Beginning our study of Revelation 21!
Revelation 21:1 ‘Then I 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.’
A fair amount of debate goes into this verse. Clearly the present heaven and earth will undergo some form of major transformation. Some suggest that God starts from scratch and creates a completely new heaven and earth, and others suggest that God completely purges and transforms the existing ones.
The first viewpoint is supported by two verses:
2 Peter 3:10 ‘But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar, the elements will be destroyed by fire and the earth and everything in it laid bare.’
Isaiah 66:22 “As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me”, declares the Lord, “so will your name and descendants endure.”
However, others would argue that there is continuity between the old heavens and old earth, that they are simply radically transformed.
One argument is that when God created the present earth He found it to be good.
Genesis 1:10 ‘God called the dry ground ‘land’ and the gathered waters ‘seas’. And God saw that it was good.’
Admittedly the earth has been polluted by the effects of the fall of sinful man, but to eradicate the earth completely, and start again, would be to concede defeat to the enemy. God is well able to reverse the temporary tainted effects of the enemy.
Romans 8:21 strongly suggests that the creation will be liberated rather than being replaced with a new creation.
Romans 8:21 ‘...that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.’
More on this debate tomorrow!
- Revelation 21:22 The light of JerusalemJerusalem will be the centre of the world and the nations will tithe their wealth to Jesus. Previously, the kings of the earth have rebelled against Christ Jesus and Jerusalem but now they pay homage.
- Revelation 21:9 ‘From a mountain…’This describes the city as having twelve visible foundations, and this suggests it is a stepped pyramid construction. The city would have twelve levels, decreasing in size, each one built on its own foundation, ascending to form a pyramid with the top level being the apex of the city.
- Revelation 21:6 He who is thirstyThe goods of this world will crumble in our hands, swept away by the latest flood or fire, but the riches of God’s kingdom will stand forever.
- Revelation 21:4 Changes coming…Life holds its fair share of tragedies and these words are a soothing balm to those who have held on and endured. The world will not remain the same and the cruelties of life are not our destiny. The curse that has cast such a deep shadow upon this world, caused by the sin of man, will pass away and the blessing of redemption will shine its goodness upon the righteous in Christ Jesus for all eternity.
- Revelation 21:3 The New JerusalemWe discussed yesterday that God is bringing us all together, like the proud father that He is. Many of us will be centred at the New Jerusalem and many will live away but yet return on frequent pilgrimages to our new home city. For many of us, our present time is one of suffering and tribulation but this time will pass away and we will enter into an eternity of blessing. And it will have been so worth remaining faithful!