In this two-part series, we are looking at Revelation 21 and unpacking verses that describe what Heaven is like. If you missed part one, you can check that out by clicking here.
The second clue we get about what Heaven is like comes from the word “new.” Four times in these eight verses, the word new is used, which comes from the Greek word, Kainos, which is new in the qualitative sense.
“Kainos” is in contrast to the Greek word “neos,” which is new in a time sense. Every new thing God has created is of the highest quality and without expiration.
This affirms the truth that Heaven will exceed our greatest imagination. Therefore, you will never get bored exploring the endless landscapes in eternity. And if you’re someone who enjoys staying within a smaller circle of space, it will never get old.
John also explains that the new Heaven, earth, and Jerusalem will descend from the skies and replace what was. He uses the imagery of a bride and groom, which is a key eschatological point. First, this speaks of the anticipation and excitement of a groom seeing his bride.
I can still remember, 22 years ago, when the doors of the sanctuary opened, and there stood my bride, and looking at her, my heart raced, and I was overcome with joy!
She meticulously prepared every detail for me. She walked down that aisle just for me.
So will it be as the new heavens and earth appear. It has been prepared with precision for you and those who kept the faith!
Furthermore, the imagery of the bride and groom provided the framework for our understanding of Jesus’ return. In a traditional Canaan wedding, on the day a man and woman were engaged, they would return to their homes and not see each other until the wedding day.
The woman would go away and begin to shop for material to make her dress. She would prepare herself for the wedding and the marriage.
Likewise, the groom would go away and would begin to build a home for his bride.
With the oversight of his father, everything the groom needed to get prepared, and build a home for his wife, must be complete before the father would signal that the preparation was complete.
Then the groom would return for his bride, which could happen at any moment, unannounced, so she must be ready. So too is the return of Jesus.
As John receives this glimpse in advance, he recalls a loud voice that says, “3Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.”
At the beginning of life, God walked in the garden of Eden with Adam and Eve until they sinned, which created a barrier between Creator and creation. But God made provisions so that we could draw near to Him and know Him, albeit modified from what it was before sin.
Yet, the ability to walk and talk with God will not be restored, as it was in the Garden of Eden until the new heavens and earth appeared. God declares that we will have full access to Him at all times.
Another positive qualitative difference John mentions in the new earth is what will not be there.
- No tears.
- No death.
- No morning.
- No crying.
- No pain.
This is the inheritance of those who put their faith in Jesus Christ and endure until the end. 1 Corinthians 9:24, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.” This stresses the necessity of finishing the race of faith!
“The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.” Revelation 21:7
The word “conquers” means he who overcomes without qualifications. Living a godly and holy life is possible apart from faith.
It’s the Word of God and the Holy Spirit of God who empowers us to live a life of a conquer.
So strive to finish the race because God has a prize awaiting us that far exceeds anything this life could ever give us and is worth everything we need to overcome!
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