The New Heaven and the New Earth

Revelation 21:1–8 (ESV)

The New Heaven and the New Earth

21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

Verses 1–8
The new heaven and the new earth will not be separate from each other; the earth of the saints, their glorified, bodies, will be heavenly. The old world, with all its troubles and tumults, will have passed away. There will be no sea; this aptly represents freedom from conflicting passions, temptations, troubles, changes, and alarms; from whatever can divide or interrupt the communion of saints. This new Jerusalem is the church of God in its new and perfect state, the church triumphant. Its blessedness came wholly from God, and depends on him. The presence of God with his people in heaven, will not be interrupt as it is on earth, he will dwell with them continually. All effects of former trouble shall be done away. They have often been in tears, by reason of sin, of affliction, of the calamities of the church; but no signs, no remembrance of former sorrows shall remain. Christ makes all things new. If we are willing and desirous that the gracious Redeemer should make all things new in order hearts and nature, he will make all things new in respect of our situation, till he has brought us to enjoy complete happiness. See the certainty of the promise. God gives his titles, Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, as a pledge for the full performance. Sensual and sinful pleasures are muddy and poisoned waters; and the best earthly comforts are like the scanty supplies of a cistern; when idolized, they become broken cisterns, and yield only vexation. But the joys which Christ imparts are like waters springing from a fountain, pure, refreshing, abundant, and eternal. The sanctifying consolations of the Holy Spirit prepare for heavenly happiness; they are streams which flow for us in the wilderness. The fearful durst not meet the difficulties of religion, their slavish fear came from their unbelief; but those who were so dastardly as not to dare to take up the cross of Christ, were yet so desperate as to run into abominable wickedness. The agonies and terrors of the first death will lead to the far greater terrors and agonies of eternal death.  Henry, M. & Scott, T., 1997. Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems.

Advertisements

A Reminder . . .

James 4:11–12 (ESV)

11 Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?

Colossians 3:14 NASB Beyond all these things put on love . . .

Colossians 3:12-14 NASB

So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; [13] bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. [14] Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.

Give them a book . . .

If people did not wonder, I would not know the things about the universe, about my own world, let alone my own city that I know now.  Wondering, knowing, and doing things are all a part of education, learning new things, applying knowledge in different and new ways.

It is easy to have the blinders on and not realize the state that I am in.  Meaning, do I have it good, easy, hard difficult.  I may believe I have a challenging life depending on how hungry I am each day.  Maybe I might know how challenging my life is by my surroundings.  Nevertheless, maybe – if I grew up this way, I may just believe this is how life is.

However, I have a good idea of how my world compares to other worlds of other people.  I do have an idea if my world, life is difficult compared to others.  I believe I know what seems to be reasonable and is not.

I say all of this because in my world, the United States, I am amazed of how our world relates and compares to other nations.  What about the people, how do they survive as compared to me?

I see the news, the advertisements about how people in other nations live, survive, die, their culture.  But even closer than that, I am aware of how others, many others in my own city, nearby cities, state and country are surviving compared to others.

All of this to get to this point.  It amazes me how lucky so many people are in the world to be able to even have the desire to accomplish “great things” in their lives.  Meaning, they are able to pick something they are good at, other than just surviving and work on it until they are the best at it.

I have this vision of going to a place where having food and water for that day was an accomplishment and hand them a book of:  Positive Thinking, How to Set Goals, Dress for Success, I don’t know, give them one of the thousands of “self-help” books published here in the United States each year.  I just wonder if these books will help them.

I have to be amazed when I compare and contrast what we, in the United States, are able to choose to “survive”.  The key words is chooseIn many places, the word choose, I do not believe is even a part of their vocabulary.  What if you went up to a young person in one of these places where finding food each day was not a guarantee, and told them that there are people in the United States who can earn their living by running from one spot to another as fast as they could.  What if I told them they could earn their living by jumping over a bar as high as they could, could earn a living or driving a car really fast, or singing a song, or playing an instrument or just talking? These same people also earn so much money, they have multiple houses, cars, frigerators full of food, parties that cost more than they can dream of earning in their life.

I feel that we, especially in the United States, forget how lucky we are, that we can choose a way to survive.  We don’t have to wake up each morning and wonder, will I even get a bite to eat today, will I get fresh water, when will I shower?

