By Terry Kirby
Senior Pastor, Alpha Baptist Church, Morristown.
Some of my older retired friends talk about never wanting to move from their homes. They do not want to think about moving all of their stuff (junk). They are settled in for the remainder of their days. They have everything placed or piled where they want it. Their house may not be the biggest or the best but it is their home.
For the Christian, this world and the things in it are not part of our eternal home. As believers look forward to their new home in heaven Revelation 21 talks about a new heaven and a new earth. The promise of a new home that God has made to us will be like nothing we can imagine. The Apostle John, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, describes this new home as a wonderful place where God lives. Let me make a personal plea that I must also keep in mind. Please spend more time focused on your new home and how to get there than your current one. Please share the life changing message of forgiveness by God’s grace through faith in Jesus with your world so our new home will be filled for all eternity.
John describes to his reader what he saw. He saw a new heaven and new earth. He states that the first heaven and earth had passed away. He also saw something else. He saw the new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven.
Then John heard a loud voice from the throne of God telling him to look. The speaker (not God) had to regain John’s focus so John could see the most rewarding message of all time. God is now dwelling with humanity. Please note that humanity does not mean all humanity. Humanity means that God is dwelling with those who have their names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Our new home is living with God and being His people forever.
John turns from one blessing about the new Jerusalem to another. John describes it as a place that does not have some of the most feared things that fill this world. God has removed all tears, grief, crying, and pain. The most feared item on the “Most Feared” list is also gone, death. Now God tells John to look. John is to see that God is making all things new. God also instructed John to write. He is to write these words because they are faithful and true.
John wraps up this section in verses six through eight and shares with us more of God’s Words about Himself. God also speaks of those with Him and those who are not. God continues by telling John some names for Himself. He is the Alpha, the Omega, the Beginning and the End. God is the bookends of all written history. In addition, God promises the gift of the water of life to those who have accepted Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins. God calls this group the victors. This group will inherit the new home and all that it contains. The most rewarding feature of all is the promise that believers will be God’s children and He will be their God.
On a more somber note, John reminds us of all the ones that are not going to be in this new home. God calls them out by category of sinfulness. He names: cowards, unbelievers, vile, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars. These groups will also have a new home. It is called the lake of fire and it will be filled to the brim with these and Satan, his demons, death, and hell.