righteous desire that we have will be perfectly and completely satisfied, once and for all!

 

Here on earth we pursue happiness, but don’t ever completely find it, but in heaven that thirst will be quenched!

Friendships/relationships/knowledge/more about God/wealth/health/answers to questions…why?

 

And in heaven, we’ll know as we are known…all life’s thirsts quenched!

 

7.     Heaven will be a Restricted Place

v. 8          Right here in the middle of this positive, beautiful description of heaven, God gives us a list of some who won’t be there.

        Why does God include this info?  Perhaps to show that the sin which has cursed and ultimately destroyed this world will NOT be allowed into the next! 

 

And heaven is off limits to all of these things.  Don’t miss this truth however:  any of these people can get saved, and you don’t have to commit an abomination to be lost, just 1 sin!

 

Now, most of us have fit into one or more of these categories at some point in our life. 

 

1 Cor. 6:11

    And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

 

  1. Heaven is a Place of Riches

v. 14

·       Foundations=represent permanence

 

Foundations—building foundations are usually underground, and cannot be clearly seen, but this one is visible, and not only visible, but 12 layers thick!  And each of the 12 foundations is garnished w/ a different jewel. 

 

I believe the primary interpretation of these foundations is permanence.  You see, you can build a dog house on dirt, a storage shed on a simple slab, but if you’re gonna build a house and you want it to be there in 100 years or more, you’d better have a good, strong foundation.

 

And every time we look upon those foundations we’ll be reminded of its permanence.  “10,000 years, and we’ll just be started!”

 

Walls=protection.

v. 12a      In Bible days, walls were all about protection…an un-walled city was vulnerable, an easy target.

        And the enemies of earth will be no more…sickness cannot scale those walls, heartache cannot tunnel under…no crime or perversion, nothing to harm, nothing to molest, nothing to injure, nothing to destroy, and so, nothing to fear!  No viruses, no disease, no pestilence, and no public enemy #1…aka death!

  

Gates=provision.

v. 21a     Who started the stories about St. Peter standing at the gates of heaven?  It’s not Biblical.  But each of the 12 gates is guarded by an angel.  If every gate is 1 pearl, they are gigantic…and it’s a reminder of God’s provision.

 

Streets of gold=praise

v. 21b        Gold is a symbol of the glory, honor, and majesty of God.  This gold is so pure it’s see-through!  And in heaven…that’s the pavement!

 

So, heaven is a place of riches…

 

9.     Heaven is a Place of Righteousness

v. 15-17           1,500 miles squared…that’s huge!  From the tip of Maine to the s. tip of Florida, over to Colorado…and then, it’s that high too!  I’m not even sure what that means, so, Lord, surprise me!  Either way, this will make NYC look like a little village!  A perfect cube stands for balance and order…perfectly sized and ordered, perfect in its materials, majesty, and even its measurements!

 

It will be filled w/ the righteousness of God, and w/ the “righteous” of God, us!

 

10. Heaven is a Place of Refuge

v. 22-27   3 things that won’t be there:

A.    No Sanctuary

v. 22        Why no temple?  Because the sanctuary localizes and confines God to 1 location…but all Heaven will be filled w/ His glory!

B.    No Shadows

v. 23        The light will be everywhere, the night will be vanquished!

C.    No sinners

v. 27        How do you get your name written there?  By grace alone, thru faith alone, in Christ alone, plus nothing, minus nothing.  Put your faith and trust in Him alone as your only hope for heaven!

 

If there was a place like we’ve had described here on earth, wouldn’t you do anything you could to go there?  It’s real, it’s the New Jerusalem.  And Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life…no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

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