Summary: Most of us are too young to remember this, but years ago, before World War II, there was a radio news broadcaster by the name of H.V. Kaltenborn. He always began his news broadcast with the words, Well, we’ve got good news today!
THE CITY OF GOD
Most of us are too young to remember this, but years ago, before World War II, there was a radio news broadcaster by the name of H.V. Kaltenborn. He always began his news broadcast with the words, Well, we’ve got good news today!
That is the way I would like to start this last section of Revelation. We have great news! The judgments are past, the terrible plagues upon the earth are ended. We begin with a view of heaven coming down to earth; a time when the prayers of God’s people for centuries, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven, will be answered.
On the night before His death, Jesus made a wonderful promise to all who believe in Him. Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. John 14:1-3
The Father’s house Jesus referred to is the New Jerusalem, where God will live with His people forever.
Just as a person preparing to travel to a foreign country desires information about that country, so believers have longed for a glimpse of that city where they will live forever.
Knowing our desire, God has provided us with a description of heaven. Though only a few details are given, they are staggering.
This is the city that Abraham was looking for, the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. Hebrews 11:10
What Abraham and the rest of the redeemed have anticipated by faith, was revealed to and described to John. That is what we are looking at.
Read vs 1-4
What beautiful words! They bring us full circle, to the beginning of the Bible again. Genesis 1:1 says, In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. That creation is what is called here the old heavens and the old earth. They will pass away, as we are told, and a new heavens and a new earth are coming.
The Apostle Peter who tells us what happens to the present heavens and earth. He says, But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar. The elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. 2 Peter 3:10.
That ends the old heavens, but now a new heavens and earth appear where Jesus will continue his reign, not only upon earth, but throughout the entire reach of the vast universe of God.
The Purpose of the New Heavens and New Earth
There are four statements in this opening passage that tell us the purpose of the new heavens and the new earth.
1st Jerusalem the capital of the universe
The first verse suggests strongly that the New Jerusalem, this great city that John describes, is to be the capital of the whole new universe. And it will be a universe greatly changed. It will not be like the one we have now.
I believe that God will eliminate the present heavens and earth as we know it, most likely by changing and cleansing it. i.e. When we become Christians we become new creatures in Christ, but we are still the same persons, but now changed and cleansed.
We know today that the present universe in its farthest reaches (even farther than the new Hubble telescope can show us), is governed by the same laws. One of the laws is the Second Law of Thermodynamics, the law of entropy.
It states that this present universe is running down. It is decaying; losing its energy; it is growing cold. But in the new heavens and the new earth apparently that law is reversed.
Instead of running down the universe begins to come together again. Instead of losing energy it will gain it and manifest a unity, stability, symmetry and beauty that the old heavens and earth never had.
One aspect of this, pictured here, is that there will be no more sea. I’m not sure I like that because I love the ocean. But the one reason we have a salt sea that covers more than half of this planet is because it is God’s great antiseptic to cleanse the earth and make life possible on earth.
Had it not been for the ocean, and the salt in it particularly, life on this planet would have ceased many centuries ago. It is the ocean that purges, cleanses, and preserves it.