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Revelation Chapter 21

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  • Revelation 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

Behold I make all things new. This is foretold in Isaiah:

  • Isaiah 65:17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.

  • Isaiah 34:4 And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree.

  • 2Peter 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Here is the ultimate goal of God. He wants a perfect place where no evil dwells. We can be safe and secure forever. After the evil has been destroyed. Righteousness will reign for eternity. If cities and countries were the same, with no more sea we could bike ride to Israel.

This is why God had to send Jesus to save as many as He could. God desires all to be saved but He gave us a free will to choose. If we love sin and love this present world, we will go the way this present world goes. If we hate our sin and hate our lives in this world, repent and believe in Jesus to save us from sin, holding fast our faith until the end of our physical lives here or until the time we go in the rapture, we will inherit this new heaven and earth.

The choice is ours. We will go with the one we follow. If we choose sin and Satan, we will go where he goes. If we choose Jesus Christ and follow Him, we will go where He goes.

  • Revelation 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

If we have ever attended a formal wedding, the bride is the most beautiful one present in the whole service. Everyone waits with bated breath to see the bride coming down the aisle. This is similar to what is pictured here. We shall see this new Jerusalem that is prepared for all the faithful in Christ to live in. This ascends from heaven to the earth.

  • Revelation 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

We had Jesus with us for 1000 years before this time, but now the Father comes in person to dwell with us. See how serious it is to reject the Son of God for if we reject the Son, we will not ever see the Father. God gave us His best and that best is Jesus. He paid a big price of suffering and horror so that we might inherit eternal life. To reject this is to reject the only way to be saved and enter in this place of eternal life and joy.

Imagine this for one minute. God really wants to live among us. He wants to be where we are in the literal sense. He wants to dwell among us forever. The reason that can't be done yet is because He cannot dwell among sin. Sin can never stand in the presence of God. When the Son takes care of all sin and rebellion. His very presence would slay us if we were still in our sins. After sin is abolished, then and only then can the Father dwell with us.

  • Revelation 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

We can come to this place. Not by our own meager efforts, not by keeping the law but by believing and trusting in Jesus to cleanse us from sin and allowing Him to give us the Holy Spirit to guide us and lead us in this life so that we will be found spotless and faithful at the Lord's return or at our natural death.

Without holiness no man shall see the Lord. To be holy one must be clothed with the righteousness of Jesus Christ by renouncing sin, forsaking our old ways and believing in Jesus to save us and clothe us with His righteousness. We must believe in the sacrifice He made and that He paid the price for our salvation. To trust in any other thing to save us will not get us into heaven. We are not good. He is good. Only His mercy and grace will save us from sin and make us worthy to enter into the kingdom of God.

We do good works because we have been saved, not to become saved. We do good works because we love Him who saved us, not to gain entrance into heaven.

Its like an inexperienced pilot who is trying to guide a ship through a storm. An experienced pilot comes to take over because he is skilled at guiding that ship through the worst of storms. The weak pilot refuses to let go and things get worse. Until he gives up and turns the job over to the experienced pilot, he can't get out of trouble.

As long as we go through life trying to make it on our own and do our own thing seeking only the things of this life, we will lose it all in the end and lose our souls. The moment we admit we have sinned, we can't save ourselves and we hate that sin and desire to live for Jesus Christ, we can be cleansed of sin and be filled with the spirit of God. We have to stop going our own way and going God's way.

God is saying to us. You are drowning, you need a savior. You can't help yourself. You are lost. I sent my Son to save you. He is the only way. Follow Him. If we ignore Him, we will not inherit this good place described in this chapter. Jesus is the door to this place and there is no other door. The sin has to be cleansed and removed. Sin cannot enter this place.

The reason so many do not live victorious Christian lives is because they are holding back. They have not given themselves completely to the Lord. They want enough to escape hell but not enough to free them from the bondage to sin. They continue to struggle. They are clinging to their old life and not willing to forsake all to follow him.

Do you have a friend that is dragging you down and keeping you from living a life for God that is victorious? Give them up (give up trying to please them) and give them over to God. In doing so you will save yourself and probably save them too. If you are only half-hearted and allow your friend to pull you away from God, both of you will be lost in the end.

You can't save the lost by compromising and living half-hearted for the Lord. If you stay true to God, you may lose that friend for a while but in the end you might save him (her). Whatever person or thing that keeps us from living for Jesus Christ fully is an idol. If we hold onto it, we will lose everything in the long run.

