Listen to sermons at FreeGraceRadio.com
Sermon #2461 — Miscellaneous Sermons
Title: “All Things New”
Text: Revelation 21:1-22:6
Subject: Heavenly Glory
Date: Friday Evening — December 28, 2018
Reading: Revelation 21:1-22:6 or 2 Peter 3:1-18
Early this morning I got a call from Bro. Bruce Crabtree which was soon followed by a note from Bro. Peter Meney, informing me that a very dear friend, Sheila Kemmer went to Heaven yesterday afternoon.
Immediately after I got word that the Lord had called Sheila home, my first thought was, “Sheila is in heaven, now. Now she’s with the Lord. How blessed she is!” How often we attempt to console one another with those words when a believer dies. “He’s in heaven,” or “She’s in heaven.” But did you ever stop to think what that means? Did you ever take the time to find out what God tells us in his Word is in heaven? Did you ever look into the Book of God and see what the Holy Spirit tells us it is like to be in heaven?
I want us to set our hearts and minds on heaven tonight. In the last two chapters of Revelation, John gives us a description of heaven as it was revealed to him, when he was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day.
Throughout the Book of Revelation we see vision after vision of the Lord Jesus Christ in his redemptive, saving, preserving grace.
As you read through the Book, you get a sense of anticipation. Everything appears to be moving in one direction, with steady pace, toward a particular end. Really, history is not circular, but linear. All of history moves in a direct line to one, glorious end to accomplish one object. And that object is the complete revelation of God’s glory in the salvation of his elect by Christ Jesus. This is the vision which John describes in Revelation 21:1-22:6.
Revelation 21 and 22
It is impossible for us to grasp the fulness, splendor, and glory of the vision John had before him when he wrote Revelation 21 and 22. The things described in these chapters are truly glorious. By the time we get to the things described here, the Lord Jesus Christ has already come in power and great glory. At his coming, our Savior purged the old creation with fire. The final, great white throne judgment is over. Then, John writes, “I saw a new heaven and a new earth.”
Soon, our Lord Jesus Christ shall make all things new. That is the title of my message — “All Things New.” When he comes the second time, in the glory of his second advent, the universe in which we now live shall be dissolved with fire, and thus purged of all the consequences of sin. The slime of the serpent shall be erased from God’s creation. The heavens shall depart like a scroll when it is rolled together. And every mountain and island shall be removed out of their places (Revelation 6:14). Peter wrote, “The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens shall pass away with great noise, and the elements shall melt with a fervent heat, the earth also, and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (2 Peter 3:10). Every trace of sin upon the handiwork of God shall be removed. Then, the Lord Jesus Christ will create a new heaven and a new earth (Isaiah 65:17; 66:22; 2 Peter 3:11-13). He will redeem the earth itself from the bondage of corruption by his transforming power and make this earth a suitable habitation for his glorified saints (Romans 8:20-23).
New Heaven and New Earth
1st — John tells us that he saw a new heaven and a new earth (v. 1). — The old world, with all its sorrows and troubles, this world of care, will pass away to make room for an entirely new world. — “I saw a new heaven and a new earth!” John saw heaven and earth completely purged of sin and regenerated, renewed, and rejuvenated by the power of God. In this new creation, all the potentialities of nature, so long held in bondage by sin, shall be fully realized. All the curse of sin shall be removed from the earth. Weeds, thorns, thistles, and briars shall be no more. The old order of the world shall vanish away. All rebellion against the throne of God shall be ended! — “And there was no more sea.”
The sea is a constant emblem of trouble. The raging, roaring, tempest tossed waves of the sea represent the agitation and unrest of the world in opposition to Christ. The beast, symbolically, arose out of the sea. The great harlot (the religion of antichrist) and all the nations of the world are found in the sea (Revelation 13:1; 17:15).
The sea is also the thing that divides. Soon, there will be nothing to divide God’s elect! In Christ’s new creation, everything will be peace. When this earth is restored to its pristine beauty, it will be a glorious habitation for the glorified sons of God. As Eden was the garden of the Lord, perfect and glorious, a home well suited for our sinless parents, the whole world will then be a home well suited for God’s sinless people when it is delivered from the bondage of corruption. This new creation will be the eternal home of all who have been made new creatures in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). — “We, according to the promise, look for a new heaven and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” (2 Peter 3:13). This will be the ultimate consequence of Christ’s redemptive work and God’s transforming grace. Christ gave us a new standing in redemption, a new nature in regeneration, and shall give us a new creation in eternity.
