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  • Chad Werkhoven

Revelation 21:1-8 - Heaven on Earth

Be sure you match the description of those who will inhabit the new earth.


Read / Listen

Read Revelation 21:1-8

Listen to passage & devotional:

 

Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 58

Q. How does the article

concerning “life everlasting”

comfort you?


A. Even as I already now

experience in my heart

the beginning of eternal joy,

so after this life I will have

perfect blessedness such as

no eye has seen,

no ear has heard,

no human heart has ever imagined:

a blessedness in which to praise God eternally.

 

Summary

The other day we focused on the fact that Heaven's not forever, which seems shocking and disappointing, especially since one of the Bible's primary messages is that those who are in Christ will live eternally. Today's reading confirms that not only will we not be there forever, but heaven itself, just like earth, will "pass away."


But the fact that Heaven has a limited life span is actually good news, because both heaven and earth will be made new. While there will still be a delineation between the two (spiritual / physical), there will no longer be a distinction, in that the sin that's corrupted the earth will no longer be present. John describes that here when he writes, "there was no longer any sea." The sea to ancient people represented chaos and disorder. It's not the beauty of the ocean that will be gone, but the chaotic and disordered effects of sin that will no longer plague the world.


Earth will be so much like heaven that John writes of heaven - the dwelling place of God - being on earth. Things will finally be the way they're supposed to be: God in perfect fellowship and communion with His image bearers, bringing with Him true comfort and blessing. What a picture John communicates as he describes the almighty creator of the universe tenderly wiping away the tears of His people! The promise that God makes throughout scripture will finally come to pass: He will be our God, and we will be His children.


With sin being gone, and God's omnipresence clear to all, the concepts of death, mourning, crying and pain will simply cease to exist. There will be no need for those tools of despair, since the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur.



Dig Deeper


It's clear that not all people will get to experience the joys of the new heavens and earth. We were just reminded what kind of people won't be there. John describes those who will be there using two broad strokes:

  • The thirsty (v6): Those who long for the living water that Jesus offers. Does this describe you? Do you long to be quenched with God's Word every day the same way you may crave a cup of coffee (or maybe in some case a Red Bull)? Are you left feeling parched on those weeks that something kept you from being able to assemble with God's people on the Lord's Day to hear His Word? Since you can quench your spiritual thirst now in the same way it will be quenched in the new earth - without cost from the spring of the water of life - you can already begin to experience heaven on earth. Be a thirsty person!

  • The victorious (v7): This certainly doesn't mean that only the 'winners' in life will go on to the new earth, rather it means those who are in Christ, who has overcome the world. John uses the same word here in Revelation 21:7 to describe God's people that he used to recount Jesus words in John 16:33 ("take heart, because I have overcome the world.")

 
  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father is our God, and we are His people.

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that the Holy Spirit will cause you to thirst more and more to drink in Christ's victory over the world.

  • ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:

 

Read the New Testament in a year, a chapter a day - Romans 13

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