Revelation 21 tells us that God is going to replace heaven and earth with new ones. Do you desire to go to heaven, or do you just think you will go there?
This is a Bible Study. Have your own Bible handy to look up the references I mention.
If you do not have a Bible, I recommend Biblegateway.com or search for an online Bible.
1. John is telling us he is seeing something new.
Children keep telling us that they see something. Do we listen to them?
“Then I saw is used throughout Revelation to indicate chronological progression.” [NASB1995] (MacArthur, John. New Testament Commentary: Revelation 12-22. [Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2000], 262)
A new heaven and a new earth;
“What Isaiah predicted is now a reality in John’s vision.” (MacArthur, 263)
“The new heaven and the new earth will not merely succeed the present universe in chronological sequence; they will be something brand new, never before seen.” (MacArthur, 263)
God had to create a new heaven and a new earth because the old ones had passed away. (MacArthur,263) (Revelation 20:11)
“The sea occupies most of the earth’s surface today: approximately three-fourths of the total surface is water. This denotes a revolution in life upon the earth.” (McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume V: [Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983],1062)
“This would automatically change the climate, the atmosphere, and the living conditions.” (McGee, 1063)
2. “The new Jerusalem is called the holy city because everyone in it is holy, since ‘blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection’ (20:6).” (MacArthur, 264)
“The New Jerusalem is the habitation, the eternal home that is prepared for the church.” (McGee, 1064)
“The implication is that it already exists, a truth reinforced by Hebrews 12:22-23.” (MacArthur, 265)
“God gives to them at that time a radiance and a beauty.” (McGee, 1064)
3. An important announcement is coming.
Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them
“When the Israelites had lived in the wilderness after the Exodus, God’s presence was evident through the tent (Exodus 40:34). Part of the reward for Israel’s obedience to God was, ‘I will put my dwelling place [tabernacle] among you, and I will not abhor you.” (Easley, Kendell H., Holman New Testament Commentary: Revelation. [Nashville: B&H, 1998], 395)
They shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
“What will it be like to live in God’s glorious presence in heaven?
First, believers will enjoy fellowship with Him. (1 John 3:3)
Second, believers will see God as He is. (1 John 3:2)
Third, believers will worship God. (John 4:23)
Finally, and most astounding of all, the Lord will serve believers. (Luke 12:35-40)” (266-269)
4. There will be no tears in heaven. If you have accepted Jesus as your savior there is no record of your sins.
This “pictures the removal of four more enemies:
• Death—destroyed and sent to the fiery lake (20:14; 1 Corinthians 15:26)
• Mourning—caused by death and sin, but also ironically the eternal experience of those who loved the prostitute (18:8)
• Crying—one result of the prostitute’s cruelty to the saints (18:24)
• Pain—the first penalty inflicted on mankind at the Fall is finally lifted at last (Genesis 3:16)
All these belonged to the old order of things [NIV] where sin and death were present.” (Easley, 395)
5. Jesus is speaking from the throne.
“Behold, I make all things new.”
“This emphasizes both the process and settled determination of Jesus to establish this eternal reality.” (Easley, 395)
Jesus told John to write this down because the words are faithful and true.
It Is Done
6a. And He said to me, It is done.
“Jesus’ words marked the completion of the work of redemption; these words mark the end of redemptive history.” (MacArthur, 270)
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End
“At the beginning of Revelation the Lord God Almighty called himself the Alpha and Omega (1:8), the A and Z, the one who existed from before the beginning and beyond the end. Now Christ also lays claim to this title (22:13). This time the letters are explained as the Beginning and the End.” [NIV] (Easley, 396)
“God started history, and He will end it, and all of it has unfolded according to His sovereign plan.” (MacArthur, 271)
6b. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
MacArthur gives us:
“Two descriptive phrases reveal who will live in the glorious new heaven and new earth.
First, a citizen of heaven is described as one who thirsts. [NASB1995]
Those who thirst for and passionately seek salvation are the ones who will receive it and enjoy the eternal bliss of heaven.
7. He who overcomes [the world by adhering faithfully to Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior] [AMP]
Second, heaven belongs to he who overcomes. An overcomer, according to 1 John 5:4-5, is one who exercises saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.” [NASB1995] (271-272)
“The promise here to those who overcome is that they will inherit these things.” [NASB1995] (MacArthur, 272)
“The most wonderful promise to the one who overcomes, who thirsts for righteousness, is God’s promise I will be his God.
And he will be My son.”[NASB1995] (MacArthur, 272)
8. “The damned are described by the deeds they had done:
• Cowardly—those who gave in to the threats of the beast and served him
• Unbelieving—those who were unfaithful and lacking in genuine trust
• Vile—those who polluted themselves by worshiping the beast
• Murderers—those who killed the saints during the beast’s rule of terror
• Sexually immoral—those who gave themselves to the great prostitute
• Practitioners of magic arts—see 9:21 for this and the previous two evils
• Idolaters—worshipers of any false god, but particularly of the beast’s image
• All liars—these are earlier condemned in Revelation (3:9; 14:5)
The entire list applies to those who never committed themselves to Christ.” (NIV) (Easley, 397)
They will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” (NIV)
“The lake of fire is eternal, for it is the second death, and there is no third resurrection. It is eternal separation from God, and there is nothing as fearful and frightful as that.” (McGee, 1067)
Scripture quotations from the Holy Bible, King James Version. [Public Domain}
In this article Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified Bible (AMP) Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.
In this article Scripture quotations taken from the NASB1995. Copyright by The Lockman Foundation.
Scripture quotations taken from Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®
Easley, Kendell H., Holman New Testament Commentary: Revelation. Nashville: B&H, 1998
MacArthur, John. New Testament Commentary: Revelation 12-22. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2000
McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume V: Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983