How lucky we are to just live where we do.  The poorest in the United States makes them appear rich to the poorest in other nations.  I have to admit, my life has not gone by the book I wrote some time ago; but I do not think there is a day that I EVER thought I would starve, not have shelter or even got to the point where my clothes and self-stunk like – well stunk.  This is where we count our blessings instead of complaining on the ones we have not gotten.  It’s hard for me to do, but when I stop and think about my life and the struggles so many others have, I get down on my knees and thank God, thank you God!!

Hallelujah . . .

Revelation 19:1–10 (ESV)

Rejoicing in Heaven

19 After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying out,

“Hallelujah!

Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,

for his judgments are true and just;

for he has judged the great prostitute

who corrupted the earth with her immorality,

and has avenged on her the blood of his servants.”

Once more they cried out,

“Hallelujah!

The smoke from her goes up forever and ever.”

And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who was seated on the throne, saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!” And from the throne came a voice saying,

“Praise our God,

all you his servants,

you who fear him,

small and great.”

The Marriage Supper of the Lamb

Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,

“Hallelujah!

For the Lord our God

the Almighty reigns.

Let us rejoice and exult

and give him the glory,

for the marriage of the Lamb has come,

and his Bride has made herself ready;

it was granted her to clothe herself

with fine linen, bright and pure”—

for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” 10 Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

 

Verses 1–10
Praising God for what we have, is praying for what is yet further to be done for us. There is harmony between the angels and the saints in this triumphant song. Christ is the Bridegroom of his ransomed church. This second union will be completed in heaven; but the beginning of the glorious millennium (by which is meant a reign of Christ, or a state of happiness, for a thousand years on earth) may be considered as the celebration of his espousals on earth. Then the church of Christ, being purified from errors, divisions, and corruptions, in doctrine, discipline, worship, and practice, will be made ready to be publicly owned by him as his delight and his beloved. The church appeared; not in the gay, gaudy dress of the mother of harlots, but in fine linen, clean and white. In the robes of Christ’s righteousness, imputed for justification, and imparted for sanctification. The promises of the gospel, the true sayings of God, opened, applied, and sealed by the Spirit of God, in holy ordinances, are the marriage-feast. This seems to refer to the abundant grace and consolation Christians will receive in the happy days which are to come. The apostle offered honour to the angel. The angel refused it. He directed the apostle to the true and only object of religious worship; to worship God, and him alone. This plainly condemns the practice of those who worship the elements of bread and wine, and saints, and angels; and of those who do not believe that Christ is truly and by nature God, yet pay him a sort of worship. They stand convicted of idolatry by a messenger from heaven. These are the true sayings of God; of Him who is to be worshipped, as one with the Father and the Holy Spirit.

 

Henry, M. & Scott, T., 1997. Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems.

Revelation 18:20–24 (ESV)

20  Rejoice over her, O heaven,

and you saints and apostles and prophets,

for God has given judgment for you against her!”

21 Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying,

“So will Babylon the great city be thrown down with violence,

and will be found no more;

22  and the sound of harpists and musicians, of flute players and trumpeters,

will be heard in you no more,

and a craftsman of any craft

will be found in you no more,

and the sound of the mill

will be heard in you no more,

23  and the light of a lamp

will shine in you no more,

and the voice of bridegroom and bride

will be heard in you no more,

for your merchants were the great ones of the earth,

and all nations were deceived by your sorcery.

24  And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints,

and of all who have been slain on earth.”

 

Verses 20–24
That which is matter of rejoicing to the servants of God on earth, is matter of rejoicing to the angels in heaven. The apostles, who are honoured and daily worshipped at Rome in an idolatrous manner, will rejoice in her fall. The fall of Babylon was an act of God’s justice. And because it was a final ruin, this enemy should never molest them any more; of this they were assured by a sign. Let us take warning from the things which brought others to destruction, and let us set our affections on things above, when we consider the changeable nature of earthly things.

 

Henry, M. & Scott, T., 1997. Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems.

Don’t do it . . .

1 John 2:15-17 ESV
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. [16] For all that is in the world-the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life-is not from the Father but is from the world. [17] And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.