1 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” ~ Revelation 21:1-4
The lighter our grip on the things of the earth, the greater our anticipation of heaven. The greater our grip on the things of this world, the less we will think about heaven. The American culture of wealth, comfort, self-gratification and indulgence, has stunted the church spiritually.
The home of the believer in Christ is heaven which is mentioned 55 times in the book of Revelation. In Revelation 4:1 we read, "After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, "Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this."
After this, from the vantage point of heaven, the Apostle John writes about the Tribulation all the way through to the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now we come to Revelation 21. This is after the Second Coming, after the millennial reign of Christ on the earth for a thousand years. In fact, we have switched dimensions here in Revelation 21. We have left time and now we are in the eternal dimension.
In v.1 of today's text we read, "Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea."
It is obvious that God will create a new heaven and earth. "And there will no longer any sea." One of the biggest reasons that God created this world with a salty sea is because it is a great antiseptic to cleanse the earth and make life possible for us on the earth. Were it not for the salty ocean, life on this planet would have ceased a long, long time ago. It is the salty ocean that purges, cleanses, and preserves the earth. The sea is an antiseptic in which all the pollution and filth that man pours into it is absorbed and cleansed. But, in the new earth and the new heaven, there will be no more pollution, no more filth, no more need for cleansing.
Currently, we live in a very watery world. Two-thirds of the earth is water. Most of our bodies are water. Most of plant and animal life is water. Ours is the only planet in the universe that we know of that has the amount of water needed to sustain the biosphere that we have that is dependent on water. If we don't drink water, we will die. They say we need 8 glasses a day, otherwise we risk dehydration. So we are dependent upon the use of water.
There is much water on our earth now, and, in the millennium, there will be an abundance of water, but we're told here there will be no sea. So the new heaven and the new earth will not operate on the principal of water. There will not be the demand in our celestial bodies for water as there is in the bodies that we have now. Also, we know that seas separate people from one another. In our new home, there will be no separation.
In v.2 of our text we read, "I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband."
The new Jerusalem will be the capital city of eternity. It will be God's headquarters. Later in this chapter, we are given the dimensions of The New Jerusalem. It will be 1500 miles cubed, just a little smaller than the moon. And, it will be a bride prepared for her husband. And, though it will be a place, it is described in terms of its populace. It will be a bride city. The people of God will inhabit it. And it will be greatly adorned. It will be most beautiful, just like a bride on her wedding day.
In v.3 we read, "And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God."
It has always been God's heart to hang out intimately with His people, but there's always been something in the way. That something is sin. In the Old Testament, God set up a tabernacle where His presence dwelt in the middle of the twelve tribes of Israel. Then there was the temple and the Shekinah glory of God dwelt within that place. When God sent His Son into the world, John tells us, "He tabernacled among us and we saw His glory." In heaven, there will be no more separation. God will relate directly with His people in intimate fellowship.
We know today that the present universe in its farthest reaches (even farther than the Hubble telescope can show us), is governed by the same laws. One of them is the Second Law of Thermodynamics, the law of entropy, which says this present universe is running down. It is all decaying; losing its energy and growing cold. But in the new heavens and the new earth the law of entropy will be reversed. Instead of running down, the universe will gain energy and manifest a unity, stability, symmetry and a beauty that the old heavens and earth never had.
In v.4 we read, "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."
The Apostle John can’t really comprehend something what he is being told. And, like him, we can’t comprehend this. So, John has to tell us what it won’t be like and use what we know as a starting point, and back off from there.
There will no longer be any tears in heaven. We will experience nothing sad there. There will be nothing disappointing. There will be nothing unfulfilling. There will be nothing lacking. There will be nothing wrong. There will be nothing to fear.
Death will be gone. Nobody will ever die. And there will no longer be any mourning. There will not be anything to get depressed about. There will not be anything to get distressed about, because, on the cross the Lord Jesus Christ, took away our sin and our sorrow and death.
In heaven, we will have new and perfect bodies -- bodies that will never age or become weak or die, because they will be like Christ’s glorious body after His resurrection. We will be in God’s presence forevermore, and no sin can exist in His presence. God is absolutely holy and pure; as the Bible says, “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrongdoing” (Habakkuk 1:13).