The Free State of Glory (Part 1)
TEXT: Revelation 21:1-8
1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
The State of Glory (Part 1)
John F. Walvoord states about these opening verses, “The opening verses of chapter 21 describe the creation of the new heaven and the new earth, which chronologically follows the thousand-year reign of Christ described in chapter 20. Chapter 21 begins with the familiar words I saw, an expression repeated in verse 2. This new creation is described as a new heaven and a new earth. That it is a totally new heaven and a new earth, and not the present heaven and earth renovated, is supported by the additional statement, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. An amazingly small amount of information is given about the new heaven and the new earth. But one major fact is stated in this verse: there was no longer any sea. In contrast with the present earth, which has most of its surface covered by water, no large body of water will be on the new earth. The Bible is silent, however, on any features of the first heaven except the statement that there will be no sun or moon and, by implication, no stars. The new heaven refers not to the abode of God, but to the earth’s atmosphere and planetary space. No landmarks whatever are given concerning the new earth, and nothing is known of its characteristics, vegetation, color, or form. The implication, however, is that it is round and is the residence of all who are saved.”
As we have studied Scripture about the Second Coming of Christ and the last days, we have overwhelmingly focused on the judgments of God. We have learned about God’s dealings with Israel, the judgment of the world during the Tribulation, the judgment of the Antichrist and his army, the judgment of the Gentile nations before the Millennial Kingdom, the final judgment of Satan, and the judgment of the living dead at the Great White Throne.
Now, we come to a happier time in the book of Revelation. Chronologically, the world described in Revelation 21 and 22 occurs after the Great White Throne Judgment. It is the beginning of an entirely new age when God’s people are unified with Him for eternity. This is the point where time and history come to a close and the eternal future begins. Dr. Warren Wiersbe said, “Human history begins in a garden and ends in a city that is like a garden paradise. In the apostle John’s day, Rome was the admired city, yet God compared it to a harlot. ‘That which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.’ The eternal city of God is compared to a beautiful bride because it is the eternal home for God’s beloved people.”
How do we get from the days of judgment to this glorified state? How do we get from the cities of this world to the city of God. How do we get from the old world to the new as described by John: “I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away…”
The “first heaven and the first earth” is the world we inhabit now. When God created this world, it was perfect. Nothing was out of place. There was not even a blade of grass growing where it was not supposed to grow. Man, too, was perfect, and that was because he was in holy communion and fellowship with God. However, the world we live in today is not perfect because of man’s sin. When man sinned, not only was he cursed, but the earth was cursed. Things began to go wrong. Animals turned violent and predatory. The ground, which was once supple and pliable beneath Adam’s hand, became difficult to cultivate. Man had to sweat and labor to get food from the earth. Erratic weather patterns causing hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, and other natural disasters are ultimately a result of a sin-cursed earth. That is what John means when he writes about the “first heaven and the first earth.”
But, one day, the first heaven and the first earth will make way for a new heaven and a new earth. Peter describes the ‘heavens as passing away with a great noise, the elements melting with fervent heat, and the earth and the works that are therein being burned up.’ And Jesus said that the heaven and the earth will “pass away.” God will replace this old earth with a new one. The term ‘new’, as used here, means new in character, not just newly made. The character of the new earth will be different from the character of the earth today. It will no longer be subjected to the curse of sin. Animals will no longer be violent and predatory. The ground will no longer be rabid and difficult to maintain. And, most of all, man will no longer be in his fallen sinful condition, but in a glorified state — able to experience all of the blessings of being in the presence of God.
The world today seems to be falling apart. Many people who have put their trust in politics, science, or academics are losing hope. But, for the Christian, our hope is not in this world — this heaven and this earth. Our hope is in God who will make a new heaven and a new earth where we will live with Him forever..
Christopher M. Idle wrote:
I saw a new heaven and earth,
for the first had passed away;
the holy city came down from God
like a bride on her wedding day.
And I know how he loves his own,
for I heard his great voice tell
how we would be His people
and among us He came to dwell.
He will wipe away every tear;
even death shall die at last.
There’ll be no more grief or pain
they belong to the world that’s past.
Dear friend, you can have a home in the new heaven and the new earth if you place your faith and trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior from sin and the consequences of sin. Allow me to share with you how you can do that today so that you can be ready for His return.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door.” Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.