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The New Jerusalem, Heaven Pt 1 Rev 21:1-8

November 6, 2011

The New Jerusalem,

Heaven – the future Eternal state of Believers! Pt 1

Revelation 21:1-8

 

I was thinking about heaven and our eternal dwelling and realized that we have not covered this in any great detail and it would be good for us to do so.  I will be preaching some messages on heaven in November and hopefully it will help to cement the correct view of heaven, the believer’s eternal state.  Some of the details in chapter 21 are only understood when in heaven so I will not try to explain the unexplainable on this side of heaven.  But what is clear we will touch and work through.  These first 9 scriptures in chapter 21 are quite clear and we will use this as our anchor message on heaven.

 

Thinking about heaven is very natural for the believer.  Paul said it clearly for us when he said in 2 Corinthians 5:8 “We are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.” Or Philippians 1:23

“But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better!” 

 

Our older Hymns repeatedly had heaven as a theme in many of the songs we sing.  The harder the times we go through the more we think and ponder on heaven our eternal state! 

 

We sang, The Solid Rock and in the 4th stanza we sang…

“When He shall come with trumpet sound, Oh, may I then in Him be found; Dressed in His righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne!”  We find the Hymn wrapping up with the thought of heaven and how at our Lord’s return, we who believe will be dressed with the righteousness of Christ Jesus ALONE!  His righteousness positionally places us FAULTLESS to stand before the throne of God!  These are awesome and true words that bring us great joy and comfort…in Christ Alone!

 

And again we sang, My Jesus, I Love Thee and also in the last stanza we sang… “In mansions of glory and endless delight, I’ll ever adore Thee in heaven so bright.  And Singing Thy praises, before Thee I bow, If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, tis now!”   Here we have the believer transferred into the eternal state and recognizing the promises of God!  The thought of Mansions, Delight in God’s presence, Adoring God and His presence of brightness everywhere, Singing God’s deserved praises and bowing in reverent awe.  Then there is this feeling of heaven actualized and because of this the worship is ever so sweeter and awesome in that moment of entrance into heaven itself!

 

And again we sang, Rock of Ages, Cleft for me!  Again our eternal hope is focused on as we sang in the last stanza…

“While I draw this fleeting breath, when mine eyes shall close in death, When I rise to worlds unknown And behold Thee on Thy throne, Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee!”  Here we have a picture of one dying and knows there last breath of life on earth is coming shortly.  Their eyes will close but then open to see the beauty of the unimaginable as they are lifted to heaven above.  And the focus becomes the Throne of God in His presence not for condemnation but to be in His protective presence with joy!  Because of this the Hymn writer concludes with hiding ourselves in God alone!  Our peace is in our knowledge of Jesus, His work on our behalf and our eternity with Him in Heaven!  All these songs are glorious and precious to us because they are submerged in Biblical truth!

 

We find example after example the focus of believers throughout the ages has been the secure knowledge that as believers trusting in the blood atonement of Jesus for our sins alone is a great security of our future dwelling in heaven with our Lord!  There was no question because the Bible promises eternal dwelling with Him as true believers.  Believers, who believe God’s Word, live God’s Word and Rest on God’s Word!

 

We can look forward as those who died in Christ before us…

Hebrews 11:13 & 16

13 All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth…  16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.

As for us we also can say the words of the writer of Hebrews.

 

Let us look at our text from Revelation 21:1-8

Revelation 21:1

1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea

 

Here we see that the earth and heaven as we know them will be gone and a New Heaven and Earth are created!  The details are not given to us but there is a clear picture of total change from the present reality we now know.  The Earth as we read other places will be destroyed!

 

Isaiah 65:17

For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former things shall not be remembered, nor come into mind!

 

I do believe the New tells us there will be no evidence of the former earth before the New earth is given us! 

 

2 Peter 3:10-13

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall be dissolved with fervent heat, and the earth and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

11 Seeing that these things are thus all to be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy living and godliness, 12 looking for and earnestly desiring the coming of the day of God, by reason of which the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13 But, according to his promise, we look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

 

Back to the last part of Revelation 2:1b “and there is no longer any sea.”

