Revelation 21:1-3 "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. 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. 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."
Personal note: A few days ago my dad passed away and is now in the presence of the Lord. For 56 of his 73 total years he walked the Christian walk and his ever-increasing home-sickness for heaven remains for me one of my fondest memories. His desire was to be with His Lord and Savior. Over the next several days I would like to present a series of posts that speak on the Bible's teaching on Heaven, particularly the last two chapters of Revelation. It is hoped that these posts provide comfort, clarity and an eternal perspective for readers. For anyone who knew my dad, his eternal perspective on things was refreshing and welcome in an age so preoccupied with things and self.
Introduction: Two great preachers comment on the eternal heavenly glory of Revelation 21-22
I thought I would begin with two quotes from two great preachers who have been gifted by God to expound His word. The first is from Dr. John MacArthur who writes concerning Heaven and the Christian:1"Most Christians, I suppose, through the centuries could say with the psalmist in Psalm 73, "Whom have I in heaven but Thee and besides Thee I desire nothing on earth." That is the expression of the heart that longs for God. Much like Psalm 42 where the psalmist says, "As the deer pants after the water brook, so pants my soul after Thee, O God." The psalmist in the same Psalm 73 said, "Nearness to God is my good." He said, "God is my portion forever." Being preoccupied with the person of God, longing to be in the presence of God was on the heart of Christians. In fact, the pure in heart, according to the words of Jesus in the Beatitudes, are promised that they will some day see God. Through the centuries that desire to see God, to be in God's presence, to enjoy God forever, that desire that there is nothing in the world that can satisfy has been on the hearts of believers."
The second quote derives from the late Dr. W.A Criswell who penned in his opening sermon on Revelation 21 - "The Word is illimitable. The wisdom and truth and revelation of God is unfathomable. I’m like a diver that would go down into the depths of a southern sea to find pearls and gems on the floor of the ocean. And when I get down there, I am overwhelmed by the profuse, vast, illimitable treasures scattered all around me. Which jewel shall I take? And what jewel shall I leave behind? What shall I place in this sermon, and what of those thousand other things that I wish I had time even to mention? Ah, the riches of the revelation of God in Christ Jesus; how past finding out, how past exploring, how past understanding, much less exegeting and homileticizing and presenting and preaching, this rich, incomparably glorious Word of God!"2
A bird's eye view of Eternal Heavenly Glory in Revelation 21-22
With the opening thoughts above, it is very apparent that the final two chapters of the Apocalypose of John present to us scenes and realities that exceed imagination and which nearly escape human vocabulary. If we were to view the entire Bible in terms of ages and time frames, we could assign at least five of them:
1. The Old Testament Age
2. The Church Age
3. The Tribulation Period or age
4. The Kingdom Age
5. The Age to Come
The last age is to be an endless one. Though it only occupies 2 of the 1189 chapters of God's Word, the "Age to Come" or what we're calling "Eternal Heavenly Glory" will know no end. More will be said in future posts, however today I wanted to simply outline for the reader how Revelation 21-22 unfolds.
I. Eternal Heavenly Glory Defined Revelation 21:1-3
A. New Everything 21:1
B. New City 21:2
C. Throne of God and the Lamb 21:3
II. Eternal Heavenly Glory Described Revelation 21:4-22:5
A. New Everything described 21:4-8
B. New City described from afar 21:9-27
C. Throne of God & The Lamb inside the City 22:1-5
III. Final Invitation to Eternal Heavenly Glory 22:6-21
A. Appeal to heed the invitation 22:6-9
B. Warning to those who refuse the invitation 22:10-13
C. Blessing for those who welcome the invitation 22:14-21
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