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. (Revelation 21:1-3)
The earth as we know it will not last forever, but after God's great judgment, He will create a new earth (Romans 8:18:21; 2 Peter 3:7-13). New here suggests freshness, not just a second beginning. This is the fulfillment of the prophecies (Isaiah 65:17; 66:22; 2 Peter 3:13). Significantly, this eternal renewal has already begun in the life of the believer because, using the same term, Paul says, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17). The present heaven and earth, including the sea, were burned up in the great white throne judgment (Revelation 20:11, 13), and thus have passed away before the arrival of the new heaven and earth. The fact that there will be a continuation of some features of the present creation in the new heaven and new earth is implied by the description of the New Jerusalem as the holy city, a title that is applied to the present Jerusalem in Revelation 11:2. Yet the drastic difference in the new eternal state is obvious from the fact that there will be no more sea, which was a major part of the original creation (Genesis 1:6–10).
The sea in John's time was viewed as dangerous and changeable. It was also the source of the beast (Revelation 13:1). We don't know how the new earth will look or where it will be, but God and His followers - those whose names are written in the book of life- will be united to live there forever.
It is impossible to tell whether the New Jerusalem will sit on the new earth, since all three references to it describe the holy city as coming down out of heaven (Revelation 21:10; 3:12). Prepared as a bride is essentially the imagery of Revelation 19:7, 8, where God’s people—or, more specifically, Christ’s church—are prepared for “the marriage of the Lamb” (Revelation 19:9). Her husband refers again to Christ, the Lamb (Revelation 19:9), but the bride is the New Jerusalem, according to Revelation 19:9, 10. In other words, Christ’s bride (Revelation 19:9) is the redeemed inhabitants of the holy city (Revelation 21:3–7, 24–27).
Word Focus - New Jerusalem: (Gk. Ierousalem kaine) (Revelation 3:12; 21:2) G2419; G2537: The Greek term denotes “the brand-new Jerusalem.” The New Jerusalem that comes out of heaven is plainly distinct from the earthly Jerusalem, the former capital of Israel. This is the city Abraham looked for, the city that has foundations, whose builder and maker is God (Hebrews 11:10). This is the city that exists even now in heaven, for Paul calls it the Jerusalem that is above (Galatians 4:26).
The new Jerusalem is where God lives among His people. In Revelation 21:3, God is described as dwelling among His people. This recalls the Incarnation, the fact that Jesus “became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14), and is a fulfillment of the promise in Revelation 7:15 that God will dwell among His redeemed people. A virtually identical promise was given to Israel in Ezekiel 37:27, 28. Wherever God reigns, there is peace, security, and love. Will you be there?
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.” (Revelation 21:4-5)
Have you ever wondered what eternity will be like? The "Holy City, the new Jerusalem" is described as the place where God will "wipe every tear from their eyes." Forevermore, there will be no death, pain, sorrow, or crying. What a wonderful truth! No matter what you are going through, it's not the last word - God has written the final chapter, and it is about true fulfillment and eternal joy for those who love Him. We do not know as much as we would like, but it is enough to know that eternity with God will be more wonderful than we could ever imagine.
Wipe away every tear fulfills the promises in Revelation 7:17 and Isaiah 25:8. No more death - no more pain goes far beyond the earlier promise of Revelation 7:16, which promises freedom from hunger, thirst, and scorching heat. Former things have passed away echoes both Revelation 21:1; 2 Corinthians 5:17. The believer’s rebirth through faith in Christ brings newness to that person’s life, but it is only in the eternal state that God will make all things new.
God is the Creator. The Bible begins with the majestic story of His creation of the universe, and it concludes with His creation of a new heaven and a new earth. This is a tremendous hope and encouragement for the believer. When we are with God, with our sins forgiven and our future secure, we will be like Christ. We will be made perfect like Him.
I want to wish all of my blogging friends and followers a HAPPY NEW YEAR! And may our Lord continue to give you the wisdom, joy, peace, and happiness that only an intimate relationship with Him can give.
Father God, it is my prayer today that I continue to keep my mind and soul open to Your Will in my life. I have been made new by the blood of your Son Jesus and one day, in Your timing, You will make everything new. My precious Lord, my King of kings and my Redeemer.... I long for that day in time to come. Come Lord Jesus! Amen.
References: NKJV Holy Bible, Life Application Bible (NIV), and the Nelson Study Bible.