2nd — “The holy city, new Jerusalem” (v. 2), is not a literal walled city. It is the Church of the living God in its complete, perfect state. John describes the New Jerusalem (God’s glorified Church) more fully later. For now he simply tells us three things about it.
3rd — Now, look at verse 3. — Here is the glory of heaven, the joy of the saints, and the delight of the new creation. The Lord our God, in the Person of Jesus Christ his Son, shall be immediately and eternally present with his people. God shall eternally tabernacle among men. The spiritual presence of Christ with his Church is her glory in this world (John 14:23). In the midst of all our troubles, the Lord is with us (Isaiah 43:1-5; Hebrews 13:5). He graciously visits his saints in our assemblies in the sweet manifestations of his presence through the ordinances of divine worship (Matthew 18:20). But, blessed as our fellowship is now, it cannot begin to compare with the presence of God we shall enjoy in the new creation. God himself shall be with us forever. His presence with us and our communion with him will never be interrupted. This is the heaven of heaven.
Š In that blessed state, we shall enjoy perfect communion with Christ, perfect commitment to Christ, and perfect conformity to Christ forever!
Š In that state, our covenant interest in and relationship to the triune God shall be perfectly revealed, realized, and enjoyed!
Š We shall find eternal delight and satisfaction with God.
Š And God shall find eternal delight and satisfaction with us!
4th — In that day, trouble shall be no more (v. 4). — God shall wipe away all tears from our eyes. We have many tears to shed here. Our sins, our afflictions, our heartaches, the struggles of our souls, the troubles of God’s Church in this world, and the perishing souls of lost friends and relatives all cause our cheeks to burn with tears. But God will dry our tears with the knowledge of complete forgiveness, acquiescence in his perfect will, and the accomplishment of his glory in all things.
All possible causes of future sorrow shall also be removed. In the new creation there shall be no possibility of pain, sorrow, crying, or death, because there shall be no more sin. Every evil consequence of sin shall be gone! There shall be absolutely no sorrow of any kind, “for the former things are passed away” (Isaiah 25:8; 35:10; 51:11).
That one statement destroys the teachings of purgatory, degrees of reward in heaven, mourning in heaven over the lost, and even weeping in heaven over past sins. There will be nothing for God’s saints in eternity but an everlasting fulness of glory and joy.
All Things New
5th — These blessed promises of glory to come are here assured to us by the oath of him who is “faithful and true.” — In verse 5 our Savior says, “Behold, I make all things new!” The language is present tense. He is now making all things new by his providence and grace (Romans 8:28; 11:36; 2 Corinthians 5:17). Soon, his work will be done. When that great day comes, he will declare, “It is done!” All that was purposed and planned by God the Father before the world began, all that Christ agreed to as our Surety in the everlasting covenant, all that he came into this world to accomplish, shall be done when time is no more. God’s works shall be finished exactly as he purposed. Everything that has been, is now, or shall hereafter be shall serve his glorious purpose and ultimately glorify him. Everything, in the end, shall prove to have been the work of God for the salvation of his people. It is written, “All things are of God” (2 Corinthians 5:18). And when our dear Savior has made all things new, when the triune God has finished his work we shall see that it has been so (Romans 8:28-30).
We anticipate, with anxious heart, that great day when our God makes his creation new. We look forward to that new heaven and new earth “wherein dwelleth righteousness.” However, it must never be forgotten that the Son of God exercises his renewing, creative power in this day. The basis of our confidence regarding the new creation of heavenly glory is our experience of the new creation of grace.
First, in verses 1-4 John saw the new heaven and new earth that Christ will make. Then he heard the Son of God declare, “Behold, I am making all things new!” It is as though our Lord were saying, “John, the promise of a new heaven and a new earth should not take you by surprise. These things should not astonish you. Behold, I am making all things new right now by my saving, renewing, regenerating grace.” Every time he saves a sinner by his almighty grace, he makes all things new for that sinner; and when he comes at the last day he will make all things new in God’s creation.
