Summary: THIS WEEK…Future heaven…particularly as foretold in the Book of Revelation. “Heaven” occurs more than fifty times in the Book of Revelation given to John. It is visionary in nature…and very similar to Ezekiel’s long before.
A GLORIOUS NEW WORLD’
(what will the Future of Eternity Be :Like-Part I)
Prayer God…here we gather…to let our earthly minds consider the glory of your heavens…how you must be smiling here with us…Worlds feel closed in…let the walls of time and temporary struggle fall down.
Many of you have asked how life’s been as new parents. Like so many had described our son has brought more change…more joy, we are blessed with an easy little child so far and laughter. One of his constant sources of joy…our dog Trooper…has his dog Trooper…thinks his name is “down” or “no”. Likes to talk…preachers son’s…goes on and on.
As I watch him grapple to comprehend and communicate…I can’t help but think of us trying to imagine the glories of heaven…the reality of eternity. Have you ever tried to think of eternity? Like children…tomorrow is a long ways away!
Last week…present heaven…that which awaits all who die before the culmination
of history…and through Christ…”What’s Up If I Go Down?”
THIS WEEK…Future heaven…particularly as foretold in the Book of Revelation. “Heaven” occurs more than fifty times in the Book of Revelation given to John.
It is visionary in nature…and very similar to Ezekiel’s long before.
In each…we find a human given a revelation by God and their use of human language to describe divine glory.
Though wild in nature…the essence of John’s Revelation…is simply an unfolding of that which was revealed through the prophets (especially Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel) and Christ…a glimpse into the future which culminates in a glorious new world. Revelation 21:1-7. What a marvelous sight…what a stirring revelation of what lies ahead.
Our worlds can seem so closed in at times, but here in an ultimate sense…the walls that enclose our lives will come down…and our lives expanded by the reality of eternity.
1. The future of eternity will be the fulfillment of a CLIMATIC RECREATION. Verse I describes the climatic point at which history as we know it comes to a close…a final judgment comes followed by the emergence of a new heaven and a new earth for the first earth and the first heaven pass away. Some reading this for the first time might wonder if such a vision is really a part of God’s Word as a whole…after all…Bible has stood the test of time…prophecies. More numerous that I could ever list. Jesus spoke often of the end…the day of judgment…and of going to prepare a place where he was going. Most simply, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” Matthew 24:35 His word is eternal, but not heaven and earth.
The apostle Paul.
“We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” Romans 8:22
Paul understood that the entire created realm was suffering from the Fall…from separation from God. All creation is in tension… the heavens and the earth…groaning as in the pains of childbirth waiting to be reborn into a new and eternal existence united with God. For awhile many modern minds began to conceive of the world as without change…no need for God and no signs of disruption or change.
Yet today it is the most rational of minds who are declaring the impossibility of the earth continuing as it is.
God spoke long before such rational perceptions “Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.” As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me,” declares the LORD, “so will your name and descendants endure.” Isaiah 65:17 and Isaiah 66:22 (cf. 34:4;51:6; Daniel 2:44; 7:14; 7:22-26; 2 Peter 3:10-13; Gal. 4:26; Gal. 4:21-31; Heb; 12:22.)
The new heaven and earth will endure before him but the former will not even be remembered or come to mind. Points to how “new” this recreation will be. The Greek word translated “new” (Kainos) reflects more than just “new” as opposed to “old”; it reflects it will also be different…a change in quality…free from fallen ness and “curse”, it will be glorified and eternal God isn’t going to “try again”, He is going to finish what he began. The very fact that a new earth is created should lead us to neither dismiss creation as meaningless to God…nor to worship it as our ultimate source of hope…(Relate to human bodies…)…Such a recreation, was foretold by the prophets, but what the prophets could not for see was how this climatic recreation was to occur…They did for see a Messianic age and judgment…but ALL OF THIS IS NOW MADE MORE VIVID TO JOHN AS REVEALED THROUGH CHRIST. “Then” A key word in verse on is “THEN”.
Follows a “millennium” of Christ’s reign on earth (Rev. 20:1-10) and a final judgment (20:11-15.)