1. The Day of Judgment has passed and the fate of those who have rejected Jesus Christ has been sealed for eternity, there is no second chance. We begin chapter 21 being shown how Jesus makes all things new. John tells us the old heavens and earth are gone, (remember, they fled from God in the previous chapter and no place was found for them). There is a new heaven and earth, but there is no sea. There are several instances where this is foretold as well, and here are a couple of them:
2 Peter 3:10-13
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.
2. We are now introduced to the Holy City, the New Jerusalem. This city will not be anything like the Jerusalem here on earth, it will be new, just as was told in the previous verse. It comes down out of Heaven, and God says He will dwell there with us. The New Jerusalem will be the dwelling place of the Bride of Christ. As we move into verse 5, we are told that God will take away all pain, sorrow, suffering, etc because all the former things will be done away with. This is a part a lot of people struggle with, because simply put, it means there will be no more remembrance of anything of this world. Nothing. But it has to be. If you can remember that a friend or loved one is not there in Heaven, sorrow would come about. Worse than that, thoughts of this world would cause impure thoughts to enter. This is a holy and righteous city in the presence of God! There’s no room for that. Further, though things here matter to us now, we won’t care when we are with God forever more.
3. Jesus now tells us that it is done, also stating that He is the Alpha and Omega, yes, He is God. HE goes on to tell us that those who are thirsty (seek Him out) will drink from the fountain of life. Those who persevere and do not give up on Him, those who follow His commands, they will inherit the Kingdom of God. As I have said before, there are a million ways to Hell and not a single way out; Jesus tells us a list of those who will be sent to Hell. The fearful, the unbelieving, the abominable, murderers, whoremongers, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone. So check yourself, are you living for Christ, or how you want to live. All sin can be forgiven, all of these Jesus speaks of, but if you continue in it, you have not truly repented, thus will remain as such. In other words, if you live sexually immoral, yes, you can ask God for forgiveness and He will give it; however, if you continue that lifestyle and die, you are dying as a whoremonger, or sexually immoral. You can not say you have not been told your fate, Jesus spoke the words Himself.
4. An angel then invites John to show him the New Jerusalem. This angel is one of the ones that had carried the seven vials of plagues, of also had taken him to show him the Harlot city as it was destroyed. The glory of God shines in this city, it is astoundingly bright and beautiful. There are 12 gates, with each gate having a name of one of the 12 tribes of Israel, and each having an angel standing guard at it. These names would be due to the fact that Jesus, the scriptures, and salvation all came through God’s chosen people, and without them, all of us would have been without hope. The city is squared and each wall will have three gates. Also, the entire wall will have 12 foundation points and each of these (probably pillars) will have a name of the Apostles. Scripture tells us that Jesus is the chief cornerstone, the entire Church is built on Him, then the Apostles and Prophets are the foundation, building upon Jesus and reaching out to the world. These men suffered their lives for Jesus to preach the Gospel. Yes, there are many through the years that have paid that price, but these were the beginnings, of which had they not professed, there would be nothing for the others in later years to die for. The fact that these men willingly died rather than renounce Jesus to save their life is proof the Gospel is true. Look for one moment at the way the Apostles died:
Andrew was crucified on an x-shaped cross in Patras, Greece. After being whipped severely by seven soldiers, they tied his body to the cross with cords to prolong his agony. When he was led toward the cross, Andrew said: "I have long desired and expected this happy hour. The cross has been consecrated by the body of Christ hanging on it." He continued to preach to those torturing him for two days until he died.
• Bartholomew- beaten then crucified
• James (son of Alphaeus)- stoned to death
He was thrown over a hundred feet down from the church in Jerusalem when he refused to deny his faith in Christ. When they discovered that he survived the fall, his enemies beat James to death with a fuller's club. This was the same pinnacle where Satan had taken Jesus during the temptation.
• James (son of Zebebedee)- beheaded
The Roman officer who guarded James watched amazed as James defended his faith at his trial. Later, the officer walked beside James to the place of execution. Overcome by conviction, he declared his new faith to the judge and knelt beside James to accept beheading as a Christian
• John- exiled for his faith, died of old age
John faced martyrdom when he was boiled in a huge basin of boiling oil during a wave of persecution in Rome. He was miraculously delivered from death. He was then sentenced to the mines on the prison island of Patmos where he wrote the Book of Revelation. He was later freed and returned to serve as Bishop of Edessa in modern Turkey.
• Judas (not Iscariot)- stoned to death
• Matthew- speared to death
• Peter- crucified upside down
• Phillip- crucified
• Simon- crucified
• Thomas- speared to death
• Matthias- stoned to death
• Paul- Beheaded
Tortured and then beheaded by the evil emperor Nero at Rome in A.D. 67
5. John is then told to measure this great city, the many mansions or Saviour said He was going to build. The city is cubed shape, equal in height, width, and length. We are given the measurements in cubits, but I want to break it down into something you can understand, but might not comprehend: 1500 miles long, 1500 miles wide and 1500 miles tall! From Washington DC to Amarillo, TX is around 1500 miles. If you take just the length and width, you are basically looking at the half of the continental US, with some extension into Canada, and remember, it goes up just as high. The International Space Station is only around 250 miles from the surface of the earth. And the walls of this great city are over 200 feet thick. On a note from this, many skeptics have tried to pick this apart, saying it is based on a flat-earth theory and would not hold up due to things in outer space colliding with it, that the city could not sit level due to the earth being round, etc. Let’s quash all that quickly okay? Remember first, this is a new heaven and new earth, there is no sea, and as you see later, there will be no sun nor stars needed because God is the source of all light. Nothing will be the same as before, so the things that were in the heavens (outer space) will no longer be there. This being the case, the new earth may very well be flat, if God so chooses, but if it were round, I am quite sure that God would not have a problem with making the foundation into an arc shaped to follow the lines. Regardless, this is NOT an issue and is only brought up by people who can’t think for themselves.
6. John then describes the twelve different precious jewels each layer of the walls is made with, all giving a very rich, bright, sparkling shine. Jasper is clear, sapphire is blue, chalcedony is greenish, emeralds are bright green, sardonyx is reddish-white, sardius is blood red, chrysolyte is golden-yellow, beryl is a sea green color, topaz is greenish yellow, chrysoprasus is yellow and pale green, jacinth is violet, and amethyst is purple. The gates are pearls and the streets are gold. A rainbow has nothing on this!
7. There is no temple there either. Why? We are told the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple and there will be no need for a sun due to the glory of God illuminating everything, there will be no darkness, Can you imagine, all these stones and precious jewels as the light of God shines through them just how beautiful it will be!! It’s a 24/7 operation, the gates never shut and there is no night. No-one will be here except those with their names in the Lamb’s Book of Life. IS yours in it? Are you ready?
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