“He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new” (v. 5). — With those words the Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior, announces his great work of grace. Meditate upon each word carefully. “He that sat upon the throne” is Christ himself, the great God-man, the exalted Mediator, the Redeemer, and King of his people. He sat upon the throne of universal dominion forever as God (Hebrews 1:8). He sits upon the throne now as the Lamb of God, upon the basis of his Mediatoral accomplishments as the sinner’s Substitute (John 17:2). He sits upon the throne because his work of redemption is finished (Romans 8:34). He sits upon the throne with the ease of an absolute Monarch, possessing total sovereignty, without the slightest possibility of his throne being toppled or his decrees being nullified (Isaiah 46:10).
“He that sat upon the throne said, Behold!” — Give me your attention, Hear what I say. Give thoughtful consideration to my words. I am doing wondrous things for the sons of men.
“I make all things new!” — Christ, the Creator and Sustainer of all things in the physical creation, is the One who makes all things in the new creation. Nothing is attributed to the will of man. The Son of God says, “I make all things new!” Whatever this new creation is, he assures us that it is his work alone, accomplished by his power, according to his purpose, arising from his grace, and performed for his praise. The apostle Paul uses similar language in 2 Corinthians 5:17 — “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
The new creation of grace is accomplished by the merits of Christ’s obedience and the power of his Spirit through the preaching of the gospel of his grace and glory. Everything in the new creation comes from him, is centered on him, and directs our hearts to him. He says, “I make all things new!” In the new creation, we are…
Š the beneficiaries of a new covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34; 32:38-40),
Š the recipients of a new nature (2 Peter 1:4; 1 John 3:9-10),
Š given a new relationship (1 John 3:1-2),
Š brought into a new family (Ephesians 3:15; Mark 3:31-35),
Š made to worship in a new way (Hebrews 10:19-24),
Š and granted a new record in heaven (Isaiah 43:25; 44:22; Jeremiah 50:20).
The new covenant is the everlasting covenant of grace made between God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost before the world began. In that covenant the salvation of God’s elect was secured by the covenant promises of the three Persons of the Godhead to one another.
The new nature created in the believer is the nature of Christ himself, a holy nature, that “new man created in righteousness and true holiness.” Christ does not repair the old nature. He gives his people a new nature. The old nature remains with us, so that we cannot do the things we would. Sinless perfection is impossible, even for a moment! But there is in every believer a new nature that brings forth fruit unto God (Galatians 5:22-23). In the new birth we are made “partakers of the divine nature.” — “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
Our new relationship with God is one of sonship. God no longer deals with us as with slaves under the yoke of the law, and we no longer serve God as slaves by the constraint of the law. We are the sons of God! Can you imagine anything more ennobling?
Being the sons and daughters of God, we are now members of a new family, the family of God. Our family is a very large one. It includes the whole Church of God’s elect. And it is well supplied, for God himself is our Provider.
Every member of this family, whose names are written in heaven, worship God in a new way. We worship God in Spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24; Philippians 3:3). We come to God by faith in Christ, trusting the merits of his blood. We are all priests unto God. We do business in the holy place personally and are accepted there in Christ.
In this new creation “old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” — That means that our old record of sin is gone. Christ has purged away our sins by the blood of his cross. It also means that we have a new record in heaven. In the books of God we are declared to be perfectly righteous, because we have been made the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Having made this marvelous declaration of grace, anticipating our hesitancy to believe such great things, our Savior gives us this perpetual word of assurance — “And he said unto me, write: for these words are true and faithful.” If you are a young believer, one who has just come to Christ; or if you are one who has been in Christ for many, many years, before God all things are new, perpetually new, immutably new, eternally new! Your feelings will fluctuate, your failings will be many, and your experiences will often appear to contradict God’s work of grace and word of promise, but the new creation does not depend upon you! It depends only upon the truth and faithfulness of our great God and Savior (2 Timothy 2:12-13, 19). The Lord God will never disown his child, disinherit him, cease to be gracious to him, or change his record in heaven. He will not impute sin to the one he has forgiven (Romans 4:8). Because the new creation is God’s work, it is forever. Nothing can be taken from it. Nothing can be added to it (Ecclesiastes 3:14).
