Revelation 21

Revelation 21

The New Heaven and the New Earth

21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

The New Jerusalem

Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed—on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

And the one who spoke with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city and its gates and walls. The city lies foursquare, its length the same as its width. And he measured the city with his rod, 12,000 stadia. Its length and width and height are equal. He also measured its wall, 144 cubits by human measurement, which is also an angel’s measurement. The wall was built of jasper, while the city was pure gold, like clear glass. The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel. The first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.

And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.


Revelation 21 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

There is a lot of crossover between what Isaiah writes in chapter 65 and the 21st chapter of Revelation.

“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former things will not be remembered or come to mind.  18  “But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; For behold, I create Jerusalem for rejoicing And her people for gladness.  19  “I will also rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in My people; And there will no longer be heard in her The voice of weeping and the sound of crying.

Isaiah 65:17-19 NASB

If I had to choose a passage that sums up the message Revelation seeks to communicate, Rev 21:3-8 would have to be at the top of the list. It is a message God has been communicating since the beginning.

‘Moreover, I will make My dwelling among you, and My soul will not reject you. 12  ‘I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people.

Leviticus 26:11-12 NASB

“I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will place them and multiply them, and will set My sanctuary in their midst forever.  27  “My dwelling place also will be with them; and I will be their God, and they will be My people.

Ezekiel 37:26-27 NASB

“Many nations will join themselves to the LORD in that day and will become My people. Then I will dwell in your midst, and you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent Me to you.

Zechariah 2:11 NASB

At the heart of this announcement from God is something new that’s never before been experienced by humans. The new world created for us will be in the presence of God with no sin, no pain, and no death. But although this picture is the fulfillment of many OT passages, it also satisfies everything that Jesus spoke of in the NT. The Son of Man declared to the woman at the well that He was Living Water. No one who drank of this would ever thirst again.

Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost.  7  “He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.

Revelation 21:6-7 NASB

God welcomes each overcomer (believer) into His family. He will be our God and we will be His sons and daughters. As a final fulfillment of the age-old covenant with Abraham, the work of Jesus on the cross will qualify us for this blessing based on our faith.

And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.

Galatians 3:29 NASB

But God is not sovereign without a picture of His justice as well. Though he extends grace and mercy to those who place their faith in His Son, verse 8 reminds us that those who oppose Him will suffer under the second death.

“But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

Revelation 21:8 NASB

It’s a very interesting list to consider. It does not begin with a traditional pagan description of unbelievers. It begins with cowardly. This is fitting considering that both in John’s time as well as the end times people will be under immense pressure and persecution. It would be easy and convenient to discard your faith in order to continue to live comfortably. Cowardly may refer to those who “quickly fall away” because of trouble or persecution as told by Jesus in the parable of the sower.

In this context, it seems as if the beginning of this list (cowardly, unbelieving, abominable) could be describing people who professed to believe but fell away! This point is further strengthened by the fact that verse 7 commends the overcomers before moving into this strong rebuke. The truth is, many will deny their faith under pressure once persecution is ramped up. It happened to the early church and it will definitely happen during the end times.

It is wise for us to soberly examine these warnings and take them to heart. The trials we face today will produce perseverance so that we can finish the race no matter what stands in our way. As God told Jeremiah in chapter 12,  “If you have run with footmen and they have tired you out, then how can you compete with horses? If you fall down in a land of peace, how will you do in the thicket of the Jordan?

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