in the Christian Library
John L. Kachelman, Jr.
I. We come to the closing scene in Revelation. Here is
the most comprehen- sive section of encouragement for struggling brethren.
Throughout this book there have been hints of immortality: the promises
to the Conquerors, the white-robed multitudes, the triumphant song of Moses
and the Lamb, the wedding feast of the Lamb and His bride. Now at last
John is given a vision that surveys the promised land. In some ways this
is the most important part of his book, as it is certainly the most familiar
II. As this section is read you cannot help but recall
a number of OT passages, thus once again we find an intimate connection
with the prophets of old (Isaiah 25:8; 65:17, 19; 66:22; 55:1; 60:20; Ezekiel
36:28; 37:28; 48:31ff; 47:12; 2 Samuel 7:14; Zechariah 14:6-8; Genesis
III. In this section there is a marvelous message to believers
- "Do not give up because you have wonderful destiny ahead!" The destiny
of the redeemed is to be in the "new" Jerusalem. Literally "the new city
of peace." In contrast to their present trials and burdens they would share
in grand blessings. It is this beautiful city of peace which brings great
comfort and cheer to struggling saints.
I. Notice how cheer would be brought to believers as they
come to know about this eternal home of the saved.
A. This city of peace provides ETERNAL FELLOWSHIP with God (21:1-8).
1. V. 3-4 explain, in symbolic language, the beauty of this promised fellowship. This fellowship allows saints to find access to high joy.
a. God dwells with them in one tent (Rv 7:15).
b. The Lamb is their Shepherd (Rv 7:17).
c. God wipes every tear out of their eyes (Rv 7:17).
d. They are constantly worshiping in the sanctuary (Rv
e. They sit with him on the throne and He sups with them
(Rv 3:20, 21).
2. The beauty of this fellowship is enhanced as we see
that it is offered absolutely free (v. 6; 22:17b). Surely the sensible
person will see the necessity to remain faithful so he can inherit this
wonderful fellowship! (v. 7).
3. A greater emphasis is added when the reverse is considered.
Those who fail to establish and maintain fellowship with God now will not
find it in eternity (v. 8; Romans 6:23). God's city of peace will not include
any who associate with Satan! (v. 27).
B. This city of peace is blessed with ETERNAL PROTECTION
by God (21:9-26).
1. John's readers knew the need to be protected. Knowing
you are kept safe brings great security and peace. The essence of protection
was a great city surrounded by a great wall. Here we read of such a place
described in symbolic language.
a. 12 gates - abundant entrance where no one who desired
would be forbidden entrance.
b. 12 foundations - such a perfect foundation could never
c. "4 Square" - this city will have enough room for all the redeemed under the OT and NT (12b, 14b).
2. The description is of a strong, spacious, perfect, and beautiful city where God's redeemed will live with Him in perfect fellowship! To try to make this a literal city on earthly Jerusalem destroys the symbol.
3. No where else can man find a more appealing description
of God's home for saved souls!
C. The city of peace is supplied with ETERNAL PROVISIONS
from God (22:1-5).
1. So great is this new Jerusalem and so magnificently designed by God, it does not need many things that are essential to present life.
a. There is "no temple" (21:22). No sins need atonement
and saints are in God's presence always.
b. There is "no sun or moon" (21:23). The radiance of
the Lamb is all that is needed.
c. There is "no night" (22:25). There is no darkness for
God is light. There is no need for labors have ceased.
2. Note the provisions offered by God . . .
a. The garden - Eden will be restored and eternally enjoyed.
b. Water of Life - Symbolic of salvation. It is offered
full and free (Psalm 46:4a). The beauty is marvelous (22:1).
c. Trees of Life - Not just one but whole rows on either
side of the river. And fruit is always present.
d. Throne of God and the Lamb - The sovereignty of God
will be the center of attention. This throne dominates so that God's will
is supreme - never again will the saints battle against the Dragon for
God is supreme!
3. What a striking picture! Pause and reflect on it and
sense the strong assurance it offers! What greater provisions could we
D. This city of peace is a place of ETERNAL SERVICE
to God (22:3,5).
1. It is misleading to assume heaven will be a place of
leisure where all desires are immediately provided angels (7:15b -"day
2. Notice how service is pictured in v. 3, 5.
a. The entire population will offer priestly service.
b. Service is rendered and is focused on God.
c. Here is a continuation of service which has been offered
on earth! Note Matthew 25:21--service on earth leads to service in heaven.
We must understand this simple point (Matthew 25:26-30).
d. Heaven will be populated ONLY by those who love to
serve God on earth, in the church!
II. From this final vision we discover the following .
A. God answers our desires to know what the future will
bring. In symbols He has told us that heaven is a beautiful city of peace
where we will find eternal fellowship, protection, provision, and service
B. In this section we have a dramatic contrast with chapter
20. We have here encouragement to remain faithful because eternal destiny
will be lived in either the New Jerusalem or the Lake of Fire! (21:27).
C. Our ability to enjoy heaven depends on how much we
enjoy the church on earth. It is hard to imagine how some will enjoy an
eternity of that which appears to be intolerable on earth!
1. Eternal fellowship with brethren.
2. Eternal worship assemblies of praise to God.
3. Eternal service to God with the redeemed.
D. Those with whom we identify on earth will be those
we will identify with in eternity! You cannot live in Babylon on earth
and the New Jerusalem in eternity! (18:4)
E. We discover an answer to the problem of earth's evils
(v. 4). God lists some of the more prominent evils which will cease. The
Lamb has conquered and has answered the problems of the world.
F. Entrance into God's heaven is not open to just anyone,
but only to those who have been given the right (21:27). We must make preparations
to enter now or else run the risk of never being admitted! (Luke 13:24-29).
I. This is a beautiful section from Revelation. It is
filled with hope, cheer, and encouragement.
II. John's message closes with a most practical message.
The reason why a Christian is not to surrender to the temptation of distress
is because of the "home over there." There is perfection and peace so "Don't
Copyright 1998 by John
L. Kachelman, Jr. may be reproducted for non-commercial purposes
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