  • Revelation 21:5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
  • 6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

Here is the promise to us now. We can receive this freely. We do not have to buy it. We do not have to earn it. It is freely given to all who desire and just ask. God saves all that wants to be saved. We receive all that we want to receive. If we do not receive this free gift from God it is because we are seeking half-heartedly and do not really want all He has for us.

If we want to hold onto our old sin and not repent of it, then that means we really do not want His salvation. We are trying to escape hell without giving up our sin and it will not work. There is no sin in this God's holy place. We can't get there by just giving up sin. We have to allow Jesus to remove it and cleanse us from sin.

Here is a reminder of what was said about the tribulation saints:

  • Revelation 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
  • 10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.
  • 11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshiped God,
  • 12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be unto our God forever and ever. Amen.
  • 13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
  • 14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
  • 15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.
  • 16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.
  • 17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

These were not just great people who lived perfect on the earth, built great hospitals and cared for the hurting, these were those who were once sinners but who repented of their sin and trusted Jesus to cleanse them from sin. They were made clean by the blood of Jesus Christ.

  • 1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Good works alone is not the way of salvation. It takes the power of God working in us the moment we start to believe in Jesus as the way to be saved. His righteousness and good works covers us, not our own works. We then produce good works because we are saved and love God.

  • Revelation 21:7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

How do we overcome? We are not once saved and then always saved as some teach. There are trials of our faith that we face. Satan will try to cause our faith to fail. He will try to bring upon us a root of bitterness. We must remain faithful and believe until the end.

  • Jude 1:17 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;
  • 18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.
  • 19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.
  • 20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
  • 21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
  • 22 And of some have compassion, making a difference:
  • 23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
  • 24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
  • 25 To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

Because of Jesus, we can be partakers of all these good things. We do not have to be lost. The past is gone when we come to Christ. 

  • Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Remember unbelief opens the door to going back into the sin Jesus saves us from. We must build our faith by prayer and the study of the word. Choose a good bible believing church where members truly love one another. Compare what you read to what they teach. Pray without ceasing.

These things do not save us but will keep us from falling back into our old ways. The church never saves one person but a good church or congregation can strengthen our faith until it become fruitful. A false church or one that is apostate will not build us up in the faith.

  • Revelation 21:9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.
  • 10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
  • 11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;
  • 12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:
  • 13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.
  • 14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

We can see from these things that the bride of Christ is not the church as we think of church. All who enter this city will be both believing Jews and believing Gentiles. Israel as an important part for we see the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. The foundation of the city has the twelve apostles named. These were also Jews that brought the gospel to us.

Notice that Peter is not mentioned as the only rock in which Jesus built the church. Peter was not the first pope and not the head of the church. There were 12 apostles that started the foundation of the church and Jesus is the cornerstone.

  • Ephesians 2:18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
  • 19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
  • 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
  • 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord:
  • 22 In whom ye also are builded together for a habitation of God through the Spirit.

Peter says it this way:

  • 1Peter 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
  • 6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

Jesus is this cornerstone. The apostles build upon that becoming the foundation of all believers. We who believe are the lively stones build upon the doctrine of the apostles. All believers are part of this bride and all believers are part of the congregation of believers Jesus said He would build. It is not any man-made organization we think of as a church. There may be true believers within the organized church but they in themselves are not the congregation Jesus said He would build. We all not complete alone.

All believers in the Old Testament times, first Jewish believers, Gentiles believers and letter Jewish believers make up this great congregation build by the Lord and that enter this city of the New Jerusalem. We enter this body of believers the moment we believe in Jesus and He washes our sins away in the blood He shed. We are born again by the spirit of God when our sins are washed away by the blood of Jesus Christ.

  • Revelation 21:15 And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.
  • 16 And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.
  • 17 And he measured the wall thereof, a hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.
  • 18 And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.
  • 19 And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;
  • 20 The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.
  • 21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.
  • 22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.

When that which is perfect is come, that which is in part is done away with. Now there is no need of a temple in which to worship because God and Jesus Christ are the temple. Now there is no need of the gifts of the spirit to perfect the saints because they are perfected.

  • Revelation 21:23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.

All necessary things for life are contained in God. Now there is even no need of the sun.

  • Revelation 21:24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it.
  • 25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
  • 26 And they shall bring the glory and honor of the nations into it.
  • 27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.

Here is where we see clearly that no sin will dwell in this place so that time to get rid of the sin is now. If we wait much longer it may be too late. We can't be saved after our physical death. We have to decide now. If we want to be part of God's holiness and enter into this place we must cry out to God, turn away from sin and believe in the one God sent to save us, Jesus Christ.

Revelation 22