 

As we know most of the earth is covered by the Sea 3/4 so to think of our dwelling without a Sea is hard to imagine but this is the reality of its complete newness!  Water that is the essence of our life will be changed.  Our bodies are made up of 90% water so that also will probably be changed from what we can see in Holy Scripture.  Will we walk through walls as Jesus did at the resurrection?  Will we be able to move from one place to another as Jesus did from the Damascus road to the upper room?  We will have to wait until we are in heaven to know these things.  But as we will see in the following scriptures there is much revealed to us!

 

Revelation 21:2

2 And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.

 

The New Jerusalem is a picture of being in God’s presence.  Jerusalem was called the City of David, the city of God!  Earlier in the book of Revelation 3:12

“He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name.

 

Here we get a picture of God’s presence in the New Jerusalem!  The New Jerusalem is where the Christian, the Bride of Christ will dwell with the Lord forever!  This will be a pure Jerusalem not connected with the first in the Old Testament or the Jerusalem that crucified our Lord but a pure, holy undefiled Jerusalem where atonement no longer needs to be made on behalf of God’s people but the Presence of all the redeemed by Christ will dwell with God!  How glorious that will be!

 

Revelation 21:3

3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them

 

This is so glorious because God will not be distant in any way from us!  He will be amongst us!  We will be in His holy presence and without any guilt of past sins because they have been removed when we first believed in Jesus and His atonement for our sins!  We will be in the presence of God and see Him as He is!  You want to talk about a moment that will be overwhelming with joy!

 

Revelation 21:4

4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”

 

Here we see God’s personal involvement with us as Father and comforter!  Image a place without tears, death, mourning, crying or pain!  Those things will pass away and be gone forever!  At my father’s funeral I shared about in heaven there will be no need for Firemen, Doctors, Psychologists, and Soldiers.  It will be so different, it will be glorious! Isaiah penned the following scripture about heaven…

 

 Isaiah 35:10

“The ransomed of the Lord will return

And come with joyful shouting to Zion,

With everlasting joy upon their heads.

They will find gladness and joy,

And sorrow and sighing will flee away.”

 

This is a day we all look forward to as the redeemed in Christ Jesus!  We look forward to a time when sorrow will longer exist!

 

Revelation 21:5

5 And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He *said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”

 

If we did not get the point yet we are told again…“Behold, I am making all things new!”  So John was told to write more for us to feast our eyes on…

 

Revelation 21:6-7

6 Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost.

7 “He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.

 

Here we see our Lord again called the Alpha and the Omega…

Revelation 1:8

8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

 

These are the first and last letter of the Greek alphabet.  It basically means that Jesus is the beginning and the end and everything in between.  He is in charge of all the details and everything is going to work out just as He has already stated in His Holy Word the Bible!  For those who overcome probably means those who persevere through life’s trials and come out still believing and trusting Jesus for their eternal life!  Those who confess Jesus as Lord no matter what comes their way and who never can loss their faith in Him.  This is why we get the bad news next for the unbelievers…

 

Revelation 21:8

8 “But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

 

We all face death then judgment in Christ or outside of Christ!  There is no purgatory or other escape from our faith while still alive the decision is sealed!  The Bible tells us…

 

Hebrews 9:27

27 And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment!

 

Here we see that men have an appointed day to die and only once, no reincarnation, no purgatory, we die once and then face the judgment seat of God!  Some say but then purgatory in between!  Although I do believe this scripture we just read is enough, let’s look at another…

 

1 Timothy 2:5

5 For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus!

 

What would purgatory accomplish anyone?  If Jesus is the ONLY MEDIATOR between God and men then any other person’s pursuits would be fruitless and unbiblical at the least!  And would fit in with those mentioned in Rev 21:8 as abominable and liars who will be judged with God’s wrath!

 

To end on a positive note…

As Christians we have an eternal hope secure waiting for us in heaven.

For those who came this morning unbelieving it’s not too late for you while you still are living and can come to faith!  God may have revealed Himself to you today so you also may have a future in heaven waiting for you.  This starts with recognition of your sin and that you will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death as an unbeliever.”  But the Good News is the Gospel and that comes with belief and trust in Jesus Alone!

 

Ephesians 2:8-10

”For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;

9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”

 

We know we received the Grace of God when we do what scripture tells us…

Romans 10:9-11

9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;  10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.  11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.”

 

My prayer is that everyone in this room today is truly believing!

 

Colossians 3:1-4

If then ye were raised together with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated on the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on the things that are above, not on the things that are upon the earth. 3 For ye died, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall be manifested, then shall ye also with him be manifested in glory.

AMEN