Revelation 21

Revelation 21Chapter 20 described the millennial reign of Christ. Although the word “Millennium” appears nowhere in Scripture, the term “a thousand years” appeared six times in the chapter. Some view the Millennium as a figurative thing, but the chapter seems to indicate that it’s a literal thousand-year period.

If you’ve been following the sequential unfolding of the end-times, they began with the Rapture of the Church “to meet Christ in the air,” That was followed by the Great Tribulation of seven years. The Tribulation ends with the battle of Armageddon and with the Antichrist and False Prophet in the lake of fire. Then, Satan is bound in the abyss for the entire Millennium, a time of continual evangelism and of Christ reigning on the earth.

At the end of that time, there is the Great White Throne judgment of non-believers (Revelation 20:11) where all unbelievers and Satan are condemned to the lake of fire. That’s where Revelation 21 begins and it will describe a new heaven and new earth. This is not a recycling thing. The old earth will be totally and completely destroyed (2 Peter 3:10). A new heaven and earth will come; it appears out of nothing, just as God created the first earth and heavens by speaking them into existence. Your old favorite and familiar constellations won’t be there, the sun and moon won’t be there, and there won’t be any oceans. That’s all revealed in 21:1. There will be a New Jerusalem coming down out of the new heaven from God. This is totally and completely new.

We’re given some dimensions and they seem to indicate it will be a cube (although some inexplicably say a triangle) that measures 1400 miles in length, breadth and height. Verse 21:3 indicates there will be wonderful relationship and intimacy with God who will dwell with His people in the New Jerusalem. This is the eternal dwelling place of all the redeemed of God; redeemed Jews and Gentiles of the Tribulation and Millennium, together with all the redeemed from the church age. All spiritual thirst will be satisfied because all will know the Lord personally and intimately. There won’t be any fringe players nor anyone who is insignificant in the new Jerusalem.

In a vision, John is shown the new Jerusalem and it’s described figuratively as precious jewels. Perhaps that’s because John is at a loss for words and can find no other way to describe it, although we should acknowledge that some do take the images of jewels literally. Perhaps the most magnificent thing about it all is that the Lord is there. There’s no need for sunlight or moonlight because the triune God provides all the illumination anyone could ever need. The praise song “Heaven is a wonderful place, filled with glory and grace” comes to mind.

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