The Apocalypse – Chapter 21 – Part 1
In the dealings of the Divine toward the church and the world, the prophecy of this book gives us a very remarkable mixture of light and shade, prosperity and adversity, mercy and judgment. Now as we progress toward the end the shadows flee away and a new world appears. The old has passed away. It represents the perfect and triumphant state of the church in heaven. Let but the faithful saints and servants of God wait awhile, and they shall not only see but enjoy, the perfect holiness and happiness of that world. Today we have an introduction to the vision of the new Jerusalem, Rev. 21:1-9. All thing made new.
Heaven Think of a place where there will be no sin, Where there will be, no battle to win; A place where there will be no sorrow Only a today, no tomorrow. A place of no questioning or demanding, One free of quarrels and misunderstanding; A place of no hurt feelings or pain Where there is no seeking for personal gain. A place without sickness, one of abundant health Where there are stores of immeasurable wealth; A place of infinite glad surprise. Where every tear will be wiped from our eyes. There will be no more death, nor night or day For the old order of things has passed away. Behold I am making all things new. The place is heaven. It’s for me. It’s for you! By the late Andrew Feakin [passed away 16th March 2019]
Keys – All Things Made New
- Know that this old world, with all its troubles and commotions, will one day pass away.
- The presence of God with His church is the glory of the church.
- In heaven the presence of God with His people is not interrupted as it is on earth, but He dwells with them continually.
- This new and blessed state will be free from all trouble and sorrow.
- God Himself, as their tender Father, with his own kind hand, shall wipe away the tears of His children.
- The truth and certainty of this blessed future state are ratified by the Word and promise of God.
- God would have this committed to writing, for perpetual memory, and continual use to His people.
- His people thirst after a state of sinless perfection and the uninterrupted enjoyment of God, and God has wrought these longing desires in them.
- When they have overcome their present difficulties, He will give them of the fountain of the water of life freely.
- They enjoy this blessedness—by right of inheritance, as the sons of God.
- The misery of the damned will illustrate the blessedness of those that are saved, and the blessedness of the saved will aggravate the misery of those that are damned.
All Things Made New
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. Then I, John, 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 heaven saying, “Behold, the 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. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” And He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
A new heaven and a new earth
Henry says – Here is an account of the happiness of the church of God in the future state, it is safest to assume it to be the heavenly state. A new world now opens to our view (Rev. 21:1): I saw a new heaven and a new earth; that is, a new universe, for we suppose the world to be made up of heaven and earth. By the new earth we may understand a new state for the bodies of men, as well as a heaven for their souls. This world is not now newly created, but newly opened, and filled with all those who were the heirs of it.
The new heaven and the new earth will then not be distinct from each other. The glorified bodies of the saints will now be spiritual and heavenly, and suited to those pure and bright mansions. To make way for the commencement of this new world, the old world, with all its troubles and commotions, passed away.
Beautified with all perfection of wisdom and holiness
In this new world the apostle saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from heaven. This new Jerusalem is the church of God in its new and perfect state, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. She is beautified with all perfection of wisdom and holiness, appropriate for the full fruition of the Lord Jesus Christ in glory. Here proclaimed is the blessed presence of God with His people. I heard a great voice out of heaven, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, etc., Rev. 21:3.
The presence of God with His church is the glory of the church. It is matter of wonder that a holy God should ever dwell with any of the children of men. The presence of God with His people in heaven will not be interrupted as it is on earth, but He will dwell with them continually. The covenanted interest and relation that there are now between God and His people, will be filled up and perfected in heaven.
They shall be His people; their souls shall be assimilated to Him, filled with all the love, honour, and delight in God which their relation to Him requires. This will make up their perfect holiness and He will be their God. God Himself will be their God with His immediate presence with them. His love fully manifested to them, and His glory put upon them, will be their perfect happiness. Then He will fully answer the character of the relation on His part, as they shall do on their part.
