I. The New Creation
A. New Heaven & New Earth
1. V. 1 New- Not “new” as in recent, but new in quality. Not remodeled but recreated.
a. This is not the Earth of the Millennial Kingdom, but a superior new creation.
b. This will be a more pristine state than even the Garden of Eden. In Eden, Satan was allowed access. In the New Jerusalem, that will never happen.
c. As amazing as the Heaven and the Earth are, they are corrupt and will be replaced.
2. Psalm 102:25-27 25 Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. 26 They will perish, but You will endure; Yes, they will all grow old like a garment; Like a cloak You will change them, And they will be changed. 27 But You are the same, And Your years will have no end.
3. Romans 8:18-22 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.
4. 2 Peter 3:10-13 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
5. Luke 21:33 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
B. New Jerusalem-Physical Description
1. V. 2 New Jerusalem- The Holy City. Place of perfect holiness; a complete absence of sin.
a. Then best that mankind has ever known was in the Garden of Eden. There were only two people there, and the perfection of that place was short lived because Satan came and deceived Eve into sinning. Then that perfect place was spoiled because of sin.
b. The New Jerusalem will be the perfect community. All tribes, tongues, ethnicities living in perfect peace forever, with no entrance of sin ever happening.
c. One of the recent cries among the churched is that they long for authentic community.
d. Sadly, the cry for authentic community often turns out to be that we hang out with people we like and already know, or that are not too different than we are in age, culture, style, etc. That isn’t a good reflection of what the Church is.
e. Others imagine that the best thing would be to be alone with Jesus and a few friends.
f. God’s ultimate goal for His people is not pleasant isolation, but a Holy City.
g. A city full of people living in perfect holiness, peace, and mutual love.
h. We don’t have that perfect community here, but we will there.
i. Hunter- Christian concept of heaven as a city – a place of life, activity & people – is very different from Hindu conception of a blank Nirvana. “The consummation of the Christian hope is supremely social. It is not a ‘flight of the alone to the Alone’ but life in the redeemed community of heaven.”
2. V. 5 Everything that we read about is new in quality, not just the best improvement.
3. Vs. 9, 10 The New Jerusalem comes down from Heaven as a gift, it is not a Utopian environment created by mankind.
4. V. 11 God is described as dwelling in unapproachable light. 1 Timothy 6:16
5. Vs. 12-14 Walls, gates, and names of the tribes from Israel and the names of the Apostles.
6. Vs. 15, 16 New Jerusalem-1500 mile cube, from Florida to Maine. Same volume as Moon
7. Vs. 17-21 Walls, city, foundations, gates, streets- precious stones and metals.
8. V. 22 On Earth, the Temple was the point of connection between unholy man and a perfectly holy God. In Eternity, man is forgiven and redeemed, and can interact w/God.
9. V. 23 The glory of God will be all the light we need in the New Jerusalem.
C. New Jerusalem-What Happens There
1. V. 3 This verse perfectly illustrates the desire and goal of God: relationship with man.
a. Fellowship with man was the reason the Father sent Jesus to die for our sins.
b. Isaiah 59:1-2 1 Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. 2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.
c. Ephesians 1:6-7 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved. 7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace
2. V. 4 Fellowship in God’s presence will be completely free from sorrow and death.
II. Who Can Enter & Who Cannot
A. Those Who Can Enter The New Jerusalem
1. V. 6 Spurgeon- “What does a thirsty man do to get rid of his thirst? He drinks. Perhaps there is no better representation of faith in all the Word of God than that. To drink is to receive-to take in the refreshing draught-and that is all. A man’s face may be unwashed, but yet he can drink; he may be a very unworthy character, but yet a draught of water will remove his thirst. Drinking is such a remarkably easy thing, it is even more simple than eating.”
2. V. 7 1 John 5:5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
3. Vs. 24-26 Not all of humanity is destroyed during the Great Tribulation. Whatever governments and nation survive will have the opportunity to come to God by faith, in just the same way as people of all ages.
a. V. 25 They will have constant access in and out of the New Jerusalem
b. V. 26 They shall bring whatever is valuable into the Holy City
B. Those Who Cannot Enter The New Jerusalem
1. V. 8 These sins enumerate some of the many ways that man estranges himself from God
a. Leon Morris- Is cowardice enough to send a person to hell? “John is not speaking of natural timidity, but of that cowardice which in the last resort chooses self and safety before Christ.”
2. V. 27 The New Jerusalem will be a place where nothing that defiles is allowed in.
a. When it comes down from Heaven, its inhabitants will have already been decided.
b. There will not be a line of people waiting to be interviewed.
c. The unholy will have already been sent away into everlasting torment.
3. Lamb’s Book Of Life- This is the simple explanation.
a. Look again at verse 6. This is how simple it is.
b. Will you receive eternal life from Jesus?