Read these next words (verse 6) and rejoice. — “And he said unto me, It is done!” — The gospel of Christ is good news to sinners who can do nothing for themselves, because it declares that the whole work of grace is done. The whole business of making all things new is finished.
It was done before the world began. “The works were finished from the foundation of the world” (Hebrews 4:3). All the blessings of grace and salvation were fully given to God’s elect in Christ before the world began (Ephesians 1:3; 2 Timothy 1:9). In him, according to God’s everlasting purpose of grace, we were predestinated, called, justified, and glorified from eternity (Romans 8:28-30).
The work was done when Christ died. When our Savior cried, “It is finished” (John 19:30), he declared that the whole work of righteousness and redemption, the whole accomplishment of God’s will by which we are sanctified and made perfect (Hebrews 10:5-14) was done.
The work is done when the chosen, redeemed sinner believes on the Lord Jesus Christ. Our faith adds nothing to what Christ has done. Faith receives Christ and all that he has done. Yet, no one has any right to claim Christ and grace until he believes. — “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son of God shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36). If you believe on Christ, you are a new creature in Christ. Your faith in him is the fruit of his new creation, the gift of his grace, and the evidence of your election, redemption and calling.
Done by Christ
The Lord Jesus declares, “I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End.” Staying with the context, he is telling us that the whole work of making all things new is his alone. He is the Beginning of the new creation and the End of it. To put it another way, “Salvation is of the Lord!” He planned it. He purchased it. He performs it. He preserves it. And he perfects it. Therefore, he alone shall have the praise of it, — “That according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:31).
In the new creation, grace is both abundant and free. The Son of God declares, “I will give to him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely” (v. 6).
John Gill accurately describes this spiritual thirst as the thirst of a needy soul for Christ himself, for pardon and righteousness, for communion with and conformity to Christ, a thirst for a greater knowledge of Christ, and a thirst for the glories of his kingdom. This thirst the Lord Jesus promises to quench abundantly, with “the fountain of the water of life,” and “freely,” without money, without price, without qualification of any kind to be met by the sinner. In Christ, grace is free and abundant!
Verse 7 — “He that overcometh shall inherit all things.” All believers shall overcome sin, Satan, and the world, because all believers are more than conquerors in Christ (Romans 8:35-39). Overcoming by the blood of the Lamb, every child of God “shall inherit all things.” We are “heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17). That means that all that Christ possesses as our Mediator we shall possess in him forever. Again, this one statement from the lips of our Lord should be sufficient to put to silence all questions about degrees of reward in heaven. The Son of God declares that every saved sinner “shall inherit all things!”
“And I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” — Christ himself, in whom we were adopted and by whom we have been purchased, is the mighty God and our everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6). We are his seed and his offspring. Here he promises us his perpetual presence, protection, and provision forever. In heavenly glory, he will see his seed with satisfaction, prolong his days, and enjoy the fruit of his toil in us forever. He will present us to himself in the perfection of holiness (Ephesians 5:27) and present us to the Father with exceeding joy (Hebrews 2:13). Though now we are the sons of God, “it doth not yet appear what we shall be” (1 John 3:2). But this we are assured of: Christ will forever be ours and we shall forever be his in the fulness and perfection of heavenly glory!
In verse 8, there is a strong word of warning. It is possible that one may have read the pages of this book and yet not be a new creature in Christ. Be warned. Salvation is more than a profession of faith, a religious experience, doctrinal soundness, or a moral reformation. Salvation is a new creation (Galatians 6:15). You must be made a new creature, or you must forever die.
