Summary: Revelation 21:1-7
SEEKING A SAVIOR - God’s People Seek a New Home
December 30, 2018
Revelation 21:1-8 (p. 872)
Back in the 1990’s I spent a lot of time on a place called The Appalachian Trail…It’s a 2,300 mile trail through some of the most wooded and mountainous places in our country…A friend of mine named “Fella” Wilson and I did 4 years of an Advanced Wilderness week of camp for Christian teenagers…In total I’ve done a couple of hundred miles out of the 2,300…The A.T. starts in Stone Mountain, Georgia and ends on top of Mt. Katahdin in Maine…The last 12 miles are climbing this mountain.
I spent 10 days in 1997 doing the last hundred miles in Maine…ending with a 12 mile mountain climb up Katahdin. We backpacked the entire time. We packed light…we made due with what we had. We cooked MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat) on a tiny stove. We slept in little tents. And I mean little because every little bit of weight you saved made a big difference at the end of the day.
I loved these 10 days. I enjoyed the 100 mile wilderness. I saw a moose in the wild and watched beavers build a dam. But it wasn’t east…hiking a rugged trail, carrying a pack, sleeping in a tent. The black flies ate you up. It got cold at night…one night the wind put my tent in a tree before I could get the stakes down…and after 10 days we all smelled pretty interesting.
Standing on top of Mt. Katadhin was one of my favorite accomplishments…and I know I didn’t have to live in a tent anymore.
The Apostle Paul compares our lives here on earth to the 10 day journey I took living in a tent in Maine.
2 CORINTHIANS 5:1-10 (p. 805)
His entire point is to encourage Christians to realize we are on a journey…that the body we live in here is a tent…not a forever house…we are seeking the mountain top…This isn’t home…we’re trying to get home.
The Apostle Peter reminds us “Dear Friends I urge you, as foreigners and exiles to abstain from sinful desires which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day He visits us. (1 Peter 2:11-12)
This world isn’t our home…we’re foreigners here…in exile…but the lives we live here among unbelievers have an opportunity to show them God so they can make Him their Father too…and when Jesus returns they go home with us.
Because when He returns and visits this world again…He will return as judge of all mankind.
Think about that list in verse 8…The cowardly, unbelievers, the vile, murderers, sexually immoral people, those who engage in the occult, idolaters, and ALL LIARS…They will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur…This is the second death!
God’s Word says “They will be consigned.”
The word consigned means…“An official act of delivering another person to confinement.”
Think about this biblical truth…its absolutely heartbreaking and mind boggling!
I. HELL WILL BE A FOREVER HOME FOR MANY
John, in his Revelation from Jesus, says: “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from His presence and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small standing before the throne.” (Revelation 20:11-12)
Jesus sits on the throne of judgment…This is the end of earth and heaven as it was…In our text in Chapter 21…It’s the same King Jesus on the throne in verse 5 who says, “I am making everything new” and He declares in verse 6 “It is done!!!” What’s done? All that is before eternity! He’s the Alpha and Omega (the first and last letters), the beginning and the end…He is the Word of Creation…who now sits at the end of time as we know it.” He created all…now He will judge all…“Great and small standing before His throne.”
And as people stand here…books are opened…books that record what they’ve done…But there is another book as well…John calls it “The Book of Life.”
Those whose names are not written in it are thrown into the Lake of Fire.
Whether you’ve died at sea or on land there is no escaping the King on His throne. Death and Hades give up their occupants…Hades is the opposite location of Paradise…It’s filled with the lost and separated from God. And the lake of fire will be the forever residence of all those who do not have their names recorded in the Book of Life…It’s the second death because those who have only experienced an earthly birth will die twice…the second being forever…But those who have been born twice…physically and from above will only die once…or maybe not at all.