Summary: A sermon on what Heaven is really going to be like.
Revelation 21: 1-4
Now aI saw a new heaven and a new earth, bfor the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2Then I, 1John, saw cthe holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared das a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, ethe tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 fAnd God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; gthere shall be no more death, hnor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
I. God will dwell with us in a new place. Vs 1-2
Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Gen 1:1) Now John nearing the end of Revelation, the end of our Bible, speaks of a new heaven and a new earth. The earth as we know it today will be no more. When we look to the sky we will not see the sun, the moon, or the stars. The story of mans fall will be not even be remembered. You may wonder why God would so drastically change our landscape. Why doesn’t God just destroy all the evil and restore the earth in its present form? Whenever a person is violently murdered in their home the family of the victim rarely feels that just having the house cleaned is enough. They often want to move out of the house all together. If they are forced to stay they never really feel comfortable being there. Sometimes if it is possible they will close off the room where it happened and avoid it at all cost. In Genesis chapter 4 the first murder takes place. In verse 10 God says that “… The voice of your brothers blood cries out to me from the ground.” Can you imagine what this world must represent to our Holy God after all these years of murder, war, and bloodshed? In 2 Peter 3:10-13 we get an idea of how He feels about it.
10 But pthe day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which qthe heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be 4burned up. 11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be rin holy conduct and godliness, 12 slooking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will tbe dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will umelt with fervent heat?
God will not just clean this sinful world He will utterly destroy it and start again.
John also says there will be no more sea. There are a few things to take into consideration. First John was on an Island at the time. So I guess if there was a detail that he was not going to miss it would be that there was no sea. Imagine you are trapped on an Island so that all there is is the sea. Now imagine that while you were there God gave you a vision of what heaven was going to be like. Of all the wonderful, exciting, awesome things you saw you would definitely remember that your cage (the sea) is gone. Secondly many of the Israelites were terrified of the sea. They believed that if a person was to die while out at sea they could not be resurrected they were lost forever. Finally they believed the sea was evil and that storms were caused by evil spirits. So John saying that there was no sea would be a great comfort to those who held these beliefs. There are many more thoughts on this subject but it appears to me that whatever the interpretation there will be no sea in heaven.
The name of this new place where God will dwell with us is the New Jerusalem. According to most commentators this is actually a city and not a group of people. I would like to try and describe this city to you in my own words and my own illustrations, but if I did I would not come close to doing it justice. Even what we have in scripture is only a taste of what we can expect when we get there. Now try to imagine this lets read verses 9-21 in the same chapter.