“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers (Ļορνοις — This is the word from which we get our word “pornographer.” It takes in, it includes all who practice sodomy, adultery, and/or fornication), and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)
Are you a part of this new creation? Are you a new creature in Christ? If you are, do not ever forget where and what you were when God saved you (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
“9 ¶ Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)
Consecrate yourself to the Lord Jesus Christ, your gracious God and Creator. — “Ye are not your own. For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
The Holy Jerusalem
6th — In verse 9 John begins to describe the new Jerusalem mentioned in verse 2. This description continues through verse 5 of chapter 22. Here we have a beautiful, symbolic picture of the Church of God, the Bride of Christ, as God views it. It is the holy city, the new Jerusalem. Remember, the picture is altogether symbolical. It is a picture of the Church of God in her eternal, heavenly glory. But this vision of the Church’s triumphant glory is also a vision of the Church’s present glory in Christ. In Christ, by virtue of our union with him, the Church of God and every member of it is perfectly and eternally complete (Colossians 2:10). In Revelation 21:9-22:5 John tells us twelve things about the Church of the living God as she shall be in that glorious state called “the holy Jerusalem.”
1. The Church of God is described as a city, the Holy City, the New Jerusalem (21:10, 16, 18).
“And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,” (Revelation 21:10)
“And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.” (Revelation 21:16)
“And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.” (Revelation 21:18)
The Church is a community of men and women who have fellowship with God in the Lord Jesus Christ. This community will, in its ultimate fulness, be an enormous, flourishing city.
The New Jerusalem is a radiant, highly valued city, a city of pure gold because God considers his Church the most valuable thing in his creation. And it is described as a city four square (1400 miles high, 1400 miles long, and 1400 miles wide), complete and in perfect symmetry because it is altogether perfect (Psalm 48:12-14)
“12 Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof. 13 Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces; that ye may tell it to the generation following. 14 For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.” (Psalms 48:12-14)
2. This holy city, the Church, is the Bride of Christ (21:2, 9).
“And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” (Revelation 21:2)
“And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” (Revelation 21:9)
The people of this city are the objects of his eternal love, the choice of his heart, the bride to whom he is betrothed, for whom the dowry of righteousness and redemption has been paid, whom he is coming to wed publicly.
3. This city, the New Jerusalem, is a well lit city (21:11, 23; 22:5).
“Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;” (Revelation 21:11)
“And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.” (Revelation 21:23)
“And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.” (Revelation 22:5)
The Lord God himself, as he is revealed and known in the sin-atoning Lamb, is the light of the city. Christ the Light drives out the darkness of ignorance and the night of sorrow. It is only in Christ that the glory of God is seen in this world (2 Corinthians 4:4-6). And it is only in Christ the glory of God can be seen in everlasting glory (Isaiah 60:1, 3, 5, 19-21).
“1 ¶ Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. …3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.” (Isaiah 60:1-3)
“Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.” (Isaiah 60:5)
“19 The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. 20 Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. 21 Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land forever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.” (Isaiah 60:19-21)
God is Spirit. We cannot see a spirit. But we shall see all the fulness of the triune God in the person of our Savior, when we see him face to face (John 1:18).
4. The Church is the Temple of God, but here John tells us that God is the Temple of his Church (Revelation 21:22).
“And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.” (Revelation 21:22 )
It is true that God dwells in us. But understand this: we dwell in God! And in eternity, we shall have the full manifestation and enjoyment of the atmosphere of God’s being. — The radiance of God’s being shall fill the entire city of God. It shall be fully manifest everywhere to everyone. There shall be no back settlements in the heavenly Canaan, no dark corners in the New Jerusalem. All God’s elect shall forever dwell in the immediate, direct, presence of the triune God!
5. The New Jerusalem is a divinely secured fortress of grace (Revelation 21:12, 17, 18).
Round about this city is a great high wall, a wall with four sides. It is an unseen wall, but it is a very secure wall.
“And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:” (Revelation 21:12 )
“17 And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel. 18 And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.” (Revelation 21:17-18 )
The wall of our salvation is our great God (Zechariah 2:5).
“For I, saith the LORD, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her.” (Zechariah 2:5 )
We are secured from all harm and all real danger by the purpose, purchase, power, and promises of our God.
6. The foundations upon which this city is built are the twelve apostles of Christ (Revelation 21:14, 19, 20).
“And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” (Revelation 21:14 )
“19 And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; 20 The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.” (Revelation 21:19-20 )
Men and women come into this city, come into the Church of God, and enter into glory at last, by the preaching of the apostles, by the message they delivered — The Gospel of Christ. The apostles were the messengers of the Lamb. Their foundations are really one — Jesus Christ himself (Ephesians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 3:9). In this great foundation, all the glorious attributes of God are revealed and set forth by the many precious stones.