All tears shall be wiped away
This new and blessed state will be free from all trouble and sorrow. For all the effects of former trouble shall be done away with. They have been often before in tears, by reason of sin, of affliction, of the calamities of the church. But now all tears shall be wiped away. There shall be no signs, no remembrance of former sorrows shall remain. God Himself, as their tender Father, with his own kind hand, shall wipe away the tears of His children. They would not have been without those tears when God will come and wipe them away. All the causes of future sorrow shall be for ever removed: There shall be neither death nor pain, and therefore no sorrow nor crying. These are things incidental to that prior state, but now all former things have passed away.
The truth and certainty of this blessed future state are ratified by the Word and promise of God. They have been committed to writing, as matter of perpetual record, Rev. 21:5, 6. The subject-matter of this vision is so great, and of such great importance to the church and people of God, that they have need of full assurance of it. Therefore God from heaven repeats and ratifies its truth. Besides, many ages must pass between the time when this vision was given forth and the accomplishment of it. And many great trials must occur. So God would have it committed to writing, for perpetual memory, and continual use to His people.
It is Done!
These words are faithful and true; and it follows, It is done, is as sure as if it were done already. We can take God’s promise as present payment. If He has said that He makes all things new, it is done. He gives us His titles of honour as a pledge. Even those titles of Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. As it was His glory that He gave at the beginning to the world and to His church. So it will be His glory to finish the work and not to leave it imperfect. As His power and will were the first cause of all things, His pleasure and glory are the last end. Men may begin designs which they can never bring to perfection. But the counsel of God shall stand, and He will do all His pleasure.
Another evidence of the truth and certainty is the desires of His people towards this blessed state. They thirst after a state of sinless perfection and the uninterrupted enjoyment of God. God has wrought in them these longing desires. Desires which cannot be satisfied with anything else, and therefore would be the torment of the soul if they were disappointed. It would be inconsistent with the goodness of God, and His love to His people, to create in them holy and heavenly desires, and then deny them their proper satisfaction. Therefore they may be assured that, when they have overcome their present difficulties, He will give them of the fountain of the water of life freely.
They inherit all things
The greatness of this future joy is declared and illustrated. It is the free gift of God: He gives of the water of life freely. This will not make His people less grateful but more grateful. They then lie at the fountain-head of all blessedness: they inherit all things (Rev. 21:7). Enjoying God, they enjoy all things. He is all in all. They enjoy this blessedness—by right of inheritance, as the sons of God, a title of all others the most honourable. It comes as a result from a so near and endeared relation to God Himself.
The misery of the wicked helps to illustrate the glory and blessedness of the saints, and the distinguishing goodness of God towards them, Rev. 21:8. Note the sins of those who perish, among which are first mentioned their cowardliness and unbelief. The fearful lead the van in this black list. They dared not encounter the difficulties of faith in Christ, and their slavish fear proceeded from their unbelief.
They have chosen
Those who would not take up the cross of Christ, and discharge their duty to Him, were yet so desperate to run into all manner of abominable wickedness—murder, adultery, sorcery, idolatry, and lying. Their punishment was to have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. They could not burn at a stake for Christ, but they must burn in hell for sin.
They must die another death after their natural death. The agonies and terrors of the first death will consign them over to the far greater terrors and agonies of eternal death, to die and to be always dying. This misery will be their proper part and portion, what they have justly deserved, what they have in effect chosen, and what they have prepared themselves for by their sins. Thus the misery of the damned will illustrate the blessedness of those that are saved, and the blessedness of the saved will aggravate the misery of those that are damned.
Adapted from the Matthew Henry Commentary
Prayer for the Day
Father, we come to You. We thank You that in all our troubles here we know that this old world, will one day pass away. Your presence with us now and then is the glory of the church. We long for the day when in heaven Your presence with us is not interrupted as it is on earth, but You dwell with us continually. This new and blessed state will be free from all trouble and sorrow. Thank You that You Yourself as our tender Father, with Your own kind hand, shall wipe away our tears. The truth and certainty of this blessed future state are ratified by Your Word and promise. We need never doubt.
We bless You that You have this committed to writing, for perpetual memory, and for our continual use. Father we thirst for this of state of sinless perfection and uninterrupted enjoyment of You. It is You who have wrought these longing desires in us and You who shall bring it to pass. May we be courageous overcomers in our present difficulties that we might be freely given that fountain of the water of life. We shall enjoy this blessedness—by right of inheritance, as the sons of God. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
All Things Made New
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