Summary: Through a marvelous word picture, our text describes the heavenly home the Lord has waiting for those whose names are written in the Book of Life. What’s that home like? Revelation 21 describes it.
Dr. Roger W. Thomas, Preaching Minister
First Christian Church, Vandalia, MO
Your New Home’s Waiting!
Introduction: What would your dream house be like? If money were no object, what would your dream house include? Perhaps, it would be like Bill and Melinda Gates’ cottage on Lake Washington not far from Seattle.
Gates, the billionaire founder and owner of Microsoft began constructing his dream house shortly he and Melinda married in the mid 90’s. The $60$ plus project included 66,000 square feet (that’s about one and half football fields). That is just the house, not the property! The modest little starter home has seven bedrooms, twenty-four bathrooms, six kitchens and six fireplaces. The 11,500 square foot family quarters include a four-car garage and a nanny’s apartment. The guest wing comes complete with a theatre, formal dining room, and conference facilities.
Revelation 21-22 describes something much better. Through a marvelous word picture, our text describes the heavenly home the Lord has waiting for those whose names are written in the Book of Life. What’s that home like? Revelation 21 describes it.
First, the home is new. I grew up in old farmhouses, both of which were torn down shortly after we moved out. I have lived in one brand new house and a couple which were only a few years old. There is certainly something exciting about moving into a brand, spanking new home. Nobody else has lived in it. You get to put the first scratches on the woodwork and the first stains in the carpet. Repeatedly in Revelation 21, the Lord says he is making something new.
The Bible uses two different words that are rendered "new" in English. One emphasizes new in time, like a new car verses and older car. The second word, used here, can describe something that is newer, but it adds the dimension of “quality.” Newer isn’t always better, but in this case it certainly is. Your heavenly home is new, fresh, and sparkles with the best of everything you can imagine.
Your heavenly home is more than new. It was designed by the very finest architect and built by the best contractor. Jesus said, “I am going to prepare a place for you.” Hebrews says that the saints of old dreamed of a city “with foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (Heb. 11:10). Our text says the heavenly city came down out of heaven from God (Rev 21:2, 10). This is not something that man could build. This home was not the product of the latest architectural fad. It didn’t come from Frank Lloyd Wright. It is not the latest makeover featured on “This Old House” or HGTV’s “Before and After.” This is not a “do it yourself” project! This is God’s doing, pure and simple!
When we were buying one of our first houses, our realtor gave us the short course on house purchasing. I have heard it a thousand times since. The first three rules of home buying are “location, location, location.” How do you spell location: n-e-i-g-h-b-o-r-s! Your new home is in the best location with the finest of neighbors. God himself will live next door. You don’t get any better than that. Not only that, but also all of the negative elements have been removed. This is point of the rather strong statements in the text. “But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death” (Rev. 21:8). “Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Rev. 21:27).
Our heavenly home will be spacious. Bill Gates’ 66,000 square feet will be an efficiency apartment by comparison. Actually Revelation emphasizes more the size of the city than the individual residences in it. But a big city means big space for lots of people. The New Jerusalem, as John names it, is described as a cube 1500 miles wide, tall, and deep. That’s hundreds of time larger than the biggest man made metropolis. Even that I suspect is merely symbolic for something on a scale that extends beyond anything we can imagine. This was especially true for ancient folk.
Ancient walled cities were actually fairly small. They were often more like large forts or castles. Only the rulers, the military, the very rich, those in charge of civic affairs, and other VIP’s actually lived within the city proper. Most folk lived outside the walls. In times of danger or invasion, everyone would leave their homes and head to the city for protection. But this city is big enough for everyone to live inside the walls.