7. This great city has twelve gates of pearl (Revelation 21:12-13, 21, 25, 27; 22:14-15).
“12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: 13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.” (Revelation 21:12-13)
“And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.” (Revelation 21:21)
“And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.” (Revelation 21:25)
“And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” (Revelation 21:27)
“14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.” (Revelation 22:14-15)
There are plenty of open gates on every side for all who will enter. But the gates are made and opened for a specific people. They are the ones whose names are inscribed upon them, “the twelve tribes of the children of Israel,” that is to say, God’s elect. At every gate there is an angel, a messenger, calling for men to enter into the city. These messengers represent God’s preachers. The gates are pearls, one pearl, even the Pearl of Great Price, Jesus Christ. He is the Door, the only Door, by whom we enter the city. The gates to the City Beautiful are never shut. Christ is an open door by whom sinners draw near to and find acceptance with the eternal God.
8. The street of the city is pure gold, transparent as glass (Revelation 21:21).
There is but one street running through the city. It leads from every gate right up to the throne of God, the River of the Water of Life, and the Tree of Life. And that street is the pure, transparent, golden gospel of Christ. This street represents the gospel, the only way to God. It is pure and transparent. It has nothing to hide. And it is more valuable than all the gold of the earth.
9. This great city is supplied with life by the River of the Water of Life, proceeding from the throne of God (Revelation 22:1; Psalm 46:4).
The source of life is the throne of God. And the River of Life is the Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior.
“And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.” (Revelation 22:1)
“There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.” (Psalms 46:4)
10. In the midst of the city is the Tree of Life (Revelation 22:1-3).
“1 ¶ And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him.” (Revelation 22:1-3 )
This Tree of Life represents the cross of Christ, the message of blood atonement by the crucified Substitute (Galatians 3:13).
11. In the New Jerusalem God sits on his throne (Revelation 22:3-4).
There his sovereignty is acknowledged. His will is obeyed. And his face is seen.
“3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: 4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.” (Revelation 22:3-4)
12. The inhabitants of the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, are God’s elect (Revelation 21:24, 27).
“And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.” (Revelation 21:24)
“And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” (Revelation 21:27 )
All whose names are written in the Book of Life (all the elect), all who were redeemed by the blood of Christ, all who are justified and sanctified (saved and made holy) in Christ by the grace and power of God the Holy Spirit, all who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ shall be in the New Jerusalem and shall reign for ever and ever with the Son of God! Will you be among the inhabitants of that city?
Bro. Scott Richardson’s
Last Public Comments
During the last public worship service he was able to attend (the Wednesday before the Lord called him to glory) our dear friend, Pastor Scott Richardson, read the following to the saints at Fairmont, WV, whom he served faithfully for over 50 years. His successor and pastor, Bro. Marvin Stalnaker, sent a copy of Bro. Richardson’s text to me. It read...
“I’ve come across something that helped me and I want to pass it on to you. We understand more about what heaven is and will be to us, by what it is not, and will not be. There’ll be no more sin.
No more darkness. — No more pain.
No more sorrow. — No more jails.
No more crying. — No more war.
No more sickness. — No more heartache.
No more dying in a ditch. — No more fear.
No more confusion. — No more lacking anything.
No more vanity. — No more waiting.
No more going astray. — No more crooked roads.
No more reproach. — No more affliction.
No more darkness. — No more trouble.
No more curse. — No more dishonoring God.
Our name will no more be called Jacob.
We’ll be the children of the Living God.”
Then, Bro. Scott Read Revelation 22:3-5 — “And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.” Then, he said, “and no more birthdays!
And when we take our last breath and go out into that world, we’ll feel good about it since we know a little more about it, — what it will be. And I myself, experience it every day. I know that I’m going to die, not very long; and I’ll be glad if I make one turn over in bed tonight and go to sleep. I’ll be happy about it, because heaven is my happiness. The Lord bless us.”
(Revelation 22:6) “And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.”