The Battle of Armageddon has been fought (19:11-21), the earthly, millennial reign of Christ has come to an end (20:1-7), and at the great white throne judgment God has sentenced Satan and all the ungodly to eternal hell (20:11-15). Then the whole universe will be dissolved – “the first heaven and the first earth had passed away” (21:1). Peter anticipated the dissolving of the first heaven and first earth in 2 Peter 3:10-13.
The Relationships of Heaven (21:1-7)
“New heaven and new earth” – kainos = recently made, unused, a new kind
“the sea was no more” – As the exiled John looked from Patmos across the Agean Sea toward his home and church at Ephesus, the sea represented separation. Now, the separation no longer exists.
“the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared – hetoimazo = made ready and now descending (John 14:2).
“as a bride adorned for her husband” kosmeo = cosmetics, the awe of the moment when a bride is presented to her husband.
“God’s dwelling is with humanity, He will live with them, they will be His peoples, God Himself will be with them and will be their God.” Wow, what an awesome picture of relational union.
“God will wipe away every tear from their eyes” – tears of sadness, regret
“Death will be no more; grief, dying, and pain will be no more”
“I am making everything new – I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.”
“I will – give freely to the thirsty… be God to the one who conquers.”
The Exclusions from Heaven (21:8)
One last warning. A representative list.
Cowards, faithless, detestable, murders, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars.
Their share will be the lake of fire – the second death.
The Dimensions of Heaven (21:9-27)
One of the seven angels who had held the sever bowls: “Come, I will show you the bride – the wife of the Lamb.”
John transported to a high mountain – a panoramic view of the holy city “arrayed with God’s glory”
“Radiance like a precious jewel” – immense value, not common.
“jasper stone, clear as crystal” – probably diamonds
“massive high wall with 12 gates”
“measuring 12,000 stadia” Stadion = approximately 600 feet – 12,000 = 1400 miles
“length, width, and height equal” = 1400 miles long, wide, and high
“the walls = 144 cubits thick. Cubit – length of a man’s arm from elbow to finger tip.
“Jasper walls, city pure gold clear as glass” – gold without impurity
“Foundations adorned with every kind of jewel: jasper, sapphire, chalcedony, emerald, sardonyx, carnelian, chrysolite, beryl, topaz, chrysoprase, jacinth, amethyst.”
“12 gates = 12 single pearls” – gates always open.
“Main street = pure gold, transparent as glass”
“No temple – the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple” – no need for a gathering place to worship, the presence of God the Father and God the Son are perpetual.
“No sun or moon to shine on it, because the glory of God illuminates it and its lamp is the Lamb.”
“The nations will walk by its light, the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it.” – the new economy of heaven and earth.
“Its gates will never close by day because it will never be night there” – no need for closed gates of protection.
“Nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those written in the Lamb’s book of life.”
The Provisions of Heaven (22:1-5) The perpetual blessings of God on those who follow the Lord.
“River of the water of life, flowing from the throne of God and the Lamb, down the middle of main street.” A walk down main street = satisfied people, with all needs met.
“The tree of life on each side of the river, 12 kinds of fruit, producing every month.” Total availability of food.
“Leaves are for the healing the nations.” Not observed since the Garden of Eden. If the first parents had stayed in the Garden = never suffered death. Excluded from the Garden = inevitable death. Now, all nations have access to the tree of life and its healing leaves, and therefore, rejoice in eternal bliss.
“No longer any curse” – all of the curses of disobedience, rebellion, and sin have been removed.
“His servants will worship him (God and the Lamb)” – perpetual service
“They will see His face and his name on their foreheads” – a new level of ownership
“Night will be no more, no need for light, the Lord will give them light” – the supreme Light-giver.
“They will reign forever and ever.” – the eternal state of life after death.
The significant importance of having your name written in the Book of Life.
The certainty of life after death.
All the blessings and benefits of life on earth can never compare to the glory of heaven.